like m, OkCupid, eHarmony, Grindr and, tinder using pictures of attractive men and women often real people whose identities theyve filched off. There is a lot of talk about developing love, falling in love and finding love on the battlefield, said Katherine Brown, a lecturer of Islamic studies at the University of Birmingham in Britain who researches terrorist recruitment tactics. Youre contacted online by someone who appears interested in you. Theyre out to make money from you-its their only purpose.
In the latest twist, scammers coax victims into taking explicit photos and videos of themselves and then threaten to distribute them to their Facebook or Skype contacts if they dont pay them money or help them launder money. People dont want to know whats behind the curtain, said. Heres how the scam usually works. They may assume the identity of actual soldiers deployed overseas or pretend to be engineers working on projects in far-flung locales.
The offshore engineer says his child is in the hospital and hes having trouble wiring money to cover medical expenses. Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites. Or it could be some dude at a Starbucks texting victims on his cellphone, or a pajama-clad woman in her apartment sending bogus love bombs from her laptop. Your online date may only be interested in your money if he or she: Presses you to leave the dating website you met through and to communicate using personal e-mail or instant messaging; Professes instant feelings of love; Sends you a photograph of himself. He may also send you checks to cash since hes out of the country and cant cash them himself, or he may ask you to forward him a package. There are many kinds of dating site scams. But whether theyre looking for sexcapades or long walks on the beach, the desire for companionship and connection makes people vulnerable to a most 21st-century crime: the online romance scam, which bilked victims of all ages and orientations out of more than 200 million last. Of course, people have always been fools for love its just that the global reach and altered reality of the Internet increases the risk and can make the emotional and financial damage more severe. Before forwarding the complaints to the appropriate agencies, IC3 collates and analyzes the datalooking for common threads that could link complaints together and help identify the culprits.
Online romance scams bilk people out of more than 200 million a y ear, but humans hard-wiring makes the frauds hard to stop.
Many people develop relationships online only to find out they re connecting with a scammer.
Consumer Reports explains how to reduce the.
As a warning to others, a Mount Gambier man shares his three months of dialogue with scammers who assumed the alias of a Russian woman.
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