What Are Romance Scams?

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Roxy
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What Are Romance Scams?

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Romance scams are scams involving the onus of the scammer claiming to want to engage in a romantic relationship. Many romance scams involve the scammer pretending to be an attractive young woman looking for love or friendship and/or a recently divorced woman looking for the same. Most romance scams start out with an unsolicited bulk email and some fake/stolen photos being sent by the scammer to a bunch of randomly chosen victims. In many cases the female romance scammers are actually men impersonating women. Some of the scams also involve scammers acting as successful business people, doctors, lawyers, and etc looking for partners.

Russian and Ukrainian women are another very common romance scam modality used by scammers. With these scams they usually start asking for money after only a few email exchanges and will claim the money is needed for visas, medical certificates, and travel expenses to travel from Russia or the Ukraine to go to be with you in your own country. They will provide lots of fake and stolen photos that they will claim are photos of themselves, fake maps and photos of where they claim to live and fraudulent copies of passports and travel documents are also sometimes implemented with these scams.

During the course of the romance scam some romance scammers may also send you a fake lottery ticket as a gift, which then leads to being a fake winning lottery ticket and then a lottery scam ensues with money needing to be paid up front by the victim to collect the fictitious lottery winnings. Usually the victim will also get contacted by someone claiming to be from the lottery commission who then wants the victim to fill out fake forms in order to collect the fictitious lottery winnings.

The Ukrainian romance scammers are often known to bring the lottery scam into their romance scams. Ukrainian romance scammers will also claim to work in clothing stores, spas and beauty salons and will use fraudulent domain names of stores and salons (instead of using typical Gmail and Hotmail email addresses) in order to try to make their romance scams appear more convincing. Female Russian romance scammers will often say they work in dentistry, oncology, gynecology or some other medical field.

Men and women claiming to be enlisted in the military and looking for partners for both romance and business relationships is another form of romance scam modality. Some romance scams will start out as if they are looking for romance and then switch the scam modality to wanting a business partner to help them move a large fictitious sum of money and to share it with you when they eventually travel to your country to be with you.

Romance scams are also considered to be a form of a confidence-building scam where the victim starts becoming emotionally attached to the scammer before the actual financial aspects of the scam are introduced. These can often be the most dangerous of scams as they are also known to lead to drug trafficking and other dangerous and unexpected illegal activities for the victim.

In every instance of a romance scam, the scammer will eventually ask for a sum of money up front before a real-life meeting can be arranged. Like with the Russian and Ukrainian romance scammers, the upfront money requested is often presented as being needed to cover travel costs and/or some other costs or expenses required to consummate an in-person meeting. Note that in all cases there will never be any real-life meeting with any of these scammers claiming to be lonely and in search of a romantic relationship.

This is a form of scam known as Advance-Fee Fraud. Advance-Fee Fraud is best described as an offer of money, merchandise, services, employment, or even romance, but where the victim is asked to pay a fee in advance to obtain whatever is being promised to them by the scammer. The main scam strategy of all advance-fee fraud scams is to try to persuade the victim to send money, and then continue to send more money to the scammer, as many times as possible, until the victim eventually runs out of money and/or goes into debt as a result of losses from the scam.

Please click here to read more about the psychological techniques used to deceive people with Advance-Fee Fraud scams. The following article on Wikipedia also explains more about Advance-Fee Scams in general: Wikipedia Link

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