We live in such an educated society now, yet still so many don’t know how to tell if they’re being scammed by online romance.
The reason I feel compelled to write this blog is for my strong sense of justice, and if I can help just one person avoid the emotional and financial break down if taken in by these scammers, then I’m happy.
Firstly I’d like to start by saying that I have personally experienced these interactions and that there are also very genuine people who you could meet online. I have made many very sincere connections with males and females online. So it is not all doom and gloom.
My aim is to point out the telltale signs to be aware of and what to avoid. Remember that just as many men fall prey to these scammers as do females. It’s a billion dollar industry for them as they prey on the weak, vulnerable and lonely.
So why, with all the warning signs that are out there, is it still such a lucrative business? I’ll tell you why, because as much as social media is a huge thing, humans will always crave affection, companionship, conversation and the need to feel loved and appreciated. These are basic human needs and sadly for some, this has come at a huge cost.
These despicable people know this, they have no heart, nor conscience, and for the most part they are after your dollars. They will say anything they know that you want to hear just to get you into such a needy state that you’ll do anything for them just to hear more. It becomes an addiction like any other form of addiction and no matter how much people try to convince you that it isn’t real, you don’t want to listen because you crave their attention so much.
You will see two of real examples of what I have been sent and this is after I have told them that I am happily married and don’t want any nuisance messages. Mind you, I post very few personal pictures of myself, family or anything else personal, but they are very persistent. That is why I am writing this and have listed the Top 10 scammer warning signs.
I avoided social media for many years, if anything not really feeling the need for it. As time went on and many of my friends were using it to connect and advise of social events, I bit the bullet and joined. I made the decision then and there though, that I was not going to put anything personal about myself, or family and used it mainly to share nice posts and keep up with social events involving my friends.
However, once I embarked on my online journey and set up my website I was advised by a Marketing expert that I needed to have my face on social media as it develops trust with your audience and makes them feel like they know you.
Of course, it made a good sense. Up until then, all I had was a cartoon figure.
Well, within minutes of my face hitting the wild cyber world, boy did the messages start flooding in! All these random men, with amorous proposals and some not quite so amorous and highly explicit proposals, came out of the woodwork.
I laughed it off, politely declined and blocked any that I felt had gone too far. I had better things to do with my time than entertain these lunatics as I figured no doubt , I’m one of hundreds they’ve tried that day.
After speaking to many people, seeing many documentaries on this topic and realizing how many people are actually losing a lot of money to these criminals, I actually starting to feel very annoyed that people would set out to purposefully deceive others let alone me. They are worse than a common burglar. A burglar breaks in, steals what they can and rarely return. Whilst it still leaves you feeling very unsafe, it’s usually not personal and you never hear from them again.
In the case of the romance scammer, they steal your life savings and your dignity along with it. They leave you feeling worthless, embarrassed and very distrusting of the outside world.
So here’s what to do and what to look out for:
When approached, firstly look at their profile and look for these attributes before accepting any friendship requests or entertaining any conversation
1 Usually the profile is quite new, there are only a handful of photos and the person is very attractive and possibly in quite alluring or provocative poses.
2 Often they will say they are in the US military, are on an undercover mission and that is why they can’t communicate all the time. They like to keep you hanging. Ask yourself this… Why would someone on a top secret mission tell a complete stranger this? Please!!!
3 They will generally say they are widowed, (looking for sympathy) and ask if you have kids. They will have kids your age and tell you they are raising them on their own.
4 They can appear to be quite younger than you but very interested. If this doesn’t happen to you in real life, what makes you think it is true on social media?
5 They will ask you to talk on other apps. I’m not sure why, but why is that so important if they’re not up to something?
6 Tell you they want to be your friend or be close to you, even after you talk them you’re in a relationship and not interested. “oh but we can still be “friends’ right?”
7 Their English grammar and spelling isn’t quite right.
8 Young girls/guys wanting marriage. If it gets that far that they actually arrive, they will scam you for everything you’ve got and leave you the instant they can. That’s if they still talk to you once they’ve scammed you into paying their airfare.
9 Watch out for really over the top compliments. Look at just some of what I received! I mean really, what makes them think I’m going to drop my knickers and hand over my wallet for these ridiculous messages? Sadly, too many fall for it.
10 Last but not least. Go with your gut and let your head rule your heart. If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.
If you get any of these messages and you want to talk to these people, then remember that it’s only for fun and don’t get taken in by it. Have a laugh and move on and if you feel they are bad, block and report them.
You set the boundaries for how you want to be treated. Never give away too much personal information or send them pictures of yourself or anyone. You don’t want your picture being used y scammers.
If you are feeling lonely and want to be around people there’s so many things you can do to connect. Join groups like reading, dancing, craft, “men’s sheds”, volunteering in hospitals, councils, helping elderly and even contact local churches who are always needing help to support the community.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and continue to enjoy your time online. Like anything be aware of the bad guys and report anything that you think isn’t right. You may be helping someone more vulnerable than you.
I hope after reading this, you now can tell if you’re being scammed by online romance.
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