Online Dating Made This Woman a Pawn in a Global Crime Plot

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Investigative Correspondent Avery Haines started with the story of a Canadian woman whose online romance turned tragic. Colleen was a year-old woman living in British Columbia and, after leaving her long-term relationship, lost a lot of weight. She was feeling good about herself and started online dating. She met a man named Ryan and the relationship lasted two years. Ryan claimed to work at an oil rig and was paid in cash in a box that needed to be shipped from Turkey.

He asked Colleen if she could just send this money to get the box delivered to her.

The medical bills were piling up and he was in no position to pay them—he said his bank account had been frozen because he was on an oil rig.

By Denise Montgomery. After a two-and-a-half-year investigation, the Department of Justice arrested fourteen people and indicted another sixty-six. Romance scams take advantage of our best impulses. They rely on our innate human desire to trust and connect. They turn generous, kind, loving, goodhearted impulses against us. These rings are sophisticated and they have perfected the craft.

Vulnerable individuals are nearly defenseless against these tactics. She was trusting, but she was not wrong. To protect yourself against scams, you cannot, should not, and must not cut yourself off from others; you need to become aware of how they work. She exposed how these scams work. At age 71, F. Unfortunately, Garcia did not actually exist.

Common Scams

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Romance scams , and the millions of dollars lost to them, have jumped dramatically in recent years, even as experts say many cases still go unreported because victims are embarrassed or ashamed. That’s roughly equal to the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s more than a dollar for every man, woman and child in the U.

Online daters of all ages have fallen victim to the cruel crooks who break hearts and empty bank accounts.

In a sea of online profiles, romance scammers can be hard to detect. They might claim to be a doctor, a service member, or an oil rig worker.

When Barbara El-Gamal was stuck with poor letters in the online game Words with Friends, she reluctantly played “tit” for bird, fearing her suspiciously chatty opponent would be excited by its double meaning. His reply, that he bet “she had the best ones going”, was typical of a wave of scammers who are preying on women playing the online word game, created by Zynga.

A photo of Argentinian actor Juan Soler has been used in a scam to solicit money from players of online game Words with Friends. Credit: Wikimedia. She said scammers – often posing as lonely and sad widowed men based on oil rigs or working for the United Nations in places such as Afghanistan or Syria – have infiltrated the online app. A screen grab of a conversation with a suspected scammer on Word with Friends. Often they steal public profiles and photos belonging to others.

Credit: Barbara El-Gamal. The scams she’s identified are typical of the hundreds being reported on Zynga’s Words with Friends’ online forum.

Romance Scams Targeting Seniors: How Can You Protect Yourself?

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first. A Calgary woman is sharing the tragic consequences of a romance scam after her sister took her own life. Ringham said her sister, who lived in B.

Zoosk dating site. Army on online dating sites to quickly move from uniforms to use. See more than through matching on an oil rig; in. Our global investigation.

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The latest news on romance scams

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Widow Suzanne is a master at spotting conmen on internet dating sites and One claimed he was working on an oil rig and needed money.

For some time now, Internet fraudsters have specialized in assuming the identity of other people. Then they contact women in order to deprive them of their money. You are going to find out how this works when they pretend to be an Oil Rig Engineer. If you as a woman are using certain web pages on the internet, it is only a matter of time until you get a message from an unknown man. Basically, it is normal for you to receive contact requests, since this is the reason why you are using these web pages.

Some of these requests are genuine, but others may be fakes. These profiles used to contact you show people that do not exist at all. The real person behind these profiles steals the photos, comes up with a name and writes women by the dozen. In the following you will find the scenario of a fraud who pretends to be an engineer on an oil rig. The photo of the profile shows an attractive man.

This is the reason why the message far likely will not get deleted right away. Therefore the message from that man will be noticed or will be read more precisely.

Criminals Collect Millions in Romance Scams

This Valentine’s Day, authorities are once again warning individuals to watch out for anyone perpetrating romance scams. Such “fauxmance” often takes the form of fraudster Romeos and Juliets, many of whom are operating from West Africa or Eastern Europe. Army Captain Starling Michael. Romance scams typically start with the promise of companionship or romance, always leading to a demand for one thing. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you.

Then they take your money, but there’s no surgery and no trip,” only heartache.

Have you ever heard of a scam by an alleged oil rig engineer? For some time now, Internet fraudsters have specialized in assuming the identity of other people​.

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Americans lost $201 million in online romance scams last year. Here’s how to avoid the con artists

His hard-knocks childhood and high-paying job were fake. But multiple Canadian women say what a prolific romance scammer took from them is very, very real—and they want vengeance. By Courtney Shea, Chatelaine January 17, They were hanging out, drinking wine.

Have you ever paid for a date’s dinner because you can, and it makes you feel good? Internet romance scams work because greedy people use This guy said he was on an oil rig, he needed money for his phone bill.

Audrey Elaine Elrod was in rough financial shape as the holiday season drew near. She scraped together just enough to rent a square-foot garage apartment that she shared with a roommate, a gangly buffet cook a dozen years her junior. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Elrod opened a checking account at a First Community Bank branch located just across the state line in the twin town of Bluefield, Virginia. She would then return on subsequent days to make additional four-figure withdrawals until the account was nearly empty.

Elrod would spend the next few hours visiting other Bluefield establishments that offer MoneyGram or Western Union services: the Advance America payday loan store, the Food City supermarket, the austere cash-for-titles joint located literally under Route Sometimes, if her phone bill was due or her refrigerator was barren, she kept a few dollars for herself. His name was Duke Gregor. I am a Mechanical Engineer with Transocean.

How African scammers collect money in Romance Scams