Monday, March 16, 2015

The Internet Scam: Not Just for Nigerian Princes Anymore

Hey guys. Bryan here, and today I'm shoving Brandon in a broom closet while I team up with the lovely and awesome Robin at Your Daily Dose to talk to you about the evolution of the Internet scam. Which now apparently extends beyond Nigerian princes and British lottery winnings.



Unfortunately, Robin knows about these scams firsthand because her mother fell prey to one, and almost fell prey to a second. But no, these were not promises of greed and ridiculous money. These were... promises of love?








Yes, that's right, e-scammers are now a part of dating sites. It's basically like Catfishing for pay, and here's how it works. To start, a scammer sets up a fake profile on a dating site.


So as you may have guessed, this plays a little bit off of the whole 'fantasy' thing. An older woman is contacted by a much younger, very attractive man who's interested in her. But... it doesn't quite ring like a scam. Not just yet. Because this dude actually talks to her. Actually long-distance dates her. They trade e-mails and constant phone calls and profess their love to one another.




In other words, this man is really, really working hard… at not having to ever work. And probably crossing some personal boundaries the likes of which no man can ever scrub clean from his mind and his soul. But it all comes down to the payoff, which is almost brilliant, really. Because by now the woman is emotionally invested. And he’s ready to make that final move and be with her forever… but only after she gives him every penny she’s ever had for bullshit reasons like owing back taxes or having his money frozen or other such nonsense.

And if the victim says they can’t pay, then the scammer will keep stringing their so-called ‘lover’ along until they DO pay up, because they’re invested for the long haul in this scam.

So remember, kids, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And that doesn’t just go for princes wanting to unload their fortune and lottery officials looking to pass along millions in lottery winnings… that also goes for that dreamboat/sex goddess that suddenly thinks your old, flabby ass is gold. Because it’s not. They just want your literal gold. 

And let’s face it, if you’re going to pay for it, make sure you’re at least getting… it.


So now that you’re an expert on e-dating scammers (not really), jump on over to Robin’s blog, Your Daily Dose, where we collaborated on an excellent (and illustrated) guide on how to know if you’re the target of a romance scam.

And until next time, anyone else encountered one of these scams? Or had a unique scam thrown their way that wasn’t just your typical prince/lottery e-mail?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Bryan and Robin (and Brandon, from the closet, which at least has WiFi)

Beer: Colorado Native
Music: Al Stewart



128 comments:

  1. I can't imagine being a scammer, let alone one so desperate I would resort to those tactics. I'd make myself ill.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Right? If you can sex up and THEN scam an old lady, and still sleep at night, then you truly have no soul.

      Delete
  2. I hadn't heard of this, but it makes sense that there would be predators on any type of site. How sociopathic do you need to be in order to emotionally manipulate a person, hear their very human story and still rob them blind? And there's probably no recourse since the person is giving willingly, is there?
    On a separate note, when will Brandon's wife be notified that he's in the closet?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There really is no recourse. Not just because it was given willingly, but because these guys are very hard to track.

      Oh, and Brandon's wife was notified, but she says she just got robbed, and is stranded in Jamaica, and she needs us to Western Union her $30,000 so she can unfreeze her bank account. But after that she'll totally come back to him.

      Delete
  3. Helps him get into character, but also for physical support. Can't have your mantits doing all the typing for you, eh?
    Scams come in all shapes and sizes though, but generally when people talk about (big) money over the internet it's sketch as fuck and you should be careful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, at least that guy doesn't have to fake his titty shots when he sexts them to Brandon...

      I couldn't imagine just willingly giving someone I'd never met in person thousands of dollars. Hell, just the other day my wife asked me for $50 to buy some new shoes and I was hesitant to give it to her. "Are you sure you can't just duct tape the old ones for a few more months?"

      Delete
  4. Holy shit, this scam is even worse than the scam my parents fell for. After a few phone calls telling them they were finalists in the lottery, my folks sent 25 grand to Canada, because they thought they were going to win a million bucks. SERIOUSLY?????? You got to send $$$$ to win $$$$$????? I still smack my head and wonder how in the hell they could actually believe that shit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ouch. No, double ouch. That crushed my soul just to read. I always wonder that, too. You really didn't think they could just subtract from some of the winnings if there were any 'fees'? Why would I ever pay someone a large sum of money just to access my own?

      Also, come on, Canada. I thought you were nicer than that.

      Delete
  5. Once again the LGBTQ community gets discriminated against! Where's MY catfish lover lookalike-Rachel Maddow and fake-Ellen Degeneris??? I'd gladly give them ALL my money!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I just assumed that it was because the LGBTQ community was better than this kind of lowbrow shit, but you know, I'm all about equality. So if you get contacted by Ellen Degeneres and Rachel Maddow's lookalike love child later today, uh, it's just a very lucky coincidence.

      Delete
  6. I've never visited a dating site before. I was holding out as a last resort. I mean, someone has to really be interested in a middle age crazy cat lady, right? But, now you have me a little worried.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dating sites, for all of these horror stories, still aren't that bad. Now Craigslist? That's where nightmares come to life.

      So, if he's your age and looks like a real person, then he's probably a safe bet. But if he's 23 and looks like a stock photo... then he's probably not so much interested in your cats as he is stealing every penny you've ever had.

      Delete
  7. While I've pretended to be something I'm not online (mostly to mess with middle aged perverts) I've never gone quite as far as that. That's just really sad and pretty messed up. On the other hand though these people seem realllly committed. It's nice to see that kind of commitment still exists in this world. Now if they put that energy into something less abhorring we'd be in a much nicer place.

    On a slightly related note I'd probably enjoy having a ton of money and attempting to give it away via schemes that sound like such scams. I could probably make a TV show out of it. The downside is that it would encourage people to fall for scams.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's almost kind of funny to see a woman who's very in denial about this sort of thing (and completely penniless) in a relationship with one of these scammers. She doesn't want to believe he's a scammer, so she's working so hard to keep the relationship alive. And he doesn't want to believe she has no money, so he also is working really hard to keep the relationship alive so he can get any bit of money out of her that he can. And in the process, they probably work harder at that than I do at my own marriage.

      Delete
  8. It saddens me to know that time has passed the Nigerian princes by. Based only on the information in your blog, I have to say that it looks like yet another job that the white man has stolen.

    I'm betting on Nigeria to come back with something none of you saw coming...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Nigeria - the Apple of scams. They need to hold a suave, intense press conference where they unveil to the world their newest, most innovative scam yet.

      Prince? Oh no, we are no longer princes. We are kings. And through deep ancestral roots that we traced back to the victim, they're not only going to earn our inheritance, they're going to become the king or queen of Nigeria ITSELF. No one else can promise royalty or sovereignty over an entire nation.

      Delete
  9. It just shows people will lose their humanity becoming people like that. I'm smart enough to not be gullible.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm a skeptical cynic to the core... which is sad in most instances, but in this case, I haven't lost a single penny to a scammer. I call that a win in my books.

      Delete
  10. Oh this is all too common, they get on there and do this and half the time they may not even be the same sex you think you are talking to, could be an old fat guy or some other dirty scamming scum bucket.

    I ran across it once when using those Eharmony free days some 7 years ago, I had just won 27K gambling and the "woman" (god knows if it was even really a woman) I was talking to said she needed $200 for a vet bill. So I was nice and paid it forward. Figured why not after 27 grand and it was only $200. Then after that she/he/it magically needed money for everything. Yep, no more nice me. I'd rather be a harden a-hole then get baited into that again lol

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 27k gambling? What are you, a Nigerian prince?

      Wow, and here I thought these scams were only men playing on women. This, folks, is what equality is all about.

      Delete
    2. lol yep, they are equal opportunity scum buckets

      I actually won 70K gambling, but they would only pay me 27K before cutting me off. Once you have a cushion you can't lose unless you bet like an idiot. I made $500 a day gambling for 5 minutes max a day haha

      Delete
    3. I'd ask you to teach me, but that sounds like the kind of thing that would end with me cashing out my savings account, losing it all, and then relocating from a nice house to a cozy little dumpster underneath a bridge.

      Delete
    4. lmao well it only worked for me once and I quit after that. Figured I'd stop while I was ahead.

      Delete
  11. The online scammers, particularly those that take advantage of the lonely, are the absolute lowest of low.

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    1. In terms of shittiness, I think this ranks right up there with pushing the elderly down a flight of stairs of punching an infant in the face.

      Delete
    2. And that's why I couldn't make it my next job... despite how much I've learned.

      Delete
  12. This kind of scam has been around since cavemen realized they could trick cavewomen into cooking and cleaning for them, and cavewomen realized they could trick cavemen into hunting for them. They just didn't have e-mail.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So what kind of crisis does a caveman fake to receive a pity payment? Mammoth crushed my testicles?

      Delete
  13. There's always the one where you call the grandparents with a plea for their grandson in jail who needs X amount of dollars for bail. What beats me is the people who have met their spouses on the internet. I know two or three. How can you be sure?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Bryan, I hope you don't mind if I field this one.

      The #1 way to be sure is that with a scammer you'll never meet them face-to-face. Safe to say, all of the people you know who married their online dreamboat actually sat down for coffee or dinner before taking that walk down the aisle.

      Another fun fact: if you're being scammed, marriage is not in the cards for you. Most likely because you don't live in the same country and will never actually SEE them.

      Insist on that face to face meeting. INSIST.

      Delete
    2. Hey, I actually met my wife online. But like Robin said, I met her after talking to her for about 2-3 days. We didn't string it out into a weird online relationship where we talked/e-mailed but never met. That just never seems to work out.

      Delete
    3. And, if the match is a real person looking to marry, or just date, they will not ask you for money for their love. That too is called prostitution, I think. Its a shame online dating communities have to put up with this shit also; so people, as you mention Bryan, have fared quite well on the sites.

      Delete
  14. It's occurred to me that if I had the stomach for it, which I don't, I'd make an excellent scammer. I've learned a lot over this ordeal with mom.

    The other thing that scammers do really well: up the stakes. In that way, they are like writers. The difference is they are the MC in the story and the story is lame. Really lame, But, other than that, just like YOU and ME. Ha!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think I'd make a good scammer, too. I mean, I bet I could spin a really good sob story. But alas, I don't have it in me either. I have this crazy thing called a "soul." And a "conscience." But if I ever lose mine, though, I know what field I'm going into...

      Delete
  15. Oh, and THANK YOU (again) for doing this with me. You are the bestest.

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    1. You are very welcome! I'd say we should do this again some time, but I just broke my ankle, and my bank account was frozen because of import taxes, and my uncle fell and broke his placenta, so I desperately need you to wire me $3,200 if you value our friendship at all.

      Delete
    2. I'll pray for you. Remember Jesus is always more valuable than measly cash. That's what A TRUE FRIEND would do. Prayer. And lots of it.

      Delete
  16. Did you see the thing in the news recently about the woman who sent her online lover $1,000,000.00. Yes, one million dollars! In Africa! I mean, it was like a double-whammy. And, after she did it, she still believed in him. That he was still going to come through.

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    1. Wow. I did not. That's a level of charm I could never achieve. Meanwhile, I spend $50 on a video game or the wife spends $50 on shoes and we tell each other, "Whooooa, what's up with all the spendy-spendy, Richie Rich? I'm not made of money, here."

      Delete
    2. Here you go:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2974083/We-love-95-certain-s-telling-truth-Woman-defends-decision-wire-1-4-MILLION-online-lover-Africa-s-never-met.html
      That's just one of many articles about it. I suppose you could find the Dr. Phil episode.

      Delete
  17. That was rich, and true.

    I'm watching, first hand, a long time client (57) being taken for every penny. Met the moocher on a dating site, went for coffee, two weeks later he's living with her. It's been about 9 months now. He does not work, oh, he leased a car and drives 'people' around. (I suspect he runs drugs) Doesn't pay her a dime - nothing. Trust me I asked and she spilled the beans on how it's going with them.

    When I asked why she let's him stay, this is what she said, "he's down on his luck, I know things will get better" and then two days later he totally forgets her birthday. What a prize!

    Now, as to my 82 year old mom, she just got a letter, seems they still scam by mail too, telling her she's the sole heir to a massive fortune.

    Here's a little quote from the letter "it also requires all confidentiality at this stage and I believe that you are ready to keep this absolutely discreet until you are able to claim the funds from the bank. Once the funds are released to you, 20% goes to any charity organizations of your choice."

    Hmmm, wonder what charity Accountant John Martinez runs… yes, that's the name in the letterhead.

    Luckily for me, mom's razor sharp, she wants to cut the dude's ball off and bronze them. And he wasn't even soliciting her for a date! hahaha

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow, a snail mail scam letter? Who does that anymore? It's good of John Martinez to keep the US Postal Service alive. Your mom should keep that going and mail him a brick, COD.

      Brandon has a neighbor lady who's in a similar situation as your client. She took in two druggies who were 'down on their luck' and are 'using her generosity so they can quit and get on the right track'... which just means they've bled her dry of every penny she's ever had and using it on drugs. She refuses to believe when everyone tells her they're just using her (and still hopped up on drugs).

      She's now losing her house because of it... which had been completely paid off, mind you. She just borrowed so much money against it without being able to pay it back that she's losing it. Ouch.

      Delete
    2. That's just plain scary, and really sad.

      What worries me is these scammers prey on the loneliness of older woman and the sad bit is these women will do anything, pay anything, for a little affection… even from the likes of this guy my client is hooked up with. She's lonely, miserable at work, has a mother that's dying (whom she dislikes greatly) and if this guy even smiles in her direction she's won the lottery. And that's just plain old sad.

      As much as it pains me, and I gave her my thoughts (raw and to the point), in the end it's her life. What more can I do.

      Delete
  18. Wow. Desperate, lazy, psychopathy has definitely reached a whole new level. Playing a person's emotional needs against them so they can take all of their money? Now that's just upsetting! You know what would be funny? If two of these scammers met on the same dating website and actually fell for each other! Ha! That could actually make a pretty funny movie!

    "In a world where romance seems like nothing more than a path to financial security, comes a film about two dating site scammers, who try to scam each other, only to wind up pulling the greatest scam of all: on themselves! Coming soon to a theater near you: "Single, and Looking to Mingle (with your life savings)..."

    The real question becomes: Who should play the main characters? I'm leaning towards Miley Cyrus and Shia LeBouf...

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    1. Those two would be perfect... for the pictures the scammers use on the dating site, of course. The real people behind the profiles? I'd think more along the lines of Jack Black and Zach Galifianakis. Ah, it'd be like a digital Brokeback Mountain. But with 100% more Doritos and Mountain Dew, and in someone's mother's basement instead of a tent.

      Pass the mental bleach, please.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry, but no amount of mental bleach could ever wash away that truly horrific image. You're gonna have to kill this one with fire. Cleansing, burning, all-consuming fire. I'll get the matches and gasoline. You'll thank me later.

      Delete
    3. I tried fire, but the smell created from Jack Black and Zach Galifianakis' burning body hair gave me a serious case of the vomits that I just can't get rid of.

      Delete
    4. Well you weren't supposed to start the fire in an unventilated area!!! You were supposed to set up the bonfire in an open, empty lot and then light it from a distance. With flaming arrows shot from a bow. Way safer, less vomit-inducing, and way more fun!

      Delete
  19. Scammers abound! You know I get the scammers who are ‘just trying to make a buck’ any dishonest way that they can. I don’t condone it, but I do GET IT!

    The scammers I don’t get, are the ones that want you to make an emotional investment. You know the ones I’m talking about, the guy/gals who manage to post official looking bits about this or that celebrity being dead. It starts to circulate and pretty soon everyone thinks so and so passed away. Then said celebrity has to mount some monstrous campaign to assure the world they are still alive and kicking. I mean what’s with that? Normally, these scammers can’t even take credit for their monumental prank. What kind of sick mind gets a kick out of that?

    Or my next favorite, usually women by the way, who are looking for an emotional investment/attention/friends – who knows what. These gals usually have some personal dilemma that nobody can solve. They have a husband/lover/sibling/child/parent/next door neighbor who has some abhorrent behavior or (my personal favorite) dread disease. They have tried everything. The professionals don’t have the correct answers, only YOU dear reader can offer what they need…feel free to read emotional investment/attention/friendship, in general,,a shoulder to cry on. Again, I ask; what kind of sick mind gets a kick out of that?

    There is a rather famous celebrity couple who have gone public with a scam that was played on them where this woman’s daughter had cancer and she just wanted to know they cared. She never asked for money, she never asked them to visit the dying child, she just wanted their EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT. REALLY???

    Now, just like the next guy I get pretty POed when someone dupes me out of some hard earned $$$, but, its only money. On the other hand when someone gets me all ‘emotionally riled’ on their behalf and I find that it’s just some sick scam, I am done, done, done with that sicko. We’ve all had those ‘you can’t make this shit up’ experiences, so I try to be supportive, but once I start to see the obvious signs – I’m outta there.

    I had a friend do this to me. I knew this woman for quite some time (we lived near each other and even worked together for a time), but after I moved to the islands she suddenly had such problems with a grown and married daughter, all she did was harangue about it. I finally told her she and the daughter needed professional help. Well low and behold none of the professional help worked. Really? But she expected me to have the answers? Then I found out that she was doing this to anyone and everyone who would listen. Again, some of these ‘friends’ did have a professional background in this type of problem, but she always managed to sidestep ‘their’ advice. Finally, this dumb blonde caught on and backed solidly away from ‘said friend’. Once I was no longer sympathetic/empathetic/going on and on about how horrible and naive her daughter was, I was no longer a valued friend. Thank you very much.

    An important thing to note on these scammers of your emotions is that 1. Professional help never works. 2. The person/situation in questions calling for your emotional investment will never go away. It just keeps happening over and over again. 3. When these two things are pointed out to them, the story changes to the fact that they simply want to protect you, because you too, might be affected by the same abhorrent behavior/dread disease. Really? Now you want to play on my fears of someone close to me suffering a dread disease? You bettcha. That’s exactly how they get you to make that EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT.

    OK, this comment has gone on longer than many blog posts, just the forty-five cents of a dumb blonde, who says; there are scammers everywhere, even those who are scamming for things we can’t even imagine. What kind of sickos are THEY?

    Funny post about a serious subject. Oh and please let Brandon out of the closet, I want to tell him all about my cat who has feline erectile dysfunction. You can't imagine the grief this has caused.

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    1. Wow, so what you're saying is there are scammers who want to emotionally scam you? All they want is to mentally drain you like a leech for their own attention seeking thrills?

      That takes a special kind of psychopath.

      I don't know if this is the same thing as what you described, but I've had a few so-called 'friends' in my life that I axed because they were toxic. All they ever wanted to do was talk about their problems and ask for my advice (while never taking it, mind you). Any time I talked about my problems, however, they quickly changed the topic or steered it right back to their own problems. Because they only wanted to talk about their own.

      And I would drop them like a sack of potatoes because I don't need to be anyone's therapist. Especially if I'm not getting paid for it.

      Oh, and while I completely agree with you that it sucks losing SOME money and isn't the end of the world, this kind of scam is totally devastating when (like Robin's mom) you lose every penny you've ever had. Your savings - gone. Your retirement fund, the thing you were going to live off of when you got too old to work - gone. It's not like you can go right back to work and save up all of that money again in a few months. And on top of that the emotional damage from having this happen from someone that claimed to 'love' you. That's just like the nail in the coffin.

      I couldn't even imagine what that feels like. And I thank God I never will! - I'm such a skeptical, cynical asshole that I won't even give a dollar to a homeless person begging on the street corner because I suspect he might just be faking it.

      Thanks for the awesome comment!

      Delete
    2. With respect to your first paragraph that's exactly what I'm saying.

      With respect to the toxic friends - yeah its similar, but not quite like the scum bag in the first paragraph, because they really don't know you, have a long time history with you, or any investment in you what-so-ever, other than the attention/thrills or whatever sick pleasure they get from this type of thing. It is something I really don't understand, I just know it exists and have seen it firsthand.

      Unfortunately, I'm the same cynical asshole. I don't give money to that homeless guy on the corner either (check for some of the articles about the annual income of THOSE GUYS) nor do I get too EMOTIONALLY INVESTED in people I don't know well, or for that matter in those I even know well, but they meet the criteria I listed above. Once they have an excuse for every possible cure, they aren't too different from that guy with the foreign accent, stuck in hell hole whatever country, with a fat check that only you can cash.

      Delete
    3. Hey, fun story you might appreciate (as a fellow asshole cynic). I had a friend who'd give $5 to this "poor, legless old homeless man" sitting in a wheelchair on the street corner whenever she saw him because she felt "so bad for him." I told her he was probably faking it. She didn't believe me and said people would never do that.

      One day, she gave him $5, and as she was walking away, some dude actually ran up and grabbed the guy's money cup. So what did legless guy do? He jumped up out of his chair, magically sprouted legs (which had just been tucked behind him) and ran after the thief in a FULL SPRINT.

      I won't let her live that down to this day, and you'd better believe she doesn't give out money to the homeless the same way she did before.

      Delete
    4. Another one of those ' you can't make this shit up' stories.

      Delete
  20. Thankfully I've never been the victim of an internet scam.

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    1. That's good! That means you have money. Would you be willing to send me some, then? My father just had a stroke, and he's on life support, and unless you send $500 in the next hour they're going to pull the plug.

      :(

      Delete
  21. Bryan/Robin:
    This is simply fantastic.!!
    You should put a book together about such things.

    I've seen my sahre of scams-spams come across the email addys over the years...still know where that DELETE button is too (right after I report them to the FEDS and every server that's attached to them).

    Most times, spending time doing THAT minimizes the number of junk mail, but a few still get [past...

    Funny thing, I didn't know that RUSSIA, Jerkmenistan, Belarus, China, Vietnam, and dozens of OTHER nations around the world were SO concerned about me pleasing my WIFE with a larger "appendage"...
    (hot lots of peeps in those countries with WAAAYYY too much time on their primate hands)
    ((ahem))

    We do OK, thank you very much.

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe out there....

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    1. I just love the poorly spelled e-mails that supposedly come from the FBI claiming that I broke some "Internet law" and unless I pay them some kind of "fine" they're going to send me to jail. I'm pretty sure if the FBI wanted my ass they'd have it in cuffs before I even knew what was happening.

      Delete
  22. It's amazing how much time and energy scammers expend on perpetrating their scummy crimes on people, but they must have a fairly decent percentage of success for them to keep doing it. As for the old Nigerian scams, there's an update on them. A couple of my friends got emails from "someone high up in the Nigerian government", apologizing for the heinous scams perpetrated by some of his countrymen. He offered to pay restitution; all he needed (ahem) was certain banking information so he could make that hefty deposit right away...

    I've never dealt with any online dating sites. Closest "thrill" I got along those lines was a long "hot" letter from a dude in San Quentin. He got his amateur radio license prior to his incarceration, and had seen my picture and contact information in an amateur radio magazine. Lucky me. I took steps to have his amateur radio license rescinded by the FCC. (Not very "hot" of me...)

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    1. Ha ha ha! That's the greatest thing I've read all day. A Nigerian scammer playing off of the ol' Nigerian scam. That's almost brilliant.

      And what's this? A creep in the amateur radio industry? I would never imagine!

      Delete
  23. If I had a dollar for every time I've been offered a job from Facebook via some scammy popup ad that required no qualifications whatsoever but paid me millions, I'd probably be filthy rich by now. What are those ad's trying to achieve anyway?
    But then the internet has come a long way. So has internet fraud, I guess. I still remember when potential viruses were sent to computers through "Amazing breath taking and free desktop wallpapers". At least those just wanted to wipe your computer for no reason and weren't trying to guilt trip some poor old sweet innocent cat lady into sending all her money.

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    1. I know, right? "My mother's friend's uncle makes $12,000 a month working at workfromhome.net and just bought a brand new Lexus! So can you!"

      No, no he didn't. And no you can't. If people could make $12,000 a month doing nothing from home, don't you think everyone would be doing that?

      "You know, I'd like to be rich and do nothing, but I really enjoy my work as a janitor scrubbing toilets for $8 an hour, so I'll have to pass."

      Delete
  24. From reading Robin's past posts, I was not sure if the whole process was so much a scam (meaning the guy never intended to move to the southeast) or simply a guy looking to marry someone with a nest egg he could spend.

    Not that the second is much preferable, but both men and women have been marrying for money for centuries.

    Sadly, the victim in these scams has little enough self esteem that they seem to be getting something out of the online relationship.

    I used to think dating would have less BS as I got older...how sad when I reached 40 and realized there is far more.

    A game for the young...

    Larry

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    1. It was definitely the first one, as these guys never have any intention of marrying her. Or moving here. Or even meeting her in person. Crises always pop up the instant she's ready to meet them. Without fail. God only knows what would happen if they DID meet her and WERE willing to get married. Robin would probably have a very, very dead stepfather.*

      *Because she would murder him, I assume

      Delete
  25. Yes, unfortunately there is always a bit of scum in every silver cloud. There will always be gold diggers, con artists in the male and female gender. It's too bad these elderly cougars and cats (males) don't clue in. Money and getting something for doing nothing is a big draw for many genetic types. . .

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    1. Also forgot to mention, my mom fell for one of these scumbags, in her seventies, and married him and later found out he had a young woman on the side. In addition, his own mother was putting the 'loan me some cash' finger on my mom, too. He was half her age. When we found out about the cheating, sister who lives close by got the police to go with her and moved Mom out of her house. The next day he was there trying to put different locks on the place. We did cut the umbilical cord, and she finally saw her mistake.

      Delete
    2. Ouch. That's awful. My wealthy brother-in-law was dating a woman like that. She even lived with her husband (we found out) while trying to mooch money off of my brother-in-law... for herself, for her husband, AND for their kid. She just said she had to 'travel' a lot but sure needed money all the time. It was disgusting. Some people just truly have no shame.

      Delete
    3. Oh, and the husband knew btw. And he fully supported it. Because he thought they would never have sex. But they did. A lot. So in the end, we didn't get any money back, but we did get the pleasure of informing him that his 'lovely' wife was actually getting banged by my brother-in-law constantly.

      That woman... the kind of person that does that... gross.

      Delete
  26. I have seen plenty of people scammed since I am a credit counsellor. The shame is it is usually older people which we call Elder Abuse. Often they start donating to the legitimate charities but then they are game to the SOB's out there. They start off being nice and the older women(mainly women with this) give and once they are "hooked" they scammers start being more bold until finally they are abusive and bullying. By this point not only are all their life savings gone but they have used credit cards and remortgaged their home (if they have one). The police are finally involved and it is often found to be an empty lot in either Texas or Montreal. Now the old men fall for the young chicks who say they met the man of their dreams. This we see all the time since the old Hollywood guys, who can't keep their teeth in any more, bag some chicky-bird, who has just turned legal age, to marry them. These gals say they found true love and I think of how much they must love money when they have to pick up the old man's balls off the floor and look at his sagging butt. Sad isn't it...except for the rich old geezer who is having a fun time I guess

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ha! Thank you for that image. It was every bit as hilarious as it was disturbing. And hey, at least that old man was "getting" something out of it. It's crazy when people send off huge chunks of money for a person they've never even touched, nor even seen in person.

      And frankly, it's a little more brilliant of the scammer since they don't have to actually 'make the sex' with these people. So take heed, Bambi. Unless you really like crawling underneath an old, withered corpse on a nightly basis just to make a few bucks (where I come from, that's pretty much just called prostitution).

      Delete
  27. I love this, and the Bryan-Robin pairing. "Your ass is not gold." Sadly, desperation kills all brain cells; some women never learn. It's hard to believe that as bright and perceptive as Robin is, her mom isn't.

    Al Gore's thumbs-up - great addition!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Take THAT, Batman-Robin pairing!

      And we figured Al Gore would approve of that guy's scamming, as it's what he truly intended the Internet to be used for when he created it. Or was that Brian Williams who created the Internet?

      Also, RIP LL. You will (not) be missed greatly. I guess she finally got sick of our shenanigans. Or got eaten by a doll.

      Delete
    2. Haha. I think she may've unfollowed me. I'm lucky for that.

      Brian Williams witnessed Al Gore's creation of the internet while his daughter was getting butt-snacked. It's all legit.

      Delete
    3. She unfollowed us too. Now where the fuck am I going to get my daily goth doll news?

      Also... bravo. Bravo. I don't often say it and mean it, but... LOL.

      Delete
    4. Smiles. Thanks.

      She's bold to unfollow you guys. Maybe she's too busy for blogging - being tied up and all.

      Delete
  28. Well my ass IS gold, so come on over cutie and tell daddy how you're going to give him a round the world tour of your sweet love. And how great you would look in that new Mercedes convertible.
    What am I wearing?
    Who said money can't buy love? Who? C'mon, tell me!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey, if a scammer can lie and say they're a sexually adventurous 18 year old blonde girl with implants named Candi, then what's to stop you from saying you're a 20-something billionaire with hair so thick you can break a comb off in it and abs that would make a bodybuilder jealous? This is a two way street!

      "Hey Candi - YOU should be sending ME money!"

      Delete
  29. Seriously,
    I've seen the "robbed in a foreign country, please send $3000" to an internet list and I believe someone actually did send money as we were a pretty tight group. As soon as someone less naive exposed the scam there were a few others that wanted to help and almost did.
    Some people work awfully hard to not work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of that one too, and it's pretty brilliant. Especially if the person in question IS in a foreign country and hard to contact to verify their safety.

      I'm a cold, heartless, cynical asshole. I'd be the guy shaking my head and saying, "Nah, it's probably just a scam, ignore them" while my wife rots away in a Pakistani prison for 3 weeks.

      Delete
  30. I remember when this all happened. Sometimes you need to draw people a picture- and it's a shame Robin's mom didn't have you then.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't know if she would have believed me even then. Some people are just more susceptible (and naive) to this kind of thing than others. It sounds like it's a lesson that's still not fully learned yet.

      Me? I'd have created my own fake dating profile as a gorgeous 20 year old girl and contacted the scammer telling him I was moving to his country soon. Maybe scam the scammer. But I'm fucked up like that (as we all knew).

      Delete
  31. OK, I've got it all written down. If there are any other tips let me know because I really don't like working for a living.
    Now I have to go try this out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make sure you can't speak proper English! That always seems to help (don't know why).

      Delete
  32. Now if two scammers hooked up online and tried to scam one another.... Wonder how those conversations would go.

    Is it bad that I'm laughing like a loon right now?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There's an entire website devoted to scamming scammers called 419eater.com, and if you read some of the replies, well, it's pretty damn hilarious. Which gives you all the more right to laugh like a loon.

      I have tourette's
      Oh, and this is insanely long but worth it. A man actually got $50 out of a scammer.

      Delete
  33. I don't go to dating sites. But I've received lots of e-mails from guys who do not know how to string basic English together telling me of their love and devotion for only the price of a plane ticket to where ever in the world I live. Don't send the ticket, just the money. Sometimes girls contact me too. Sadly, no prince or princess has ever contacted me. Just starving artist types. I need to set up a site to beg for money online, lol.

    I almost fell victim to a job scam though. Came through CalJobs (the EDD employment website) which made it seem so ligitimate. They even had a ligitimate employer to link to, and stated they were looking for international sales reps to work from home. Even the bad writing/English skills were ignored by me with that ultimate possibility. Luckily, I screwed up setting up the direct deposit for the paychecks and had to go into the back to talk to the tellers, who graciously did not laugh at me to my face. By that time one of my friends had already checked out the info and found the phone numbers and scam at an online fraud reporting site.

    Talk about feeling stupid!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ooh, jobs scams. I haven't seen any of those, but further proof people will try to scam you through any avenue possible. And you know what? Bad writing/English skills isn't necessarily the sign of a job scam. My wife is job hunting and I'm amazed how many atrociously worded job listings they have out there. One wanted to make sure she "is comfortable installing the computer." Uh, what?

      Delete
  34. I might further add, they usually claim to be widowed with a child. I get them all the time on Facebook and Google+ but numerous hits on online dating sites. I knew better but I know there are people who really do get taken in by these scammers. That's where I met Bruce...hmmmm. No wonder I'm broke....LOL

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They reach out to you on Facebook and Google+? Is there nowhere safe? Well, I guess we all knew Facebook was one big shithole, but still.

      And I never figured Bruce for Nigerian royalty, but looking back, I guess I can see it. :)

      Delete
  35. SHH! You're giving away all my secrets!

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    1. If it's any consolation, I haven't yet told anyone that you're just two midgets standing on top of each other in a trench coat.

      Delete
  36. These scammers are the lowest. I'm heading over to Robin's now to finish this news. Good for y'all for shining the light on this sleaze-infested, money-grabbing, non-lovefest.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, I have a feeling that the target demographic of these scams (ladies in their 60s/70s) are not flocking to a site like A Beer for the Shower, but at least we can all have a laugh over how ridiculous these scams are.

      Delete
  37. Awwww that's so depressing when you think about it. People are assholes. And fools.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't like stupid people, nor do I like well meaning people that do stupid things, but I wouldn't wish them penniless. That's just a little bit too far of a 'lesson'. Especially since these scammers never get caught.

      Delete
  38. Robin and Bryan.
    Sounds scary.
    Thanks for two well done posts!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What's scarier is knowing that just like Brandon, Robin is nothing more than an elaborate figment of my own imagination manifested digitally to justify my own existence. At this point, I'm not even sure if I'M real.

      Delete
  39. Every few weeks, I get a new couple that comes in. Always a beautiful girl and a well-dressed man. Usually, the woman does the talking while the man lingers outside. They talk about making a lot of money, very quickly and not having to do much work. They always ask if I'm in school (not college) and about my hours (full-time, I'm the manager) and then promise I can make twice as much working 12 hours a week or less. I always give them a fake phone number, wait until they leave, and call security. Motherfucker, you can't even tell me the name of the company or what your business is- I am not that stupid. Security knows me and I made friends with the assistant manager of security, which is helpful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I just HATE people that scout you out like that for whatever stupid scam jobs they're pushing. The other day I was at the grocery store and a guy (who I could tell was just DYING to talk to me because he was hovering around me awkwardly in the produce section and staring at me in a way that made me wonder if he was going to hit on me) asked me if I liked making money. I threw him off because I said no, not really, I do what I love. I'm a writer. He then continued with the whole 'you can make more money than you ever imagined' BS (you know, while never saying anything about what he actually did), and then asked for my phone number, and said he would call me tomorrow... even though I wasn't interested. So I too gave him a fake number. The Rejection Hotline.

      605-475-6968

      Go ahead, call it. When you do, it's simply a recorded message about how the person who gave you this number wants you to piss off and leave them alone.

      I took the trouble to memorize it for situations like this. Totally worth it.

      Delete
  40. It's always sad to me that people would actually do such things to others. I mean working on people's greed is one thing. But on some poor lonely person's need to be loved? Cruel. So cruel.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, especially when they really start guilt tripping the person into giving them money. It's not uncommon for the scammer to start yelling that they're going to die if you don't give it to them, and can you live with yourself if that happens? Do you really not love me? Etc etc blah blah blah.

      Delete
  41. How have I not been corrupt enough to think of this? Why aren't you guys getting in on this?! Exposing such art! These are obviously just young men in need of a long-distance sugar mama. How could this ever be wrong?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know, right? And you should see the copy-and-paste kindergarten-level-English hackjobs they throw together and call 'love poems'. WE could write some real sappy shit. Stuff that would have the old ladies just creaming themselves at our feet.

      Annnnd that's enough to never want to think about doing that again. Ick.

      Delete
  42. Sounds like the best way start the greatest relationship ever. And if you believe that, I have a bum leg to sell you that was owed by Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa. They shared it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Psssh, please, like I have money to waste on that. My precious funds are too busy going toward a bridge in Brooklyn. Can't wait to own my own property.

      Delete
  43. It's horrible what these scammers are getting away with. I wish someone would invent an Internet taser that could instantly zap these frauds powerless, though they would probably use this to gain more sympathy. Great ending with the attractive Al Gore fan! Bryan, thanks to you and Robin for putting together a fun and informative double feature!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, aren't all Al Gore fans attractive? I can't think of anyone who loves battling climate change that isn't a bronzed sex god/goddess.

      Delete
  44. I never heard of romance scams, but 48 hours has gone through stories of people marrying others for money. It's so sad.

    I love getting those inheritance emails. They send goosebumps up and down my spine. LOL! Some people will do everything not to work. Then again, their scams are probably a full-time job.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm not sure which is worse, lying to someone and stringing it out with no real intention of getting married, or going through a marriage that's entirely fake. Either way... ouch.

      I love those e-mails too. It's fun to write back and mess with them. I'd like to think that if I wasted their time even for half an hour I've done a little good. Especially since scamming (aka working hard not to work) IS usually their full time job.

      Delete
  45. It'd be interesting if two of these types of people coincidentally matched up with one another.

    "I owe a couple thousand in back taxes, so I unfortunately won't be able to fly out to Chicago to meet you... Oh, you owe taxes too? Well, what if I told you that my back taxes are the only thing preventing me from signing onto a multi-million dollar athletic contract with the Houstan Texans?... Oh, you're in the same boat too, huh?"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That would be spectacular.

      "Well, the only way I can get to Chicago is if I break contract with the Texans. But I need $3,000 wired to me to get that."

      "Well, the only way I can wire you $3,000 is if I unlock my bank account, which takes $2,000."

      "Well, the only way I can wire you $2,000 is if I pay off my back taxes, which are about $1,200..."

      Delete
  46. People are such a-holes! I once almost DIDN'T date a guy because he was too good-looking and I figured that was bad news. He asked for my number and I told him no. He asked me why and I said, "Because you look like an asshole." I meant it as a compliment--like, he's so good-looking he must be a jerk, right? But I guess it didn't come off that way. Oops. After that I dated good-looking guys but just made sure I hurt them before they hurt me...because that's healthy, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. See? This is what dating's all about - dating someone who's physically and socially beneath you, so that they'll never leave you. Then you can hurt them all you want and when they threaten to dump you, just remind them they'll never do any better.

      SO healthy.

      Delete
  47. People are so twisted! I haven't experienced a romance scam, but I'm sure there are many who have.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you want to experience one, we can come up with a crappy reason why we need money and guilt trip you into sending it to us?

      Delete
  48. People are so twisted! I haven't experienced a romance scam, but I'm sure there are many who have.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'll just never understand how Nigeria's economy is so bad when they have so many princes and lottery winners.

      Delete
  49. You had me at "Snork."

    Sorry for Robin's mom. It's terrible when that happens.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I feel sorry for her too. Hopefully the guy on the other end of the computer isn't a "snorker." Not that that really makes it any better...

      Delete
  50. My bank account tells me I've been in the wrong business all my life but my heart and life experience says I've been a good boy for the most part and who needs stinkin' money anyway. I guess the scammers do and there will always be desperate souls ready to fork over what they've got for a story they want to be true.

    It's sad that their are evil folk out there who think nothing to taking away things from those who work hard and those who cling to dreams that may never happen but are willing to throw money to anyone who can convince them that they can make those dreams come true.

    There's a lot of crap in the world out their and unfortunately it gets dumped somewhere eventually. Sorry for those recipients who get dumped on.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What just amazes me is the never ending greed. I mean, there was that story going around about the woman who's sent her scammer $1.4 million. And... he's STILL asking for money. STILL. How do you live in a place like Nigeria, accrue $1.4 million, and think, "Hmmm, that's not quite enough, how about some more? Yeah, I should probably keep asking for more."

      Delete
  51. SHE-EEE-IT! One of your funniest blog bits ever and I was offline at da time! Even many of the comments from commenters made me GOL.

    [Somewhere in the comments above you said something that reminded me of a Todd Snider lyric: "Everybody wants the most they can possibly get for the least they can possibly do." I think it might be in the song 'Easy Money' from his great debut album.]

    I'm NOT laughing at anyone's misfortune...
    I'm laughing WITH them. (Just smile and nod.)

    Alright, at the risk of losing 2 of my 12 blog followers, I'm going to say it...

    Why is it that the mainstream media (and women across the United States of Americon) have convinced us Americons that women be smater'n men, and yet - BY FAR - more women fall for this Online Dating Scam than men do? Doesn't this indicate that women, in general, are not as bright as men (or at best, are more emotionally "needy" than men generally are)? And yet we're always being told (and shown) how smart and tough women are compared to men.

    Oh, WAIT! I can hear the Helen "Roaring" Reddy response alREDDY... They're going to say that this proves that men constitute the greater percentage of scumbags on the Earth (and the Internet).

    To that, I ask: Doesn't it still prove that men are generally smarter? Isn't this really about entrepreneurialism? The business of "business"? What's that famous start-up business maxim? "Find a void and fill it"? Well, in this case, men are simply finding a "void" and promising (but failing) to fill it.

    OK, I'm outta bounds; I'm a sick SOB. (And I've lost 2 of my 12 blog followers.) But this is still one of your funniest blog bits ever, and... have pity on me: A good man is hard to find... in Reno... where I be.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American, Insensitive Scumbag'

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    Replies
    1. I think you mean SHEEE-EEET.

      Personally, I think men and women are equally retarded. More women fall for romance scams like this, but more 70 year old rich men are likely to believe that that 18 year old bimbo they just married truly loves them and doesn't just want his money. She definitely wants his viagra-chugging wrinkled corpse of a body.

      In other words... the human race is all stupid, and we're all doomed.

      Delete
    2. What makes you think the 70-year-old rich men really believe that? I'm sure the vast majority of them know the real score, but they're going to use that money to get what they want NOW. After all, even the rich man knows he can't take it with him.

      But you're right, the human race is all stupid and we're all doomed. (Well, unless we've chosen the correct Hero, if ya knows what I means.)

      Hey, I might not be bright, but I've damn sure got some courage, eh, 6-B?

      Where's Helen Reddy? Is she reddy? I'll take her on!
      [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  52. So true, so true. It all happens.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Alex Cavanaugh gave you boys a shout, so I decided to take the bait and check your site out. I'm happy that I did, too. Your humorous approach on real life situations are hilariously, over-the-top, but, you know what...there's a lot of truth in it! I think I'll stick around to see what else you put together. After all, laughter is the best medicine! From a middle-aged, happily married woman who's too paranoid to share a photograph of herself on social media sties!
    ~Curious as a Cathy
    And...No, I'm not a crazy cat lady! :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Too paranoid to share a picture? What's the worst that could happen? Oh, right, someone could steal it and you could be the next face of a Nigerian scam! Good call on your part.

      We shamelessly paste ourselves all over social media. It makes me wonder if somewhere some poor lady thinks she's getting wooed by either of us (in very poor English, of course).

      Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

      Delete