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