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Beware the Rom Con
Old 08-17-2020, 05:57 AM   #1
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Beware the Rom Con

Good warning: "Grace had fallen victim to a romance scam, a complex web of fake personas, fraudulent wire transfers, and fictitious business opportunities. While these types of rackets aren’t new, they’ve grown more sophisticated with the advent of online dating and social media. Fraudsters like “Scott” use a network of online accounts — LinkedIn, dating sites, a bank, even Zillow — to make themselves look trustworthy and successful. Then they sweep the victim off their feet, quietly get access to their finances, and vanish. By the time the victim realizes what’s going on, it’s nearly impossible to find the scammer."

https://www.theverge.com/21366576/da...navirus-scheme


"Since 2015, financial losses associated with romance scams have increased sixfold. In 2019, they became the costliest scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission, with a record $201 million lost. And while anyone can fall victim, Nofziger says scammers tend to target older people, who hold the majority of wealth in the United States."
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:58 AM   #2
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So sad.
As I read the story, lots of red flags came up to me.
But anyone can be fooled.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:06 AM   #3
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I may have referred to this before...perhaps years ago:

Around 1970 a con artist scammed money from a bunch of 'younger' women in the Toronto Airport area. He'd hit an airport bar, tell his mark-of-the-day that his private jet was up on blocks for unforeseen repairs.

Greed, (on their part), took over, and he pocketed varying amounts of their money.

When arrested he was visited in jail by a local reporter who said (in essence) "You're nothing special, why would these women fall for it?"

Con man replied "Because they want to".
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:18 AM   #4
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I know a woman who told me about this wonderful fella she met online, she showed me his picture and gushed about him. When she told me she had not met him, but he had expressed his affection for her, I became suspicious.

Call me old fashioned, but I find it hard to believe a normal person can fall in love with someone they have never met after about 10 emails.

I asked to see one of these expressive emails, and it was quite gushy/flowery, I copied a string of words out of the paragraph and googled it. Results showed up of various named guys using these same lines and story in all sorts of letters to women, many of which noted it was a scam.

She dropped "him" like a hot potato.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:30 AM   #5
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The woman in the article is just dumb as a rock, IMO. I mean, for Pete's sake! This is the 21st century, not Mayberry RFD, and one has to be at least marginally aware that the world is full of scam artists if you really want to invite them into your life.

The FIRST date I ever had with Frank after meeting him on a dating site (back in 2000), before I even gave him my real name (or address, or other contact information), I set down my rules and expectations and told him that I would not ever "mix our money" at all. That eliminated scams like this right off the bat, 10 seconds after we met.

Now, 20 years later, we still don't mix our money. He pays for his expenses and investments, I pay for mine. We live next door to each other and spend lots of time together, but do not share living expenses at all. He is the love of my life, but like me, he is a logical person and sees the wisdom in being financially independent and not leeching off one another. He is a retired engineer and can figure out his personal finances as well as I can figure out mine. We're not mathematically illiterate.

We are both too old to start over in life, and (being reasonable people) we have no desires or plans to share our nest eggs with anybody at this stage in life. How hard is it to figure things like this out? DUH!

This is about the level of intelligence that it might take to not walk through the roughest part of central Detroit (or New Orleans, for that matter) at 2 AM alone, carrying your life savings. Honestly I am just shocked that anyone would do what this woman in the article did, in this day and age.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:35 AM   #6
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BIL's 91 year old mother sent over half a million to some guy met online early this year. Only a small amount has been recovered.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:58 AM   #7
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An engineer co-worker of mine almost got taken by this. She met a guy on JDate who claimed to be an engineer on an offshore oil rig (how convenient!). They'd corresponded for a week or so when she started showing me some of the messages and photos he'd sent and telling me she was falling in love with him. It seemed very suspicious to me, but she was so lit up that I said nothing at the time. She's a very intelligent, independent woman, but also vulnerable in the area of romance, possibly because her strong personality traits make it hard for her to maintain relationships. I was hoping for the best for her, but it wasn't much later that he started asking if she'd mind buying a birthday present for his daughter. You see, he'd been approved to work on a top-secret project and so had to have all his credit cards and other accounts temporarily cancelled to help conceal his identity during the job. He kept pressing her about the gift, finally arousing her suspicion. She did some online sluething and was actually able to find the guy's photo under a different name. It was sad to see her realize what was happening.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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Loneliness is a terrible affliction and people are desperate for companionship. I had a co-worker, very unattractive bachelor, poorly dressed, hygiene, etc. but a brilliant mind. Top of his field in electronics. Has his name on several patents, etc. He met a girl in a nudie bar who fell in love with him. He gave away untold thousands of dollars to her before he came to his senses. At least she was real, not just e-mails. He eventually did find someone and married. They recently moved to Seattle where she's managed his fortune quite well and they both will live happily ever after.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have been catfished on FB several times by (to my analytical eye) obviously fake male profiles. "Friend" requests, a few gushy private messages about how they couldn't resist my kind, sweet, pretty face.

I believe it's rather common. It is probably a carpet-bomb approach: scan FB for profiles of women who appear to be in late middle age or early old age; send out standard hook; see if any of the old dears bite.

I've talked to women who claim to have responded, and strung the scammers along just to see how far it will go. But this has always struck me as a time-waster, akin to stringing along telephone scammers. I simply report them, and move on.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:54 PM   #10
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You see, the trick is to not have any money to start with. My gal met me - literally - in the middle of a pile of sh*t, amongst the stacks of steaming compost at a mushroom farm. She later saw a back of the envelope budget that had $5 earmarked for fun for the month - this in the house I was buying that had a bed made of 2 2x4s and boards with blankets as mattress.

It was pretty much a sure thing she wasn't looking to scam me. OTOH, I saw a girl who had an eye for a fixer-upper. 43 years later I come to realize - hey - she may be playing the long game!
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:02 PM   #11
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Loneliness is a terrible affliction and people are desperate for companionship.
+1

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I had a co-worker, very unattractive bachelor, poorly dressed, hygiene, etc. but a brilliant mind. Top of his field in electronics. Has his name on several patents, etc. He met a girl in a nudie bar who fell in love with him.
Don't you mean "a girl in a nudie bar who he fell in love with"? In my experience, men who frequent strip clubs are far, far more likely to misinterpret the feigned affections of the strippers than for there to be any actual romantic feelings in play. I've seen it happen to one of my friends... a very sad thing to witness. Luckily it didn't cost him much, other than some wounded pride.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:09 PM   #12
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Several years ago I began an e-mail exchange with a nice woman (a MD) who lives in a remote corner of Brazil. I was always aware that it could be a scam but an occasional e-mail seemed harmless. I finally stopped communicating with her after I imagined myself traveling to her remote hamlet for a romantic rendezvous only to find no one there while a bored teenage boy in São Paulo giggled at my expense.

Since then, I only date local. It's much easier to perform a background check on someone well-established in the community.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #13
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The woman in the article is just dumb as a rock, IMO.
...
Honestly I am just shocked that anyone would do what this woman in the article did, in this day and age.
+1

Giving anyone you haven't known personally and spent many, many hours and days with—face to face, and intimately—access to any of your money or financial accounts is incredibly foolish, to put it mildly. You would think that any financially successful adult, male or female, would know better. But it seems that there will always be some percentage of people who are so desperately lonely and so willing to trust and believe in the goodness of virtual strangers that stories like this will always be a part of our world.

The television miniseries Dirty John should be required viewing for all single, lonely women with bank accounts (or any financial assets).

http://www.bravotv.com/dirty-john
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:20 PM   #14
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Giving anyone you haven't known personally and spent many, many hours and days with—face to face, and intimately—access to any of your money or financial accounts is incredibly foolish, to put it mildly. You would think that any financially successful adult, male or female, would know better. But it seems that there will always be some percentage of people who are so desperately lonely and so willing to trust and believe in the goodness of virtual strangers that stories like this will always be a part of our world.
It doesn't even require loneliness; there are other motivations.

Bernie Madoff
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:22 PM   #15
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That is hilarious.

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You see, he'd been approved to work on a top-secret project and so had to have all his credit cards and other accounts temporarily cancelled to help conceal his identity during the job.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:40 PM   #16
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That is hilarious.


When I met my wife 22 years ago I was actually temporarily in the area for nine months working a classified program. I wasn’t permitted to say anything about it, so her suspicions were alive and well. It took a while for me to learn where she lived or meet her son. We were married over a year before we started mingling finances, but she’s always kept a personal stash in her own accounts even after twenty years, but I don’t think she’s worried anymore.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:43 PM   #17
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When I met my wife 22 years ago I was actually temporarily in the area for nine months working a classified program. I wasn’t permitted to say anything about it, so her suspicions were alive and well.
With all of the publicity about romantic scams, I feel sorry for someone who actually does classified work...
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:51 PM   #18
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reminds me of the movie, "the good liar", about two older people dating and who's trying to scam whom. good movie with helen mirren and ian mckellen.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:51 PM   #19
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. We were married over a year before we started mingling finances, but she’s always kept a personal stash in her own accounts even after twenty years, but I don’t think she’s worried anymore.
This is our situation. Didn't co-mingle our money till we had been married a while. I think it's when we moved to CA from PA - didn't make sense to have two checking accounts and do the math every month to divvy up bills. DH's house (pre marriage) was in his name only. My house (pre marriage) was in my name. When he moved in he paid me rent (and collected rent on his house). When we moved (and sold both houses) we started comingling. I still have my stash (inherited IRA) that is in my name only. And he has a stash (inherited bonds) in his name only.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:53 PM   #20
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Not being able to talk about your job is one thing. Pretending you have to cancel your credit cards when you are under cover is the part that made me LOL.

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When I met my wife 22 years ago I was actually temporarily in the area for nine months working a classified program. I wasn’t permitted to say anything about it, so her suspicions were alive and well. It took a while for me to learn where she lived or meet her son. We were married over a year before we started mingling finances, but she’s always kept a personal stash in her own accounts even after twenty years, but I don’t think she’s worried anymore.
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