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Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.
Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake.
They ask you to: Did you know you can do an image search of your love interest’s photo in your favorite search engine?
If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.
The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.
After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account.
The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country.