As the number of dating sites and social media apps has gone up , so too has the number of romance scams reported — from 17, in , 11, in , and 8, in The Cut spoke to the victim of one such scam, Debby Montgomery Johnson, now 60, who lost more than a million dollars to a scammer between and How did you meet the man who would eventually scam you? My husband passed away suddenly in That threw my life into a tailspin. Lou left [for a short trip] on a Wednesday, and I got the call Thursday morning. There was no closure. He had started an internet company, and I was thrown into running it, in addition to my own job as a treasurer for one of the local schools. This was in November So I figured well, heck, if it can work for them, then I can certainly try it.
The internet scammer who loved me (not)
In his online dating profile, he claimed his name was Thomas Fischer, a year-old man from La Jolla who was a widower. He and the San Diego woman spoke over the phone. Before they could meet, he told her he would suddenly have to travel to Dubai for work.
I know him as Mike Kruger Fake soldier Michael Connor, Facebook Scams, Joshua M. Porter – Dating Scammer Mark Porter, Have A Laugh, The Man.
An internet search for Mike Sency’s name immediately yields hundreds of accounts spread across social media and dating websites. Many of the profiles contain small differences, such as the photos used, the spelling of his name, even various details about his hobbies and interests. But they all share one common trait: They’re fake. Sency is used to it. For years, pictures he posted online have been used to create fake profiles by people looking to scam others, often out of money, a practice generally known as catfishing.
His problem isn’t a new one, but it is an issue that has proven nearly impossible to stop. I am worried about how this is going to affect my future and my family — even my mom gets calls from strangers claiming they know me because of these fake accounts. Deception has been part of the internet since its earliest days as a consumer tool, but the practice of using stolen photos arose as more people began creating social media and online dating profiles in the early s.
By , catfishing had become a cultural phenomenon with an MTV documentary show that year chronicling the deceptions of online dating. And as more of the world shifts online because of stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, some cybersecurity experts are warning consumers to be on high alert. There are so many dating apps.
We are sharing on more platforms. He recently discovered his own identity was being used on fake accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn. Reporting and getting those fake profiles taken down was very time-consuming, he said.
What It’s Like to Lose a Million Dollars to an Online Dating Scam
By Unity Blott For Mailonline. What do you look for in a partner? With almost 8 million people using online dating in the UK, fraudsters know exactly how to get people clicking on their profiles and they’ll make sure they use the right photographs to lure their victims in. Now, a study has revealed just what a typical scammer looks like – from their eye colour to their posture and even their political stance.
Anti-scamming experts have pulled data from online fraudsters to reveal what a typical dating con artist looks like – from their hair to their eye colour and even their political stance. Experts at Scamalytics, who provide anti-scammer software to dating sites, sift through millions of fake profiles every year.
By Darren Pauli May 25, Accusing Michael of being a scammer was an unusual act of assertiveness for the reserved year-old healthcare worker from the NSW Central Coast. It was an unlikely act too; Kathryn not her real name had every reason to believe Michael was the caring, genteel man he presented as.
They spoke regularly over the phone and, from his would-be London apartment, Michael arranged gifts of flowers, chocolates, and movie tickets. Kathryn, divorced from a decades-long marriage and facing an intimidating and foreign dating scene, thought she had found in him a diamond in the rough. He was worth the long-distance relationship. Through friends, she tells us how her relationship with Michael, which began on a dating site in late , before quickly switching to email and social media, became possessive in its latter weeks.
Michael was set to travel to Australia mid last year. They were both excited. Days before he was set to fly, he sent an exasperated message claiming he bought the wrong non-refundable plane ticket and that his passport was cancelled for elaborate reasons. He called again, and she answered. A beat, then, a laugh.
He may have been a lone wolf.
How to Protect Yourself From an Online Dating Scam
The scam was run by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area who had help from associates in Nigeria and other countries, federal officials say. Additional requests for shipping costs and other details in the fake heist kept coming. Seventeen people have been arrested so far.
A Canberra woman accused of an online dating scam, who allegedly claimed to have had a child with cricketer Michael Clarke and to have.
Most of the defendants are Nigerians, the Associated Press reported. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. Army captain in his efforts to smuggle himself and his friends out of Syria. The woman met him online and had been emailing for 10 months. There was no such army captain. Romance-related scams are now the most costly form of online fraud, the Federal Trade Commission warned earlier this year.
In many of these scenarios, people are convinced by strangers they meet online — often on dating apps — to fork over money. The number of romance scams reported to the FTC increased to more than 21, in , up from 8, in In a typical scenario, a victim meets someone through a dating website or other online space.
6 red flags for online dating scams
You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. What do we mean by romance scams? Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media.
They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person.
How this scam works. A scammer may contact you out of the blue to tell you that you can claim a large inheritance from a distant relative or wealthy benefactor.
McClellan and Social Catfish spoke to an actual romance scammer from Nigeria in The scammer shared specific details about the scam and even sent a page playbook full of ways to lure in victims, or “clients as the scammer calls them. It starts by creating a fake profile to lure in lonely victims. The scammers target online dating sites and popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The scammer looks for pictures liked by many people and will send messages to people who liked the picture.
The scammers cast a wide net as they try to find potential victims. The scammer will take time to cultivate an online relationship, make the victim feel loved, and then take advantage of a lonely person who thinks the relationship is real. In the age of online dating, establishing relationships without a face-to-face meeting is common.
Romance scams becoming more common
Authorities search for possible ‘vigilante’ following deadly shooting in Kenosha, report says. Recognize Me? The fake and real faces of scammers. Scam Haters United blog compiled photos of real scammers and the profiles they use to target people online.
Then Michael Abrahamson Anyone know this man. CEO of Movit oil and rig solutions. He is a scammer.
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. Having recently gotten out of a difficult marriage, she was in the process of moving on with her life—she had bought a new house and lost a bunch of weight.
The first guy she met was nice, if not exactly her dream man, and things petered out after a couple dates. She was sitting in her home office in West Kelowna, B.