No matter how good they sound, things aren't what they appear to be. In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafé with a well-rehearsed script he's used many times before. He's hunting through chat rooms, dating sites and social networking sites searching for victims, looking to cash in on romance. If you are over 40, recently divorced, a widow, elderly or disabled then all the better in his eyes. Scammers use any weakness they find to their advantage.
It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian advance fee (419) scam. Instead of sending spam letters that promise millions for your assistance, these scammers are targeting single men and women who are searching for love online.
They use psychological tricks to lure their victims in, use poetry and even gifts to get them under their spell, and then once you are there, will try to reach for your wallet, all the time declaring their "undying love" for you. The scam may take the form of asking you to cash a check for them through your bank account because they are "out of the country" and unable to cash it themselves, or they may come right out and ask you to send money to help them out of a fabricated "financial difficulty" they claim to be experiencing. These are all lies used to try to make them easy money from an unsuspecting victim.
The sad truth is, for every real profile you see on the internet, there are numerous false ones pretending to be your perfect mate and using photographs stolen from modelling or social networking sites. The people in the photographs are as much victims as those who get scammed for hundreds or thousands dollars. Internet romance scams and other related crimes are affecting and ruining lives throughout the world.
The best weapon against this crime is education. The more people that are educated in the way the scams work, the harder it is for the scammers to make money and the more scammers that can be put out of business.
Romancescam.com was formed in 2005, originally as a site to add the details of any scammers who tried to join the datingnmore.com site. As the list grew, more sections were added to make the site what it is today - one of the largest online resource against romance scammers from around the world. It has gained media attention worldwide, and has been featured on an episode of the Oprah show, UK's Tonight with Trevor McDonald and recently on the Dr.Phil show.