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"Love scamming" - marriage fraud in the Internet Age
Sought marriage swindler years ago their victims even in the classifieds of the newspaper, they are now browsing the Internet. The anonymity of the medium gives them an easy game. Real meetings are no longer necessary, they only build on a virtual dependency of the women in order to be financially damaging. "Love scamming" is the mesh.
Christine lives alone. My son is grown and out of the house. Civil engineer is looking for a new love. They hoped in the internet brokerage find "Friendscout24". Shortly after registration, a man's voice with an English email to her. Which presents itself as a "Mark Walker" in front, 49-year-old widower from Oxford, England. First they write only on the Internet, then they call up to three times a day. Christine feels like being on cloud 7: "I had found a partner that went down on me It never fully on the subject of sex, which was previously in chat was always the number one issue.". Then reported the man by his eleven year old son Richard, who was looking forward to the new mother. Christine as the boy on the phone hears reinforces their belief in the existence of the previously only virtual love.
Remittances for the dream man
A man puts a remittance form in the mail box of a bank
Christine has repeatedly about her supposed dream man a lot of money.
Then announces, "Mark Walker" to an introductory meeting. Christine sees himself in the arms of her dream man. But who says that he had previously been to a business meeting in Ghana. Order to reserve a hotel room, he needed 500 euros. Christine transfers. Then the man from the Ghanaian capital Accra reports with another demand for money. For the flight to Christine he needed further € 2,000, he says. Christine transfers the money. The man repeatedly called with new stories money. He says that he needs to treat the son after a traffic accident money. Christine will help him further, but has no money in the account. Now she even takes out a loan and has more than 3,000 euros. She does everything in good faith, will soon meet her dream man.
Also life experience does not protect
Then comes the shock: By chance, Christine learns of the German Embassy in Ghana, she's fallen for a hoax. "Love scamming" calls this scam. Christine is stunned: "I was in such a state of shock from which I am not at all came out, it took a long time in, I then take sick leave.." Despite life experience and study it has fallen into this trap.
"If I manage to give rise to a human images and feelings, then the true for the brain. And then the back also connected with emotions. Then arises, of course, even though I've never seen the man, still a relationship.
Jörg Hartig, a psychologist from Leipzig"
Organised criminals structures
Visitors of an Internet café.
The Flirt conversations usually take place on public computers.
Total Christine has paid € 5,200 to the scammers. She filed a complaint. The chances are the fraudsters get hold of, however, are low. By computer data from the emails - the so-called IP addresses - could be seen clearly while the computer was in Ghana and the emails are routed through England and America. However, the perpetrator does not this track. "These computers are in public Internet cafes, where everyone can work anonymously," said Michael Klocke from state police Saxony-Anhalt. He also knows that it is not in this scam are individual perpetrators but to gangs. "The perpetrators are organized structures, which have their origin in Canada, USA, England and France. From there, about 250,000 Nigerians were recruited." Sitting in internet cafes in West Africa and attempt fraud to using a false name the trust and the money from women. According to statements by Klocke, it is estimated that emanate from a worldwide financial loss amounting to four billion U.S. dollars. And for Germany Experts estimate the annual loss of about 280,000 million dollars.
Internet portals are powerless
The victims are trying to help themselves and to protect others. A support group now accounts together on a website pictures of men, which the fraudsters operate with "Love scamming". Christine found her "Mark Walker" two more times again on the Internet. She informed the operator of the portal "Friendscout24". But who are powerless, just like other dating sites, which also have to deal with the phenomenon of love fraud.
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