In Romance Scamming, people are emotionally cheated and ripped off. But anyone who believes that they are safe underestimates the perpetrators – and their own feelings.
What is Romance Scamming?
The English term romance scamming, sometimes called love scamming, refers to a targeted, well-organized scam , which is mainly raised via the Internet.
Woman meets man on the Internet, he turns out to be a dream man, she falls in love, he swears great love, but then gets into an emergency situation in which he desperately needs money, which she transfers to him – whereupon she never hears from her supposed dream man again ,
So you could describe Romance Scamming, a modern form of marriage fraud, theoretically and in a nutshell. Only one would hardly do justice to the phenomenon – and certainly not to the real victims . Because believe it or not , virtually anyone can fall for romance scamming .
Romance Scamming: expiration
Phase 1: getting to know each other
Most fraudsters use online dating sites or social media to contact their victims. They use fake profiles, often with strangers or stolen images, and appear as open-minded singles with often very interesting life stories.
- Male scammers typically choose professions such as engineer, architect, soldier, IT specialist, physician for their false profiles. Their main target group are women over 40.
- Female scammers often pretend to be a nurse, doctor, teacher or actress. They prefer to turn to particularly wealthy-looking men.
- In general, the communication with Romance Scammer takes place in English , whereby the fraudsters master the language excellently.
Phase 2: build trust
Usually, romance scammers are charming, eloquent, sensitive and reliable. They pay attention to their victims, give them a lot of attention and interest and try to get to know them. At the same time they have a lot of interesting things to tell, for example about their demanding job, exciting journeys, special acquaintances.
In addition, the fraudsters often share with their victims an intimate history of suffering , a personal stroke of fate that awakens compassion and sympathy . Money initially does not matter in the relationship between a romance scammer and his victim. With his rip-off scam, the cheater waits until the other one builds so much confidence and emotional attachment to him that he can be sure of his cause.
Phase 3: Emotional Extortion
The topic of money typically comes into play when the victim asks the Romance Scammer for a personal meeting or relies on it. Although the scammer pretends to be interested in getting to know each other in real life, it is difficult to get financial . How can that be, if he’s supposed to be an engineer or a doctor? Very easily:
- The sick mother, whom he supports in his generosity,
- the sister deceived by her ex with her three children, whom he provides with his salary,
- or the as yet unproven arson that cost him all his fortune
– There is simply no money for your own interests, not even for a visit to the beloved. Unless she comes up for it …
Some Romance Scammers also tell their victims stories about emergency situations they are in, such as stealing papers and wallets on a foreign trip, and urgently needing money or a new ID card.
One way or another: Professional love cheats always come up with something that fits so well into their context and is so compelling that most people would believe it – especially when feelings and trust are involved .
But once their victims have paid them the amounts they were looking for, romance scammers will not hear from them anymore and will not be found anymore.
Who falls for romance scamming?
Most people think they themselves would never fall for such a rip-off scam as romance scamming. But they are wrong . In 2017, the State Criminal Investigation Board of Stuttgart recorded 131 ads for romance scamming ads! Given that many victims are too ashamed to report such a crime, the actual number of victims is likely to be significantly higher . This alone shows how successful Romance Scammer are – because it probably will not be tried millions of times.
Even more convincing are the good chances of success of love scammers, if we look only a few typical features that make people the perfect victim:
- Yearning for love
- Basic trust in people
- Need for closeness
Well, how many of these characteristics apply to you …? Just!
How can you protect yourself from romance scamming?
Romance Scammers, therefore, take advantage of our typically human emotions and qualities, such as our social sense, our need for love and closeness. As banal as it sounds, we can best protect ourselves from that by learning to understand our feelings and strengthening our self-confidence . A careful, conscious handling of your own emotions and emotional reactions is not only the best protection against romance scamming, but also against psycho-games like breadcrumbing or benching .
Of course, there are general signs such as pixelated images or exuberant confessions of love , which Romance Scammer objectively can expose. Likewise, we all like to make it a policy not to trust (or transfer) anyone we know only from the Internet and have never seen in real life. But in a concrete, subjectively perceived situation in which we have butterflies in our stomach and have long since assumed our fantasies as well as imaginations, which make all good intentions and warning signals disappear in the shade, often no objective checklist can help .
On the other hand self-esteem and self-love already help – and not only in a concrete situation.