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 Man gave $200K to fake online girlfriend

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kindlerclan
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/02/25/Man-gave-200K-to-fake-online-girlfriend/UPI-12961298662348/

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Linoge
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Never stops to amaze me how gullible peolple can be. Love does strange things to a person.

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DoraTheExplorer
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Or how very good some scammers are. Mad

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Mortal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I see, most the time people fall for love scams... Evil or Very Mad Mad

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

What makes my blood boil are the comments/remarks that followed the article:

Quote:
Hard to believe there are so many gullible people.
I get a half dozen of these scam emails everyday
so they must find people dumb enough to send them money.



Quote:
How sad that someone could be this hard up for companionship....
And has he been living under a rock???
Anyone who falls for a Nigerian scam
at this point is just plain stupid.



Quote:
If you're that dumb you deserve
to lose every dime.



Quote:
There is a lot missing to this story.
How does a guy this dumb manage to have
$200k laying around? There is something
really fishy with the whole story. I suspect this can't be true.

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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

i have an article about a man, who gave a russian scammer 500.000€ via WU

"she" claimed to be kidnapped with her son, and those kidnappers wanted the money.

he sold 21ha ground (51.89 acre) of his mother, then his house... now they have to live with ~600€ per month

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Tuco
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
The man "was in disbelief" when officers told him the woman was not real, police said.


His only option, as he sees it, may be to withdraw even deeper into unreality.

The delusion was certainly much more pleasant than the truth. Crying or Very sad

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Zapmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The trouble is, there are several factors at work here.

1) the victim probably hasn't been scammed before, and is thus mainly trusting.
2) the victim probably isn't very conversant with the internet, and thus internet scams.
3) most people have a reasonably high opinion of themselves and their intelligence; they don't go around saying "I'm too smart to fall for something like that" but the attitude is definitely there.
4) The scams are carefully tailored to hook people in. Scammers tend to be persuasive (especially by email) augmented by the fact that they are shameless liars and very persistent.
5) By the time the victim starts wondering, he's probably already sunk so much money into it that he doesn't want it not to be true.
6) People are very good at lying to themselves.
7) Everyone wants something for nothing; if someone encounters something that's too good to be true (10% of 50 million dollars, a near-new car for $150, a gorgeous woman who wants to meet him) they naturally want to believe it.

In short, if you're not looking out for a pit trap, it's very easy to step into it.

I have a friend who recently fell afoul of a scammer to the tune of $1500; she nearly got taken for another $4000, except that WU stopped it (too large a payment at once) and in the meantime I was alerted and managed to convince her it was a scam. She's not an unintelligent person; she runs her own business and makes more than I do. But she'd never heard of such scams before, and wasn't looking out for it.

In fact, she's the reason I'm back on these boards; I gave up baiting years ago, but now I'm hitting this guy with a low-level bait to draw his attention off of my friend. And there's all sorts of things here to help me with that.

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Linoge
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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

8 ) He probably is very awkward with women in real life and might never had a relation.

Still, despite the money he lost, in his world he must have been rather happy for two and a half years.

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Mortal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

What people dont realise is the fact that people who get scammed don't loose 200$K at once.

We all, who are here, know that it often starts with 'harmless 100$'... Evil or Very Mad Mad

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The Man
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I came back here because a friend lost $$ in a romance scam. He is a medical doctor for crying out loud, so not stupid by any means. He won't tell me how much he lost, but hopefully not $200K!

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Robert Heinrich der 1.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Zapmaster wrote:
she nearly got taken for another $4000, except that WU stopped it (too large a payment at once)


and that's the point I am wondering about.

how could this victim send 500.000€ via WU.

Is there nobody in charge, responsible to stop such payments...

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Master_Bader
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Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Falling for this type of scam doesn't necessarily mean someone is "stupid" or "gullible"

Truth be told, about 8-9 years ago, yours truly came *this close* to falling victim to a love scam. I had just got thru a bad divorce, and had a match account, or something similar (can't remember now.)

Anyway, I got the initial email from a girl from England (allegedly)

We emailed daily for months. Literally, months. No mention of loaning money, no needing to get 2.5 million out of a bank account. None of that. Just a long-term online email correspondence.

Then, of course, the week before she was supposed to come to America to visit, she needed money for this, that and the other.

Lucky for me, I was broke as hell thanks to the divorce. So she got nothing from me. Then came the death threat emails, the guilt trip emails, the whole thing.

I know how people can fall for this, because I was there.

BTW: I am a member of the American Mensa Society, I'm pretty intelligent, and I still almost fell for it. Of course, I'm noticing that love lads today don't string it on as long as back then (lately, I get hit up for money by 2nd email)

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Linoge
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Stupid not, gullible maybe, but depending on the circumstances.

I really feel for the people that have this happening to them, but this is really screwed. When it comes to love we accept everything, but would you be this gullible if you were buying a car?

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Master_Bader
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

See, the situation I was in was so long-term, I never even thought it was a scam. The emails and such went on for several months. It wasn't til the money thing came into play that I was like "heyyy...wait a minute"..

Depending how much effort the scammer puts into it, I can see where people would fall for it. And as for the car analogy, don't forget the scammers are working craigslist now with car scams. And how many people fell for the craigslist scams where the scammer sends a check for drastically more than the cost of the item, and the seller is supposed to ship it and the balance, etc.

Scammers spend their time coming up with new, believable scams. Everyone else is playing catch-up.

Don't forget, if these scams had a low percentage of success, the scammers would abandon them for another method. Obviously, they're hooking people with them.

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Zapmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You'd think people would detect scams more easily, but the sad truth is, if it comes down to it, unless you have actual reason to be suspicious (been scammed before, done scambaiting before, or had some other close contact with scamming) ... you just don't think about it. Unless you're really, really switched on, you're spending more time looking at the positives and not taking notice of the danger signs.

http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=935

EDIT: And they do actually have a low percentage of success. But they send out so very many mails that even if one percent succeeds, they get the money. Email is free, after all.

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DoraTheExplorer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Linoge wrote:
Stupid not, gullible maybe, but depending on the circumstances.

I really feel for the people that have this happening to them, but this is really screwed. When it comes to love we accept everything, but would you be this gullible if you were buying a car?

Why are you blaming the victims? Whether or not they are stupid, smart, highly intelligent or have other mental or emotional problems, whether they are young or old, or whatever, no one deserves to get scammed and it is always the scammer's fault.

Romance scams involved the heart, true, and maybe some throw caution to the wind when it comes to the heart. But some of the more common scams right now are the rental scams, the craigslists scams, and job scams. Usually these are people that are just trying to get a place to live, sell something, or find a job. The scammers are victimizing them at least once; shouldn't the victims get compassion instead of your judgment?


Yes, this bothers me a lot. Confused

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Linoge
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I do not blame the victims. I am just puzzled that they act on a romance scam in a way that they would most likely not act in real life.

Real life relations can go bad cause you are living 10 miles apart, but when it comes to the internet you can fall in love with a person on the other side of the planet without ever meeting them.

I do not judge. I just wonder.

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Zapmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As it happens, I have been involved in not one, but two long-distance relationships (Australia to America). Either of them could have been a scam, but neither was. I like to think I would have spotted a scam ... but perhaps not.

When you're lonely, and someone is saying all the right things ... it's very easy to keep going with it.

You know the gunge that gathers on the bottom of sewer tunnels and can't be shifted by anything short of high explosives? Romance scammers give that a good name.

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DoraTheExplorer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

With so many people spending much of their time on the internet, it is very easy to see how a romance can evolve online, without ever meeting face to face.

Luckily, most that do fall in love online don't fall in love with a scammer trying to take their money. But for those that do, it can be heart-wrenching to lose not only your money, but your heart at the same time. It is easy to see why the victims don't want to believe it could possibly be a scam.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

DoraTheExplorer wrote:
Whether or not they are stupid, smart, highly intelligent or have other mental or emotional problems, whether they are young or old, or whatever, no one deserves to get scammed and it is always the scammer's fault.


I agree with Dora 100%. Victims do not go looking for NOK or cancer scams. The stinking scammer drops into the victim's email box with a story. Romance scammers are the worst as they actively troll where people are looking for a relationship.

If the scammers didn't put this crap out there, there wouldn't be victims, so it is the scammer's fault.

@Linoge, as far as face to face relationships net being a scam. Too often real life relationships are scams too (i.e., "gold diggers", or predaoters). One party is defrauding the other, or there are affairs which are also a fraud.

Most people are trusting and don't look for scams. Because Eater is a culture that talks about scams (except for GC) so we are hypersensitive to scams.


Dora wrote:
Yes, this bothers me a lot. Confused
Me too Dora, me too.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It's an issue of trust, IMO. If I'm buying a car, I trust that the person selling it to me is telling the truth. How would I know otherwise? If I'm dropping my paycheck off at the bank, I trust that they will credit it to my account. How would I know otherwise? If I'm taking my dog to the vet for her shots, or I'm going to the dentist for a filling -- etc. etc. etc. -- I'm putting my trust in those transactions.

That sense of trust is exactly what scammers exploit. I'm neither naive nor stupid, but there are hundreds of opportunities in daily life where I might wind up on the bad side of a transaction. Short of locking myself in the closet and curling up in a fetal position, or striding about with a foil hat (I'd not look as dashing as PF of course Razz), I have to trust that my instincts will get me through. Those instincts have been greatly honed here at Eater, and I do everything I can to reach out to others who may not have those instincts.

I see the main route of exploitation as being vulnerability when one trusts -- we are *all* vulnerable. I don't care who you are or how you live or how much you have in your pocket, you're vulnerable in some way. Scammers make their living finding that soft spot. Most victims never see it coming, and when it does, it's devastating.

I'm with Dora and 'Noid on this. If there is any blame to be had in these sad situations, it is NOT the victim. [/soapbox]

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think the ones that have the largest chance of being fallen for are craigslist/ebay scams. I would say 95% of people on these sites are serious, and it is very hard to tell the difference between the two. While inheritance/next of kin scams (probably) have the least amount fall for it.

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Linoge
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Question of trust, yes, but I would never trust that guy selling me a car. He has something to gain by screwing me.

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The Man
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

And in terms of trust we check things out. You don't just randomly go to a dentist, you check them out with friends and family.

As for the bank, you get a receipt, so you know it has been deposited in your account.

Yes the guy selling you the car has everything to gain by screwing you over. That is why we take the car to our mechanic, get carfax.com or something to help us determine if we are being scammed. Lawyers call it due diligence. What is appropriate is going to be different with each transaction.

When I go to 7-11 to get a pop I don't really do any. Over time I might realize that the BP down the street has better tasting pop in their fountain and use them.

When we date, we do it for quite a while rather than get married in 10 days after meeting someone. That time is what is the due diligence.

Dating on the net just makes it easier for that person to be a true gold digger and have less of a chance to be caught.

None of the victims deserve it.

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