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 Opinions/Help on how to try and change a victim's mind.

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StrIta8219
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 4


PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello folks,

I've been a long time on and off lurker/reader, mostly to entertain myself with baits, safaris and such.
Lately though I've been told a distant acquaintance has fallen for a romance scam. I'm not directly involved in any way but I was trying to find something to help the victim's cousin, as I know her and things have been tense due to her trying to help the victim and said victim reacting angrily.

To sum things quickly:

-scam has been going on for one year

-scammer is impersonating Leonardo DiCaprio (yep..)

-first contact has been through Instagram (victim says a message coming from the official account, I really doubt that)

-they then moved to Google Hangouts and everything happens there, I was told there seems to be no email connected to the Hangouts account

-usual romance scam fare, lots of lovey duvey stuff, asking for money towards a cause (not sure how, Western Union I guess), a video call from a completely dark location as "they were on the movie set", selfies that are obviously pictures taken from the internet

-victim says she hasn't forwarded any money but I'm not sure she'd be believed, victim is in an unhappy marriage and has no/ little actual money to herself, victim said she's trying to cut down smoking to gather money for the scammer. Also I guess a scammer'd have left after a year if no money was ever given?


As for the victim's cousin:

-tried reasoning with her, I mean how could Leo message/ fall for you etc etc

-has shown her scam alerts and the FBI site with all the warnings

-has shown her the selfie was lifted straight from the net, also that some love messages were ripped straight from books

-had arguments with the victim due to the money, and the fact said money'd be asked to the cousin's parents through lies

Basically none of this has worked, victim is still convinced-prolly out of desperation- and keeps reacting angrily, saying she can defend herself just fine.


So I'm looking for opinions on how-if at all possible tbh-the victim could be helped or if there's anything we've missed that'd be shown to her. Honestly anyone still using rational thinking would ask for an hard to fake selfie, a proper video chat and such. There's also the fact I'm deeply convinced some amount of money must have been sent for this to still be going on after a year.

That's all, as said I'm not directly involved so even if nothing comes out of this it's all fine, still the thought of scammers getting money irks me to no end.
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Padme
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Joined: 27 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Your friend is the victim of a 419 romance scam called the celebrity format, which is what it sounds like - 419 scammers impersonate celebrities and do usually one or a combination of three things,
1. a romance scam
2. a con where they ask for fees to book the celebrity's time
3. a charity scam in the celebrity's name

Other than the use of a celebrity's name, it's pretty much the same as other romance scams. I would encourage your friend to visit our sister site scamwarners.com. It is specifically for victim support and has information about scams including romance scams.

Sadly, the victim is probably lying about sending money. That's not uncommon either out of embarrassment or because they've been conditioned to do so by the scammer. It's not impossible, however, that a scammer would hang on for a long time with no money sent, as there is always a hope and there are other things to get from a victim besides money, such as using them to launder money for others, identity theft, etc. (but the probably are sending money).

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StrIta8219
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello Padme, yep I've been around here long enough to know the scam, sadly.

So'd ya think I'd be better off reposting this on the Scamwarners forum? doesn't seem very active or to get many answers tbh.
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oscarpiles
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Joined: 13 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Most definitely post the details on Scamwarners. If nothing else it has the potential to save someone else from falling for the scam.

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Purple
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Scamwarners is not the place for “understanding comments” etc – which is a shame really, but if it was, it would fast turn into an “agony aunt” situation.

If you take that a step further, Scamwarners would say “Well Dear, your boyfriend is a manipulative piece of crap”, which would get the response “Yes, but I love him, and will continue to send him money”

As far as I can see, Scamwarners primary purpose is to log confirmed scams, and to act as a reference base for anyone who chooses to search for these scammers. This is why it’s so important to cross reference these scams as they happen, and Scamwarners is just the place to do it

What they can’t do, is to “un-brainwash” the victim, just stand for the truth of it being a scam – after that, either the victim is convinced of the scam by the cross referencing on that site, or they’re not – if not, then it becomes tricky

Anything beyond that point would be inappropriate of me to comment on ….

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StrIta8219
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks everybody for the input, the only problem left is what exactly to post on scamwarners? Cause sadly the victim's cousin doesn't have much to go on...as I've said everything happens on Hangouts and I was told there's no email connected to the account being used by the scammer (not sure if that's possible,I've never really used Hangouts and I'm not familiar with the service), which means I don't have much to share apart from a DiCaprio impersonator using Instagram.

Purple: yeah I'm afraid the victim can't really be un-brainwashed at this time and she'll prolly have to pay dearly for it, I was just looking to help her cousin dealing with all this mess in some way but even there I'm afraid there's not much that can be done.

What really surprised is that there doesn't seem to be much material when it comes to celebrity scams apart from a couple pages and a few news articles, I was hoping to find victim stories and/ or the scam plot/ words/ pictures used but I'd not find much. The DiCaprio thing seems even harder to find online, guess it may be new-ish and/or not enough victims as it's too ludicrous to begin with.
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B8er
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Purple wrote:
As far as I can see, Scamwarners primary purpose is to log confirmed scams, and to act as a reference base for anyone who chooses to search for these scammers.


No, it's a place for helping victims realise that they are being scammed and providing them with support and advice on how to deal with the scam and break contact with the scammer (and also giving advice to friends/relatives of victims). A lot of that takes place either by PM or email and not in public. In order to do so, they need to be able to find the site, which is why it is so important to have scammer's details and formats posted.

Purple wrote:
What they can’t do, is to “un-brainwash” the victim, just stand for the truth of it being a scam – after that, either the victim is convinced of the scam by the cross referencing on that site, or they’re not – if not, then it becomes tricky


You can't “un-brainwash” victims, but you can provide them with the information that will hopefully help them realise that they are being scammed. It may only take a small bit of information in order for it to suddenly "click" for them - I once persuaded a victim that was in such denial that she was even saying she had met her scammer that she was being scammed by pointing out that a photo that he had sent was in a totally different country to where he claimed to be. That was enough for her to finally realise that everything else he was saying was a lie.

@StrIta8219 there is a short previous thread on a DiCaprio impersonator here https://www.scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172143&p=381720

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bware419ers
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

StrIta8219, welcome to Eater. I'm sorry your first post has to be related to a victim.

There's lots of information that could be posted at ScamWarners (which is everything B8er says it is, not just a database with no "understanding comments" Confused), but it would require cooperation from the victim. Scripts, unusual phrases, and all those other things you were seeking are important. Too often in these scams, simple embarrassment is the lad's greatest tool in continuing the ruse.

Hangouts is a Google product and does require a gmail account.
Perhaps this link may help: Find someone's contact info on Hangouts

Any chance the initial Instagram contact is still available?

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StrIta8219
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Removed full quote of previous post to make reading easier. Just think of this as a conversation! - bware419ers


Hello and thank you for the welcome, I'll see about posting there, or directing the victim's cousin to do it.

As for the Instagram contact, I doubt that, afaik the victim's cousin never had direct access to the victim's Instagram so she shared what little the vitim told her about what happened. For the same reason apart from the cousin seeing a few screens I don't think she has much material for now, I'll try and see if there's actually more.
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CajunTonque
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Joined: 14 Mar 2019
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So many scammers so little time. These people want to hurt us, and we don't like to think that anyone would want to hurt us. Especially someone approaching with words of love. Money seems like a small exchange for love. There are so many lonely people in the world. These people make good targets for scammers. Sometimes two good lonely people find each other; those are the stories we hear. So, we think this is what I will find. More likely the predators outweigh them and, it is a madding cycle. So, many ways to be scammed.

I do think the other site, which I read as well as this one, would be of help to the original posters concern.

Opening ones eyes and realizing you are being scammed is the first step in not.
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Lehigh Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Romance scam victims can suffer astounding psychological pressure to double-down repeatedly when faced with evidence that they’re being deceived. They’ve the natural tendency of investment scam victims to expect unsuccessful efforts to be corrected by added effort, with the additional issue that what they’re investing in is their own selves. Not only must they deal with disabusing themselves of false images of the scammer and whatever the scammer offers, doing so requires them to examine and possibly dismantle whatever they deemed in themselves worthy of the scammer’s love. When the persona is wealthy, popular, attractive and famous, the victim may become utterly bound to maintaining the fiction in the face of overwhelming evidence because they cannot imagine enduring the perception of their family and friends or even themselves as anyone other than worthy of the celebrity’s true love. The celebrity aspect hardens the victim’s vision.

To get around the celebrity factor the victim will need to be assured by those who know and love her how and why she is already valued for herself. She’ll need to see by genuine expression how her worth is great to them no matter what flaws she has. After all that is how real love works. The social status of a lover doesn’t change who she is.

Once that is established and maintained, a helpful strategy can be to have others safely (baiters’ rules) get the scammer to work the same con on them. Showing the victim several other women all in the same “relationship” with the scammer can do wonders for knocking off rose-colored glasses. If she can recognize that her “celebrity” doesn’t value her that can break the scam cycle. Eventually she might go from “DiCaprio is a two-timing jerk” to “ It was a scammer all the time,” later.
(Edited for minor fixes)

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