Friday, December 5, 2008

Oprah Romance Scam

On yesterday's Oprah show, they dedicated a whole show to SCAMS, not just Nigerian email scams, but all kinds of other scams. I'm going to focus on one of those scams --- The Romance Scam. This online scam is conducted at many of the popular dating sites. They meet you in the normal way. They send you a picture of a very good looking man/woman (the real person to whom this picture belongs is also being scammed since they have no idea that their picture is being used in these kind of scams!) They tell you everything you want to hear, so you are going along thinking you've met the perfect guy/girl (yes, there are also women scammers) until they start asking you for money. Here are some warning signs taken directly off this site http://romancescams.org/

When Contact is First Made

* They immediately want to get off the website and onto Yahoo IM or MSN IM
* Their profile seems to disappear off the website immediately after conversation begins
* They claim it was destiny or fate and you are meant to be together
* They immediately ask for your picture and they send you a picture of themselves
* They immediately want your address so as to send you flowers, candy, and teddy bears, often purchased with stolen credit cards
* They claim to love you either immediately or within 24-48 hours
* They immediately start using pet names with you: hon/hun baby/babe sweety/sweetie
* They claim God brought you to him/her
* They typically claim to be from the US (or your local region) but they are overseas, or going overseas mainly to Nigeria, sometimes the UK for business or family matters

Thus if you have been taken by a Romance Scam like the Oprah Romance scam go to the above mentioned site. They have a lot of resources there to help you. And if you want to be more informed about scams in general go here Chris Malta's Surviving EBiz On Chris' site you will find all kinds of scambuster tips to help you recognize the signs of a scam and it is all 100% FREE!

2 comments:

Dana Ramoni said...

Hi Cindy I saw that show also. Great post. I'm a little embarrassed to say but years ago, I ran into the same thing. I didn't give any personal info or anything. All there was was yahoo IM but this person gave me a really hot looking pic of a woman.

They claimed to be religious and everything else you mentioned.

Anyway keep up the good work.

Alan's Modified Racing Corner said...

Hi Cindy, I had someone try this on me once. The only difference was that she actually claimed to be from Nigeria. After a day or so she asked me to send her a cell phone so she could call me. Obviously I never responded.

On the other side of things, I met my girlfriend at eHarmony.com and we've been together two years now. It really is a match made in heaven.

Keep up the great blog!

Alan