Information on romance scams and scammers.
#13640 by Dotti Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:55 am
Introduction

The online social world brings many benefits, but it also carries many risks. Social networking sites and dating sites can be great places to reconnect with old friends and establish new relationships, but they are all too frequently infested with scammers who have learned to use them for their own purposes.

Fortunately, many of these scammers share common characteristics. Understanding and recognizing these characteristics can help you to identify many scammers from the start.

This thread has been created to highlight and explain some of those characteristics. Note that this thread contains a more "in-depth" look at scammers. For a shorter, general overview, see An introduction to love or dating scams

If you have started communicating with someone online, and he or she matches many of the characteristics described in this thread, you are most likely dealing with a scammer. Please be aware that not all scammers are alike--if you are in an online relationship with someone who doesn't have many of these characteristics, it is still important to use caution, and be alert for signs that something "isn't right."

Remember: Never send money to someone you have not met face-to-face, in person.

Signs to look for in a social networking or dating site profile
Photos used by romance scammers
A typical Romance Scammer profile
How does the scammer first approach you?

Other profile signs to consider

Communicating with a scammer

What other things should you look out for?
What are the common characteristics of an African’s writing style?
What are the common characteristics of a Russians writing style? under construction
Common misfortunes that will occur before needing money
How can I find out more information about the person I am dealing with?

dotti.gale.sw @ gmail . com

Need to post photos? http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3219
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.

#13641 by Dotti Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:06 am
Photos used by romance scammers

Photos are an important part of a scammer's "toolkit." Scammers use photos to back up their storylines and make their characters seem more real. Scammers do not use photos of themselves, and they typically look nothing like the person in the photos they are using.

Where do scammer photos come from?

Scammers playing females:
-When playing a female character, a scammer will typically use photos of someone very young and highly attractive.
-They will choose a source where they can copy multiple photos (and sometimes video) of the same woman, including "sexy" (e.g. swimsuit, lingerie, or nude) photos.
-The most common sources of photos for scammers playing females are modeling sites like focushawaii.com (which provides plenty of swimsuit photos) and porn sites.
-Scammers playing female characters will rarely re-use photos provided by scam victims.


Scammers playing males:
-When playing a male, scammers may use model photos, but they may also use more "average" photos.
-If using models, focushawaii.com is a favorite, but they could use any modeling site on the internet.
-If using more "average" photos, they will often copy photos from a social networking site such as facebook or myspace.
-Scammers playing male characters will occasionally reuse photos of previous male victims.


Identifying model photos:
When looking at the person's photos, consider the following questions:
-Do the photos look professional?
-Are there watermarks on the photos?
-Are there several pictures in a similar setting that look like they may be part of a professional photo shoot?
-Does the person look like a model?
-Realistically, would you expect this person to be searching online for a partner?
-If the person is a female, is she using sexy (e.g. swimsuit, lingerie, unbuttoned top, provocative photos etc.) photos of a young woman (under 30 years old), or does she quickly send this type of photos to you?

A "yes" answer to one or more of the above questions should be a clear warning sign.

If the photos don't look like "model" photos, consider the following questions.
-Are the photos clear and of a reasonable size/resolution? If not, is the person able to send you a larger version of the posted photos on request?
-If the person is in military uniform, does the name on the uniform match the person's name?
-Does the photo match the person's written description -- age, nationality, eye color, hair color, etc?

A "no" answer to any of these questions is also a very clear warning sign.

Searching for photos online

It is always a good idea to search for any photos you receive. There are currently two good (free) tools to search for photos on the internet.

Tineye: http://www.tineye.com
Tineye is a search site, similar to google, that analyzes and catalogs photos across many internet sites. When you submit a photo to Tineye, it will search for a match to that photo in its catalog.
Pros: Tineye has captured photos on a wide variety of sites, including parts of wikipedia and several dating sites, so it may help you to identify use of public figures' photos and to find other dating profiles using the same photos.
Cons: Tineye has captured only a small percentage of online photos. If a scammer has copied a photo from a site not indexed by Tineye, your search will yield no results.

Google: http://www.google.com (then click on the "images" tab)
Pros: the largest number of photos indexed
Cons: like all photo searching software, it is limited, and may not identify edited or cropped photos.

We recommend searching for all photos you receive on multiple search engines

Keep in mind, however, that a negative result does not guarantee you are not dealing with a scammer. Some scammers plan ahead and verify that their photos will not trigger any search results, or even edit them so they aren't a match, and they may even then encourage you to search for them, using the lack of results as "proof" they are honest.

If you do find a photo using tineye or google and confront a scammer about it, the vast majority of the time the scammer will simply claim to be real person in the photos, and will claim that someone else has stolen his or her photos to scam. They will then change photos for the next scam. For this reason, we do not recommend telling scammers that you have found their photos.

If you are using firefox, there are add-ons for photo searching that make searching easier. Most of these add-ons allow you to simply right-click a photo for a photo search menu. A few choices are:
-Who stole my photos (searches tineye and some smaller engines)
-Search by Image for Google (searches only google)
-Tineye (on tineye's site)
-Image Lookup (searches Google, Tineye, and Karma Decay)

dotti.gale.sw @ gmail . com

Need to post photos? http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3219
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.
#13642 by Dotti Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:08 am
The scammer's profile is the first thing his victim will see, and it is the first step in creating his "character." The scammer wants the profile to be appealing to his targets, while reinforcing the image he wants to portray.

Scammers playing male characters:
Romance is the primary tool used by scammers playing male characters. The scammer wants to create the impression that he is a romantic, mature, sympathetic, and family-oriented man.
Age:
Usually between 35 and 65.
Profession:
Scammers playing males choose professions that make them appear to be successful and reliable. They also choose professions that can explain why they are not in their "home country." Favorite choices include:
Engineer
Architect
International antique/jewelry/art dealer
Sports recruiter
Soldier serving in a war zone
Other characteristics:
Scammers want to look innocent, reliable, and free of "bad" habits. While not every scammer is the same, most often they will claim:
non-smoker
non-drinker or occasional drinker only
religious or "God-fearing"
single (widower or divorced) father. If widowed, the wife was killed in an accident or died of cancer; if divorced, the wife was responsible (either cheated or was a drug addict/alcoholic/etc.)
Scammer's description of his character:
Some scammers write their own descriptive text, while others may copy much of it from legitimate dating site profiles. As a result, the quality of the English may vary widely. If the scammer has written anything himself, the English will likely be poor, and it will reinforce the qualities he wants his victims to see. Common words/phrases include:
honest
trustworthy
caring
searching for soulmate
loving
tired of games
What the scammer is searching for:
In reality, the scammer is searching for anyone who will pay! He will make his criteria quite wide to allow him to approach a large number of potential victims:
Age Range: very wide
Preferences regarding drinking/smoking: none
Want Children: doesn't matter


Scammers playing female characters:
Note that we continue to use "he" in this description. This is because the character may be female, but the scammer behind the character is typically male.

Sex is the primary tool used by scammers playing female characters. The scammer wants to create the impression that he is a beautiful, naive, vulnerable, and submissive young woman who is waiting for a man to come and rescue her.
Age:
Usually between 18 and 35
Profession:
Scammers playing females usually choose "feminine" jobs that make them appear to be compassionate and non-threatening. They may choose jobs that can explain why they are not in their "home country." Favorite choices include:
Nurse/aid worker
Fashion model
International antique/jewelry/art dealer
Interior decorator
no job/ refugee or dependent on family
Note: On rare occasion, the scammer will play the role of a female soldier in the standard "military scam."
Other characteristics:
Scammers want to look innocent, naive, and free of "bad" habits. While not every scammer is the same, most often they will claim:
non-smoker
non-drinker or occasional drinker only
religious or "God-fearing"
never married / no children
Scammer's description of his character:
Some scammers write their own descriptive text, while others may copy much of it from legitimate dating site profiles. As a result, the quality of the English may vary widely. If the scammer has written anything himself, the English will likely be poor, and it will reinforce the qualities he wants his victims to see. Common words/phrases when playing a female include:
honest
caring
searching for soulmate
loving
new to the online dating world
has been hurt before
doesn't like cheaters or liars
What the scammer is searching for:
In reality, the scammer is searching for anyone who will pay! He will make his criteria quite wide to allow his character to approach a large number of potential victims:
Age Range: very wide (e.g. 25-99)
Preferences regarding drinking/smoking: none
Want Children: doesn't matter

dotti.gale.sw @ gmail . com

Need to post photos? http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3219
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.
#13643 by Dotti Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:09 am
Here are some recent examples of scammer approaches to one of my dating site profiles. My profile is an average woman in her late 40's to mid 50's, with an average photo of an overweight woman.


Harold Styles — 06:19
i saw your Profile and stopped to check it out and to my greatest surprise,I certainly like what I see in you and i would so much love to learn more about you.Am actually new at this but would like to try to learn more about you and hopefully get to know you better. I believe,if you are interested in also getting to know me,I believe that partners are 100% equal in a relationship and both should be able to feel they can trust each other
I am affectionate and I have no trouble showing it for the right woman in public or private. I love to cuddle while watching a good moving, I love to hug and kiss my woman at any time and anywhere, it could be a store, mall or just on a side walk. If You are looking for long term relationship, I am looking for something permanent



Leo Brookie —
hello how are you doing ? am LEO i went through your profile and sound interesting i will like you to go through mine and get back to me ,am single .i want woman with honest and trust


Mike Raymond — Thursday, 10 April 2014 04:37
Hello lady, you look calm and beautiful, can I be your friends?



Markderic
Hello
Hi this might seem a little bit weird, i am Deric, I was searching for an old friend and came across your profile and it kind of look interesting, i swear it caught my attention, i was wondering if we could get to know ourselves more better.Hope to hear from you soon.
Cheers



Craig —
Wow!!!!!!you are gorgeous and i will like to get to know more about you if you wont mind,hope to read from you soonest.Craig



Harmmy —
Hello adorable queen, how are you doing over there with your family ? hope life there is good with you as i have hoped...Linford is my name and i would love to know more about you if you don't mind, while i tell you about my self as well...Thanks and regards


Skymate —
What a magnificent beauty you got!!!,..hello there,..i am new on here as i got caught in the middle of your beauty and would like to get to know ya if you wont mind me asking,..hope to get a swift response from you



Tony — 20:18
pardon my manners but i must say i am certainly speechless....what manner of beauty bestowed on one person. You must have been created on God's resting day..will love to get to know you........if you don't mind
Tony — 20:28
hello you there?

dotti.gale.sw @ gmail . com

Need to post photos? http://scamwarners.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3219
Are you a victim of a romance scam? Read here for advice and FAQ's.

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