Information on romance scams and scammers.
#205512 by Jane2014 Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:25 pm
My Sister met a guy on cupid a few months ago claiming he is a US Citizen, born in Denmark and has been in the United States 35 years and widower with a 18 year old son, he is 65. He had her delete her account on Cupid and moved their conversations on Facebook and cell phone. Within a month of chatting, he is going to Washington to bid on a job overseas in Egypt and a few weeks after that he is working there, all this time never meeting in person. She talked on the phone with him until he left for overseas, only chatting after that. He confuses his love to her after a very short time, she has been widowed for about a year and a half and very lonely, so she falls head over heels for him. We have suspected he was a scammer and kept asking her if he had asked for any money, which she always says no. Her kids were able to to obtain her password and found she has made several money wires to him before he left for over seas. He sent her a picture of a bank draft in both their names for $850,000 claiming it is for his jobs and can not cash it until he is back home. He asked for a cell phone which she sent out last week and now he wants a apple computer to help with his jobs. He says his is broke, his mastercard will not work and he as not eaten in days and needs to pay his workers. She is trying to take out a large loan and says she is going to send it to her. We have tried everything to convince her he is not real. I even called his cell phone and had it on speaker so she could hear and a Hashseen said to leave a message with an Arabic accent. She questioned him and this is what he said : I called your phone number from New York and I heard
Hashseen
Said leave a message for this person

I don't knows what is going with my that numbers my love

Don't called the numbers again when I get the phone u sent to me am will are going to talk and talk always honey
I just wanted you to answer the phone
Baby what's going on

don't knows my baby angel

Nothing my wife xxxx douglas

Maybe is net work my love

And my numbers is here with me my baaby angel
I feel so lost cause I don't have any way to get hold of you

U don't my baby angel

Will talking on phone soon my baby angel okay honey

Trust and believe my baby angel

He is listed on Facebook as Steven Douglas from Brooklyn New York
He says his address is 1601 Avenue N Brooklyn New York and is listed on white pages as Steven Douglas, Sr
His cell phone number is 347-815-1625 when I called that number about 2 hours later a call came in from 914-619-6780, I ignored the call and then a No Caller ID came in right after that. His email address he uses is [email protected]

If she continutes she will lose everything my brother in law worked for to provide after his death. He calls her his wife xxxx Douglas.

Please help
.
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#205570 by Capt. Tripps Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:49 am
First of all, I am genuinely sorry to hear that your sister is embroiled in such a malicious scam - there is no doubt that this is a textbook romance scam. Secondly, your diligence and concern over the matter is commendable, as you were right to suspect that this is a scam.

It sounds as though she is in deep, if she has already made several payments and sent him gifts.

Some points to consider:

    1. There is no $850,000. The only money involved is that which the scammer extracts from your sister.
    2. Saying he grew up in Denmark is to try and cover for the fact that he does not have an American accent. Romance scammers very frequently drop this into their scripts; that is, claiming to have lived in a different country. He is in all probability a young Nigerian, or other West African, working in a criminal gang operating out of a cyber cafe. From what I can see from his writing, it certainly seems to be the case.
    3. The other details; being a widower and a single parent, working overseas, urgently needing money for an imagined emergency, are all things romance scammers calculate into their stories, to try and garner sympathy and emotionally blackmail the victim in to sending money. These people are professionals; they lie and deceive for a living, with no remorse or concern for the financial and emotional damage they cause their victims. They prey on the vulnerable, telling them everything they want to hear; professing their love and making empty promises are just a means for them to steal money from the person they claim to be in love with. They are, in a word, evil.
    4. His insisting on moving the communication from the dating site is also indicative of a scam; it saves him explaining why his profile was deleted for fraudulent activity. Plus, it gets the victim right where he wants them. It puts him in total control of proceedings, which is essential for his fraud to work.


As you have rightly said, she will lose everything if she is not stopped - the scammer knows this, and will ruthlessly deprive her of every last penny she has, and then some, if he is given the chance.

You essentially need to prove to her beyond all doubt that the man she is in contact with is not who he says he is. Easier said than done, given the emotional (not to mention, financial) investment she obviously has in this man. It is a very sensitive issue, broaching the topic that everything she has been told by him is a lie. Any photos of him will be stolen from an unsuspecting, innocent person's social media account. Do a Google image search for it and you may find the true identity of the abused photos.

Also, I recommend you have a good read of the topics in the ROMANCE SCAMS section of the forum. Familiarise yourself with the MO of these lowlives, which should better equip you for dealing with this most unfortunate situation.

In short, your sister needs to cease all communication with the scammer, immediately. My best advice to you is either wait for more replies, from individuals far more experienced than myself in dealing with such a sensitive issue. Alternatively, you can send a private message to one of the forum admins or moderators (the guys whose names are in red or green) and they'll be able to help you out.

While I'd be tempted to say you need to administer some tough love, it might not be the best way. Seek further advice on here; you have definitely come to the right place. Hope this helps.
#205574 by Mumbles Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:46 am
If you know where she is trying to get a loan, notify the firm of the situation. Notify anybody/everybody that might loan her money.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well ...”

Martin Luther King Jr.
#205577 by TerranceBoyce Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:55 am
It can be very difficult to disentangle someone from the clutches of a scammer once they're hooked and you can end up fighting your sister rather than helping her so it might be a better tactic to try and assist by making suggestions that will expose him without appearing to be her adversary.

You can't even buy these vermin off and he won't let go until he's extracted everything she owns and it's been known for them to persuade victims to commit fraud to get money for them.

It might be easier to persuade your sister to provide assistance via the US Embassy, which the scammer will fight like a scalded cat, but it's reasonable and indicates to your sister that you aren't just blocking her. Of course we know he wouldn't dare go near a US Embassy but, if his story were true, he wouldn't object.

https://step.state.gov/STEP/Pages/Common/FAQ.aspx

Consular officers at Embassies and Consulates can assist U.S. citizens who encounter serious legal, medical, or financial difficulties overseas. For example, if your passport is stolen while traveling, we can assist you with obtaining a replacement so you can continue your trip. We can also provide the names of English-speaking doctors or local attorneys, provide loans to destitute U.S. citizens, and provide information about dangerous conditions affecting your overseas travel or residence. We also perform non-emergency services, helping with routine passport applications, absentee voting, selective service registration, receiving federal benefits, and filing U.S. tax forms. Consular officers can notarize documents, issue passports, and register U.S. citizen children born abroad. Most embassies and consulates have web sites with more information about their citizen services.


Of course you can suggest that sending money to the Middle East could be a problem and if the US State Department don't block it, the Egyptian bank may because of the risk it could be linked to terrorism. It's possible to make payments through the Embassy and there wouldn't be these problems, but it won't pay a Nigerian scammer.

If you appear to be helping rather than just trashing her dreams you may have more success. Scammers are very good at lying and he'll probably claim to be located in the middle of the desert and he'll try to split you up from your sister. The scammer is the closest thing to evil you'll ever come across.

CAR ADVERTS - If a car seller mentions escrow - he's scamming you Never ever for any reason pay anything until you have seen and inspected the vehicle
#205578 by Capt. Tripps Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:01 am
The only hit I get by searching "[email protected]" on Google is your first post in this thread. The same goes for the two numbers you provided; the only useful result is the thread you created.

The e-mail address is registered with the Facebook profile of Steven Douglas - https://www.facebook.com/steven.douglas.37051579 - the photos likely lifted from elsewhere, though I have been unable to find them through Google or TinEye. He only registered on Facebook in January, and his occupational information as a "Building contractor", and apparently schooled at "Berlin in Darmark". He is also widowed. As a side note, though I have been unable to see his friends list, "likes" on his photos are by two woman, one of whom is divorced and the other widowed. These two profiles, unlike his, appear authentic and I have no doubt at all that they are potential victims of the scammer.

I'm afraid that's all I've been able to find out, as there are no e-mails with headers, I have been unable to find any link between the address and the phone numbers you provided. His Facebook profile though, linked to the e-mail address you gave me, certainly does not look genuine.

The sports car in one of the photos, and the address he claims to live at, are not in keeping with who needs to go hungry or struggle to pay his workers, and have to ask a woman over the internet for money.
#205584 by TerranceBoyce Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:30 am
There is no such university as "University Berlin in Darmark" and I must presume that he means Denmark or 'Danmark' as they say in Denmark. It's rather silly then that he sets up a page to which he is the only member for an imaginary university. There isn't a reason for doing it, but it is how scammers try to set up a fake ID for themselves but, in this case, he's been rather stupid.

CAR ADVERTS - If a car seller mentions escrow - he's scamming you Never ever for any reason pay anything until you have seen and inspected the vehicle
#205591 by Capt. Tripps Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:03 pm
It needs to be the original e-mail from the scammer, in which the header contains technical information about the transmission of the e-mail from its source, across the internet to the receiver. A lot of it is unimportant to us, however it will show the sender's IP address (i.e. their location) provided he isn't using a proxy. Going back to what TerranceBoyce said earlier, he doesn't seem particularly savvy so I wouldn't count on it.

If you aren't sure how to find e-mail headers, please take a look at this guide: http://whatismyipaddress.com/find-headers

The other addresses at the bottom of the mail, are those others used by the scammer or could they be potential victims as well? If it's the former, then it's possible he's used them in other scams and could be used as proof he is running over scams (which he undoubtedly will be).

Hope this helps.
#205594 by AlanJones Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:09 pm
Capt. Tripps wrote:it will show the sender's IP address


Unfortunately, in this case it won't as he is using outlook.com.

Please do not tell scammers that they are listed here - it will take them seconds to change their fake details and their new details will not be listed for any future victims to find.
#205595 by Capt. Tripps Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:13 pm
In that case, I apologise for mis-information and any false hope. I didn't realise that Outlook stripped IPs from headers. However, as Jane speaks of other e-mail addresses, there's a chance the scammer is using another e-mail address which might link him to some kind of 419 activity.
#205603 by Jane2014 Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:30 pm
Sat, 12 Apr 2014 16:58:55 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of [email protected] designates 65.55.90.228 as permitted sender) client-ip=65.55.90.228;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
spf=pass (google.com: domain of [email protected] designates 65.55.90.228 as permitted sender) [email protected]
Received: from SNT148-W61 ([65.55.90.200]) by snt0-omc4-s25.snt0.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675);
Sat, 12 Apr 2014 16:58:55 -0700
X-TMN: [p8V6GSIoPDMuryHNvPWVAoQoNL514drt]
X-Originating-Email: [[email protected]]

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