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Many victims report that they received the first email from the scammer "out of the blue," and that they never belonged to any dating sites.
Sometimes scammers even use Craigs List, Facebook, Myspace, or other popular web site to find potential victims After a while the letters from single men from all over the world start arriving in the scammer's mailbox.
And this mastermind is not at all who you think (s)he is... A scammer usually finds a set of pictures of an attractive girl 18-45 years old female (or, if the scammer IS an attractive girl, she uses her own pictures) and places personal ads in as many international dating catalogs as possible.
A lot of scammers actively seek out new potential victims rather than wait for the victims to come to them.
Therefore a standard set of romantic letters exists, and the scammer typically uses these pre-written letters to correspond with all potential victims.
As a results of using the sets of pre-written letters, scammers tend to ignore questions posted to them, or when they do answer questions, they answer them only at the very beginning or at the very end of each letter.
"She" will get robbed or attacked, may become injured or sick, may suddenly get arrested, or her apartment may get flooded or burned.
The longer the set up phase, the higher is the scammer's probability of success in obtaining the money.
Once the fact that the scammer is "deeply in love" is well established, the scammer begins the real preparation.
In the end, he will be left financially exhausted, and " she" will continue to pretend like she is just one Western Union money transfer away for finally being able to meet her beloved. An adorable and lonely gay guy from Russia will be the main character of the same travel story, with very minor changes.
Most scammers ask money for one or more of the following: - passport, visa, tickets - travel insurance - fines for failing to officially register their stay in Moscow - financial solvency money ("pocket money," "travel money," "money to show to the customs," "money to show to the Embassy") - money to pay off a loan or a mortgage - sale taxes on the her apartment - emergency medical expenses for the girl or her relatives (illness, car accident, death in the family) - bail money / to pay fines for minor "accidental" violations of the law - taxes supposedly owed on the previous money transfers - money to replace stolen funds - ransom money / financial debt to mafia - presents for herself and her family at holiday times - luxury items (cell phones, clothes, etc) What the victim of the scam never realizes, however, is that behind all the seductive pictures and behind all the warm and passionate letters hides a cynical, manipulative, and sleek mastermind of the crime - a cyber thief of hearts and wallets.
Sometimes at the same time many scammers would announce that their yearly vacation time (usually 2 weeks) is coming up.