The website Scamalytics maintains a blacklist of scammers who use false pictures. You might not be able to surface information like criminal records, but from their social media profiles, Linked In page, and other information you find, you should be able to get a sense of whether what they are telling you comports with the facts. For example, if a person you met online claims to run a business abroad, call the U. Choose a friend or someone from your church or community who is less emotionally invested than you are. And remember: If the request for funds is indeed a scam, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover the money.
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On any given day, a handful of those pleas still file into your email’s spam folder.
And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.
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An exotic stranger needs help, and you’re the only one able to provide it.
Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.
While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.