Every day, a large number of people are cheated with the promise of eternal love on internet. These scams are well documented and occur globally on the internet.
What do the scammers ask for favors?
Asking for money to pay for a hotel or hospital is the least of scams; once they have obtained your address and your phone, it is when you end up in jail.
Regularly scammers ask the direction of his beloved/lover on the pretext of sending flowers, chocolates, or some gift cards. Sometimes if they send such a gift (usually purchased using stolen credit cards) but from there begin the favors;
The scammer asks that the package is re-ship merchandise. They buy items with stolen credit cards and send them to the home of their victim. Thus, there is no way to link them with theft and fraud card use. By the time the package is sent, it becomes crime and cheated person can go to jail or forced to pay for the goods.
The scammer asks for the power to place a check on the account of the victim and asks to send by Western Union, Moneygram or any service for money orders. When the bank realizes the check is fake, the money has already been deposited and the scammers have disappeared, leaving the account holder as responsible and the obligation to restore the money to the bank.
What’s the most you can lose?
I would say that the most you could lose is money, but it is not. There are cases in the United States where people are serving sentences of 15 years and seeing all their life ruined.
FBI also reports that the part of swindled money is used in training of terrorists and terrorist acts too. That is why people who have been defrauded and whose identity has been stolen, as well as that of their families, have reported threats. As you can see, this is a very big and very strong criminal organization.
How do I know if I’m being cheated/scammed?
If you answer ‘Yes’ to one or more of these questions, it is very likely that you are being scammed;
Have you had a romantic relationship online and that person is in love with you very quickly?
The person immediately leaves the dating site to communicate with you via instant messaging or Skype
They tell you to be native to your country and are living in Africa or England for work.
They are coming to visit soon, but there is always something that keeps them from coming.
They do not have friends or relatives who can help them out of difficult situations.
If I’m being ripped off, now what?
The recommended actions for such situations are the following;
End all contacts with that person. Block your e-mail address, IM user and do not answer their phone calls.
Create copies and prints of all conversations you had with the scammer. If you have envelopes that the scammer sent you, keep them intact and retain everything that can serve as a proof that you were cheated.
If you just send money, contact Western Union or Money Gram to see if they still charge money.
If you deposit a check into your account, contact the fraud department of your bank and let them know of your situation.
Contact the post office and ask that no more packets delivered to your home or office. Bring them also checks or remittances that come to you to make a report.
Contact the companies of origin of goods or gifts you have received and let them know they probably were bought using stolen credit cards. If you still have those items, return them.
Contact the police and raise a report. They cannot do anything but at least you will have proof that you are the victim.
Join a group of people who, like you, have been cheated and share your experiences.