Finding Love in all the Wrong Places <3
This type of prevalent scam is particularly painful on many fronts. Not only does this scam cause significant damage to the pocket of its victims but it also takes its victims through the emotional ringer. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting scam victim the most efficient way of extracting money is by getting the target deeply emotionally involved as possible and the more emotionally attached the victim the more the victim will pay out.
How does it work?
Let’s set the scene. Someone contacts you on tinder, Facebook or Instagram. You hit it off with them right off the bat. You like the same music, movies and have the same hobbies. And just your luck, they are absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately they live on the other side of the country, but what’s a few hundred or thousand miles between two soulmates? You chat online with your soulmate multiple times a day and this carries on for a few weeks. The more you get involved you start sharing more and more personal details. You have plans in a few months to finally do it, they are going to come an visit you as soon as they can use their vacation time.
“Oh no! My car was in a wreck and I can’t get it back on the road until I pay the mechanic $800. I’m a bit skimped at the moment. Can I borrow the money and pay you back in a few weeks?” Of course you are willing to loan the love of your like this small some of money to help them out. “Don’t worry about paying me back”, you say “Use it towards your plane ticket when you fly out.”
You are now speaking on the phone with your future spouse (that you still have never met in person). And you receive the call. “There was a problem with the car repairs, the car spun out of control and now I am in the hospital. I need surgery on my right shoulder and I can’t afford to pay. I need $4000 immediately otherwise there could be permanent damage.”
There is no way on God’s green earth that you are going to the apple of your eye be permanently injured and you wire the cash within the hour.
“No need to thank me, you mean the world to me!”
It seems like your new soulmate is constantly in a financial bind and now your hitting your financial limits. 20k deep in the hole and you still haven’t met this person almost 6 months later.
They explain they have never had such a run of bad luck and that you are their saving grace. Without your help they would be crippled and on the street.
You yourself are now very suspicious…
The last straw!
Surprise surprise… They need more money again. “I would like to come and visit”, you say “I will come there in person and help you out.” And then they disappear. As if into thin air, they disappear of Facebook, Instagram and their phone is now disconnected. That’s when reality sinks in… This was a scam.
How to protect yourself?
The answer is quite simple, don’t send anyone money that you have never met. And if you cannot control yourself and absolutely must send someone money, do yourself a favor and send them the money via Paypal as a payment for a service. Worst case scenario they lose a service fee of 3% to Paypal, but you are protected by Paypal and can claim they are a scam and can get your money back within 3 months if things go sour.