How do romance scams work

Scamming: be careful with virtual acquaintances

Beware of romance scamming

A short chat or a nice email from a stranger - the so-called love or romance scamming begins harmlessly. The scammers seek out Online partner exchanges or in social networks like Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook for victims and search through the member lists there. A short online invitation to chat is the first point of contact for many. To make yourself interesting to the potential victim, lie down Romance scammers unusual life stories - and they always leave a serious impression.

Scamm men present themselves as engineers, architects, sociologists, designers in the oil industry, as veterinarians, computer specialists and U.S. Soldiers out. In the photos of the scammer profile, female victims are presented with an attractive white person - the However, pictures are stolen. And even if the “newcomer” pretends to live in America or in another European country, he is probably sitting in West Africa. The victims do not notice this, however, because these chat acquaintances speak perfect English or use expensive translation tools for their e-mails.

Scamm women prefer to pretend to be nurses, doctors, employees in orphanages or teachers, actresses and business women of all kinds. The women in the pictures on networks and dating sites are extremely attractive. But even these pictures were mostly stolen or only photographed for scamming. This can be seen in photo series with similar poses and clothes. Many women pretend to be Russian. But they can also come from South America, Thailand, Africa or Europe. All Scamm women have a perfect command of the English language, sometimes even the German language.


Action of the scammers

Both scam men and scam women manage to make themselves indispensable in the daily life of their victims - without a single meeting. A romantic email in the morning is followed by a short phone call at noon, after work you can chat or spend hours on the phone. In the beginning, the talks are by no means about money, but about work, family, love and a common future. Stories of deceased spouses and children are often served up.

If the scammers aren't there already, then they have to to West Africa for business or family reasons. The scammers promise that they will visit their new love afterwards. But before or shortly after the ticket to Germany is booked, there are difficulties: robberies, stolen or confiscated passports, hospitalization after a car accident or problems with credit cards. The victims are asked by cash transfer (e.g. Western Union or MoneyGram) to send money.

Love is always strongly emphasized in such begging emails. Sometimes victims are contacted by a “doctor”, a “police officer” or “relative”, whoever is more Put pressure on the victim should. This often goes so far that the scammers announce their suicide - just to get the money.

At the moment, it is the scammers in particular apart from foreign identity papers. They often ask their victims to send them copies of their passports and passports - with the explanation that they want to open a joint account. ID cards can easily be forged. Invitations to Germany to support a visa application are also very popular.

In other cases, victims are asked to African checks and payment orders to be submitted to your own bank account (because this is not possible in West Africa). The victims are supposed to transfer most of the check back to West Africa by cash transfer via MoneyGram or Western Union, but they are allowed to keep a small part for themselves. Problem: The checks are return checks and the account holder is responsible for their repayment to the bank. In the worst case the victim is even threatened with a criminal complaint for fraud.

Small parcels brought by a third person should also be sent to the scammer in Africa. Most of the content is paid for with a stolen credit card. Forwarding or keeping the parcels is illegal and can Victim in serious trouble bring.

Scammers often pretend that they cannot pay for the plane ticket for the meeting in Germany. Also be Costs for the visa or the issuance of a visa due - not to forget the so-called PTA or BTA, a kind of fee to the government, without which one cannot leave the country and which has to be paid in cash before departure. Officially, there is no such fee.