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Then they use what the victims have on their profile pages and try to work those relationships and see which ones develop.” The subsequent investigation led by Beining resulted in the arrest of two Nigerians posing as South African diplomats who had come to the U. to collect money from the woman on behalf of Charlie, who claimed he was paid million for a construction project he completed in South Africa.

The woman believed she would be paying to have the money—including the repayment of her million—transferred to the U. from South Africa, where Charlie was still supposedly working.

That is why this individual remains a fugitive.”It also explains why romance scams are on the rise: It’s a lucrative and easy crime to commit, and easier still to remain anonymous and beyond the reach of authorities.

“It’s not like going in a bank and holding a gun to the teller,” Beining explained, “because there are so many leads that you provide law enforcement when you do that.

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But with an Internet crime like this, it’s much more difficult.”As for the Texas woman, she came forward “because I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.Therefore, you may be able to expose a scam by conducting Internet searches on the names used by the scammers or key phrases from their emails. “He was saying all the right things,” she remembered. It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise.In some variations of the scam, the fraudsters may not ask for money directly.Instead, they may ask their victim to cash money orders or cheques and wire them the proceeds.If you begin corresponding with a person with a view to a possible romantic relationship, remain cautious even if the relationship seems to be progressing very well.These scammers are very skilled at building trust and know how to make vulnerable victims fall in love with them.You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said.“The perpetrators will reach out to a lot of people on various networking sites to find somebody who may be a good target.Regardless of the strength of your feelings towards a correspondent, you should view any requests for money as highly suspicious.Internet dating scammers often used the same names, family details and cover stories in multiple dating scams.

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  1. A one step Facebook log-in process leads on to a few simple questions (the most obvious – height, kids, whether you drink or smoke), a description and a photo – then you are in. To use the site fully – sending unlimited messages to other members – payment is required.