By Robert Voss
We all enjoy trying to meet new people and start a new relationship. It is tough out in the real world to date. While I was looking for love here is what I found. Take my advice and stay away from dating scammers. They are time wasters and only want your money. Don’t give it to them because they will only want more out of you.
When browsing the many profiles on this website please notice the information and the photo(s) with their username. It is a dead given away when the person only posts their name and age without any additional information about them selves. This is a dating red flag. Take this one seriously!
Most likely the scammer will message you first when they match up with you. This will happen within a few 3-10 minutes. They want you to interact with them. Upon making contact with them, they will seem to be very friendly. The next thing you know they are redirecting you off of Tinder to another website, chat room, messager service, and video conference service. Be mindful of this.
Here’s my dating story. Back in late November 2020, I meet a lady on Tinder who I will call Bonnie. I’m not using her scammer’s name because she is under investigation right now. It seemed like we hit it off. She had similar interests. It is no surprise she liked everything I like. Wow! What a match made in heaven. Not so fast. I was up front and honest with her. I told her I have a background as a Journalist, as Security Officer, and an having investigation skills. Clearly she knew what she was dealing with. She tried to entrap me into a scam. Continue reading to find out.
On her profile it says she was miles away from Central Florida. Then she claimed she was currently living in California right now. That was not true. However, then she says she lives in a country in Northern Europe. It is confusing where she is living. It is unknown if she even lives in Europe. She could anywhere in the world.
What is interesting is that she has a Central Florida local telephone number. It is assumed she got this telephone number when she visited the United States when she traveled here. However, there are other ways to get local telephone numbers too. Do I believe her? My answer is no.
At some point, she even professed her love towards me early on. Now, I’m in love with this woman. It is interesting to see how fast a scammer can love the victim. She says,”I want to have a baby with you to have a family.” “This will happen when I come to the United States permanently.” She even told me not talk about our relationship with your friends and family. Wow, this is a red flag. Wouldn’t you be excited if you were in a new romantic relationship?
We have been chatting through text messages almost everyday. Here are some of the phases she like use such as “I love you baby,” “I have the man of my life,” “I love you very much,” “ you make me complete – this is coming from the heart,” “you are a special man to me,” “I thank God for the day I met you,” “I’m committed to you honey, my heart belongs to you,” “you mean the whole universe to me,” “I’m not here to play games with you my love,” and much more. These phases are used over and over. It felt like a talking to a caring robot. I prefer a real person to a robot.
Here is where the scam comes into play. She said, “…I want you to get the card for me to fix my phone.” Bonnie claims she is having cell phone problems because the phone keeps going on/off. It is true? I think it is made up. If you were having phone problems you would go down to your local cell phone service provide shop and have them take a look at it. Why would you ask someone in another country for help? This is very odd. She did not have any common sense.
For this article, I was played a victim and I knew it from the start. I wanted to see what would happen when a victim gives some money towards the scammer. Here is what happened. I told Bonnie I was not comfortable doing this transaction. She insisted that I have to trust her. Then she directed me into buying her a prepaid gift card. She said they have them at all retail stores in the United States.
Then I went to my local big box retail store and purchased a $50 pre-paid Steam gift card. I had never heard of Steam gift card before. It is a common pre-paid gift card mostly used by scammers because it is hard to trace. Don’t be surprised if the scammers ask for other gift cards too such as Google Play, Onevanilla, Amazon card, and Ebay. All these gift cards can be purchased at your local retail stores too.
When I purchased the gift card, here is what happened. She told me to photograph the Steam gift card and store receipt and send it via text to her. She got it and claimed it did not work. Well, it won’t work because it takes two hours to process the card to make it active. She probably knew that already. Next, Bonnie directed me to go back to the store and complain that it did not work. This is where possible fraud comes into play. Trying to return a used gift card for your money back. Luckily, I knew what was going on. I did return to the retail store to ask a few questions. No, I did not return this used gift card to the store.
After the first gift card was purchased, she continued to put pressure on me send buy another gift card and send it to her. Because of this bad experience I told her, I’m uncomfortable purchasing anymore gift cards at this time. Next, she was trying to figure out how she was going to gain my trust. Then on one night she called me on the phone from another phone number. I answered the phone and it was Bonnie. She did not say her name as claimed. She said this is your honey in a soft voice. She almost sounded Asian or a foreigner. I told her I don’t know any Honey. Next, I texted her to see if that was her. It was and she confirmed it. This was the only phone call I got from her throughout our online dating relationship.
Another trick in the book is showing the scammer’s family photo. She and her daughter posed together in a photo. It is unknown if that was really her daughter and her. She rarely talked about her daughter. I guess she did not find she was important.
Here’s how to get rid of the scammer and end the relationship. Tell the scammer you are broke, strapped for cash, maxed out your credit cards, my bank accounts are frozen, the IRS is auditing me right now, I’m on a budget, I spent everything this week, I don’t want to be a scam victim, I’m not comfortable doing this transaction, I have to pay some bills now, I’m in debt, and much more. Keep repeating the same story line to the scammer. This will lead to an argument. Just stand your ground and don’t give in. Then Bonnie said several things such as “you don’t love me anymore,” “you don’t trust me,” and “I’m not trying to go against your wishes.” Eventually, they will get tired of pressuring you into giving them more money and or gift cards. They will decide to move on to the next person to be a victim.
Bonnie’s last text messages to me was [This is not about money or anything this is about you not willing to help and you know what it. You are not gonna help me now then I don’t need you.] [Go back to Tinder and get yourself a woman who deserves you.] Wow! Does that hurt. This is lady doesn’t know how treat as a gentlemen right. I told her gifts come from the heart and are never requested. I sensed that she was getting tired of pressuring me to buy her more gift cards and wanting more money. Do I expect her to contact me again? Probably not! Time to move on to a real lady and not a scammer.
Finally, I had never experience this type of dating scam before. I wrote this article to educate the general public what to watch out for so you don’t become a scam victim. No one should ever have to deal with these types of people. My opinion is that these are career scammers and this is there only way they make their money for a living. This is not a true occupation.
When you know your being scammed, please start collecting evidence such as screen shots of your text messages, photos of scammer, screen shot of their Tinder profile with photo, and write up a profile on them. This will help Local/State/Federal investigators track down these scammers and bring them to justice.
Now you know how to spot the red flags of a dating scam. Be safe and always be on guard. For assistance with your dating scam please visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/what-you-need-know-about-romance-scams
Notice to all scammers: Please know whom your dealing with before trying to scam a victim. Stay away from Security Officers, Law Enforcement Officers, Private Investigators, Journalists, Attorneys, and anyone else. You can play this scam game. You’ll eventually be caught and prosecuted to the full existent of the law. Go find yourself a real job for an honest living and be a good productive citizen.
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Source of information: First hand experience