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  • Geebo 9:01 am on February 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , oil rig, , ,   

    Romance scams ramp up in time for Valentine’s Day 

    By Greg Collier

    Recently, the FBI issued a warning urging citizens to be wary of romance scams in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. For new readers, romance scams typically consist of scammers luring their targets into false romantic relationships as a way to steal money. The scammers usually pose as oil rig workers, military members stationed overseas, or international business people. This is done in order to have a built-in excuse as to why the scammer can’t meet their victim face to face. While anybody can fall for a romance scam, elderly women are frequently the targets for this scam. While the FBI is warning about Valentine’s Day as a possible flashpoint for romance scams, they can happen at any time.

    For example, a woman in Minnesota is said top have recently lost $57,000 in a romance scam. While it’s not clear who the scammer was posing as, the scammer kept giving the woman excuses as to why they couldn’t meet face to face. Moreover, the scammer would use these excuses to solicit more money from their victim. In one instance, the scammer said they made it halfway to Minnesota, but fell ill before they could get there. Another time, the scammer said they made it to the Twin Cities, but needed more money for gas. When nobody showed up, the woman realized she had been scammed.

    Another recent romance scam happened in Pennsylvania, where a woman lost $5000. She met a scammer on a chat app posing as an oil rig worker in the Gulf of Mexico. The scammer claimed they had lost their debit card and needed money. The victim ended up mailing $5000 in cash to an address in Ohio.

    It’s believed that many romance scams go unreported because the victims are too embarrassed to come forward, which is the main reason why this scam continues to proliferate.

    If you ever meet a potential romantic partner online, the first thing you should do is a reverse image search on their picture. Scammers will often steal pictures from someone’s social media who has no idea their picture is being used in a romance scam. If your prospective partner is being cagey about meeting in person, that is usually a good indicator that they’re trying to scam you. Lastly, if they ask for money before meeting, that’s a huge red flag indicating a scam.

    If you know someone who may be a victim in a romance scam, it’s often difficult to convince them that they’re being scammed. It may help if you show them this blog post or any of the articles out there that detail how a romance scam works.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , oil rig, , , ,   

    Woman poses as man in $500,000 romance scam 

    $4,000,000 stolen in romance scam

    By Greg Collier

    One of the earliest memes that shows the anonymity of the internet was not even first published on the internet. It was from one of the famous cartoons in New Yorker Magazine from 1993. It was a cartoon of a dog sitting at a computer talking to a smaller dog while saying “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. 28 years later, that cartoon is still relevant. Even today, when many people are using their real names on social media, you can still slip into a false identity just about anytime you want. For one woman from South Carolina, her online persona was that of a male Texas oil rig worker for the purposes of a romance scam.

    The 68-year-old woman recently pleaded guilty to elder abuse and theft. She posed as the oil rig worker on Facebook and approached a 74-year-old widow from Wichita, Kansas. After the scammer convinced the woman to be in an online relationship, the money requests started coming in. The phony oil rig worker told the widow that ‘he’ wanted to live with the widow when he retired, but needed money. The widow eventually sent multiple cashier’s checks that totaled $532,000. The widow’s family told her she was being scammed, but she didn’t want to believe it. When investigators finally caught up with the scammer, the scammer claimed the checks were for a business arrangement.

    Anybody on the internet can tell you they’re an oil rig worker, that doesn’t necessarily make it true. The position of oil rig worker is often used in romance scams because it’s difficult to verify and gives scammers a reason to not communicate by phone or meet in person. The same can be said for a military member who says they’re stationed overseas or an international businessman.

    This story also dispels the stereotype of the overseas scammers, who tend to be young and male. A scammer can be from anywhere, including your own neighborhood.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , oil rig, orlando, ,   

    Oil rig romance scams hit Florida 

    By Greg Collier

    According to local news reports, a number of romance scam victims have come forward recently in the Orlando-area of Florida. If you’re not familiar with the romance scam, the scam targets older people who may be widows or widowers, or who don’t have a partner for whatever reason. The scammers will approach the victim on social media or through dating websites and apps. The supposed romantic interest will claim to either work in a remote location, possibly overseas, or they’re stationed overseas with the military. A romance scammer will never meet face to face with a victim including the avoidance of video chat apps like Skype and Zoom. The scammers will then continually ask the victims for money under the false pretense of some kind of emergency.

    A 60-year-old woman from Florida, recently found herself out of $11,000 after falling for one of these scams. The scammer claimed to be working on an oil rig and used the profile picture of a somewhat famous actor but not someone as obvious as Brad Pitt or George Clooney. The woman allowed the scammer to deposit three supposed paychecks into her bank account so he could pay his daughter’s nanny back in Houston. After sending the payments to the supposed nanny, the woman’s bank discovered the checks were fake and since she used her own account she owed the bank that $11,000.

    As we have said in the past, the romance scam is one of those scams that could victimize just about anyone. We have seen the scam hurt people from those who have refused to admit they were scammed, to CEOs who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the scam. It can affect anyone from any economic or educational status. So, when you ask how could anybody be this dumb to fall for a romance scam, these people are not dumb in the least. They’re just in a vulnerable place in their life.

    As always, if you think you or someone you know is the victim of an ongoing romance scam, please show them our posts on romance scams, or direct them to the FTC’s website about romance scam.

     
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