Ghana contractor fraud online dating
The AARP network recommends that from the beginning, dating site members use Google’s “search by image” to see if the suitor’s picture appears on other sites with different names.
If an email from “a potential suitor seems suspicious, cut and paste it into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites,” the network advised.
“These are threads in all confidence schemes,” said Mr.
Cook, now 76, who was swept off her feet starting in July 2011 by attention from a man who called himself Kelvin Wells and described himself as a middle-aged German businessman looking for someone “confident” and “outspoken” to travel with him to places like Italy, his “dream destination.”But very soon he began describing various troubles, including being hospitalized in Ghana, where he had gone on business, and asking Ms. In all, she sent him nearly 0,000, as he apparently followed a well-honed script that online criminals use to bilk members of dating sites out of tens of millions of dollars a year.
Many of those targeted are women, especially women in their 50s and 60s, often retired and living alone, who say that the email and phone wooing forms a bond that may not be physical but that is intense and enveloping.
How many people are snared by Internet romance fraud is unclear, but between July 1 and Dec.
Victims who are looking for romance but find online criminals instead should alert authorities, he said.“It’s imperative for someone who thinks they have been scammed to move quickly and notify the bank and law enforcement authorities,” he said. Despite warnings, the digital version of the romance con is now sufficiently widespread that AARP’s Fraud Watch Network in June urged online dating sites to institute more safeguards to protect against such fraud.
Even so, he admitted, “The chances are not great of seeing that money again.”While some swindlers are local, others are part of international crime rings and are more difficult to track, although, Mr. The safeguards it suggests include using computer algorithms to detect suspicious language patterns, searching for fake profiles, alerting members who have been in contact with someone using a fake profile and providing more education so members are aware of romance cons.