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20 Oct "I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years. " After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams. Let's leave the site: Online. 11 Jul craigslist personals infested with scammers. Sponsor. Info Tracer is a unique background check service that reserches people by EMAIL, NAME or PHONE. They search through the social networks and dating sites databases, to see if a person with such email is registered somewhere. RESEARCH YOUR. 1 Dec Romance scammers are a special class of con artists who use seduction to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. This form of Using promises and sweet words, these scammers convince lonely people to give up money with a smile. Lots of dating sites have systems set up to deal with abuse.

Fraud officers are investigating 30 cases where people looking for partners have been scammed, often pawning jewellery and taking out loans as a result of the elaborate hoaxes. In a typical scam, the fraudster identifies potential victims through a dating site. He then tailors his personality to suit what the victim is looking for, for example a man in the army, and then finds a picture of someone in the military from the internet, which he will use in his profile.

Compliments are usually offered and questions asked click the woman so that the fraudster can ascertain how much money the woman has and whether the scam is worth pursuing. In the vast majority of cases it is women who are the victims, although there has the been the occasional male. The fraudster will aim to take the person offline, to coax them away from the confines of the dating site and continue the relationship via Skype or email.

This is an attempt to isolate the victim, he said, and contact will go from a couple of messages a day to constant emailing.

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In many cases, the scammer will say he is working abroad and wants to meet the victim. But there will be something stopping him, such as a hospital visit. The convicted fraudster Agbonifoayetan posed as a diplomat called Christopher Williams and used a forged United Nations diplomatic card to collect money from two women who had been persuaded that a marine called General James Krulak in one case and General James Raul in the other wanted to move to the UK and marry them.

Miles says that after coaxing the victims offline, the typical fraudster will ask for money after a couple of weeks, initially for small amounts.

He may say he expects to come to the UK in the coming weeks but plans will be interrupted for some reason — such as a hospital bill being more than expected — and more money will be requested. Identifying women who have the money to make the fraud worthwhile is the result of an elaborate series of questions designed to elicit the key financial information. In some cases, the victims may be unknowingly talking to more than one person and being asked a set list of questions.

The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. She sent him a message to see if it was him, asking a question only he would be able to answer.

Victims are typically women aged from their mids to mids and looking for companionship. Their operation can be a large-scale skimming exercise, trying the same fraud on 20 or 30 people at any one time in the hope of securing a victim. The money, when transferred, sometimes goes through UK or US bank accounts — in order to give link scheme some credibility — but frequently ends up in west African countries including Ghana and Nigeria, Miles says.

Some of the scammers operate in the UK and they are highly organised, with many people working together, although there is no evidence of a single overall structure behind the scams, Miles says.

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Among the problems the police face in identifying the fraudsters is the stigma attached to falling for such a scheme. People typically do not believe that they are being scammed, Miles says.

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In one case, a person who reported a scam told the fraudster she had complained to the police only to then try to withdraw the complaint after being talked down by the fraudster. Victims, says Miles, are not stupid and may be working in professional jobs.

He asked them to pay the transfer fees saying they would be reimbursed. Agbonifoayetan and another suspect met the women a number of times to collect the funds.

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She used up her life savings, pawned jewellery, sold her car and took out loans to pay the costs, which were transferred into accounts in Ghana. Police are now seeking a compensation order to recoup some of the money.

And you will be showered with compliments.

6 red flags for online dating scams

The fraudster will typically try to coax you offline away from the security of dating sites so they can isolate you. Some weeks after initiating contact, they will ask for money — possibly for an operation or some administration.

They may say they they are on the cusp of visiting but something always gets in the way. If it is for a medical procedure, what hospital is the operation taking place in? Who is the doctor? Tell others that you are talking to someone online.

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