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The fraudster’s webcam is mysteriously broken, but they heap praise on their victim and, with a combination of flattery and persistence, persuade them to take off their clothes or perform other intimate acts. They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online unless the victim sends money.
Once the victim complies, the cycle begins anew, with demands increasing until the victim finally refuses.
So to keep you safe from heartbreak and scams this Valentine’s Day, we have put together a list of common scams and some tips to help you stay safe.
In this scam, a stranger contacts you through social channels and claims a common interest or a mutual connection, for example, from an introduction at a wedding or large gathering.
Last year, Russian police arrested two men from Smolensk who pretended to be young, attractive girls stealing the hearts of men in Moscow and then threatening and tricking them into sending large sums of money.
The criminals were found to have taken roughly 1 million Russian rubles (about US ,500) with this scheme.
Also, update your privacy settings to share your photos and posts only with people you really know.
Shame continues to be a reliable way to extort money.
Not everyone looking for love online has the soul and finesse of William Shakespeare — and there’s certainly nothing wrong with not being a native English speaker — but scammers often cross borders electronically in search of new victims, and so truly terrible grammar is a red flag. Native English speakers have a natural cadence when they speak and write that isn’t easily mimicked.
Be suspicious if something seems “off” about the tone or pacing.
If messages and profile descriptions read well, pay attention.
Now, with online dating websites and apps, it has become easy to find a partner — or in this case, a match — even from a different country if you wish.
You can start judging the person by looking at their picture and reading their profile details to see if they might be your type.
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The strategies these fraudsters use are highly sophisticated.” Whitty, whose field is cyberpsychology, has acquired much experience working with victims of romance frauds.