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“It was a bit difficult - after all, he didn’t know who I was,” Melanie said.Fortunately, it worked out in the end, though: ”.eventually reported the fake profile that the scammers were using to get Phoebe, and it was shut down.”Unfortunately, this isn’t the only scam that you’ll encounter in the world of online dating, but it’s one of the most nefarious.These networks of scammers call their victims “clients,” and often communicate with many people simultaneously.
No longer are fake profiles sparse on details and lacking in the supporting information, friends, or activity that makes them easy to spot. When Phoebe was approached by a soldier based in Afghanistan, she had no idea that she was about to fall victim to one of the most common - and underhanded - dating scams around.
Trolling for victims online “is like throwing a fishing line,” said Special Agent Christine Beining, a veteran financial fraud investigator in the FBI’s Houston Division who has seen a substantial increase in the number of romance scam cases.
“The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be.
For a start, all of his friends weren’t what you’d expect - not many soldiers and not much in the way of family”.
Despite the profile having recent activity, posts from what appeared to be a continuous deployment, and even comments and praise from friends, there were plenty of signs that Peter’s identity had been faked.“You’d at least expect to see plenty of activity from loved ones, as well as posts about important life events like the birth of a niece or nephew, or the birthday of a sibling or parent.” Additionally, the man was claiming to be in his 50s, an appropriate dating age bracket for Phoebe, the client.