Is It True Love Online or Just Another Scam?

Have you found true love online?

The explosion in internet dating apps has provided lots of ways for people who are looking for friendship to connect up. With traditional dating sites like eHarmony and OkCupid, and hook-up apps like Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, Grindr, Match, and Bumble, you don’t have to be lonely or desperate for love to swipe right. Sometimes you just want to find a new friend.
But how do you know that a new friend is someone you can trust? We’ve all heard stories of people who thought they were in love, only to find out that they were being scammed. Here are some romance stories from the Tampa Bay area that have happened recently. Maybe they sound like something you or a friend/family member are going through right now.

The Inheritance Scam

A 45-year-old man, Jim, met a British woman, Sarah, on a popular dating site. They hit it off right away because they seemed to have the same values and interests. They started texting and messaging each other almost daily, sharing pictures through Facebook (never video chatting), and over a year, Jim and Sarah grew closer together; they even talked about wedding plans. Then, one day, the lawyers contacted Jim to inform him of his loved one’s accidental death – devastating — and Sarah had loved him so much that she had already put him in her will. They told him he stood to inherit millions. But, in order for him to receive the inheritance, he needed to pay a processing fee. Five thousand dollars seemed like a small amount when considering the millions of dollars that he would receive once he sent the money. No need to contact a local attorney; the British solicitors could take care of everything. Needless to say, the woman he thought he had been dating for over a year didn’t exist; the solicitors didn’t exist, and neither did the millions. The only thing that was real was the hole in his bank account and the heartbreak (and embarrassment) he experienced when he realized he’d been fooled.

The Credit Card Scam

Anne, a beautiful 70-something widow, met an attractive 50-something bachelor, Patrick, on Google Hangouts. He quickly moved her out of the public meeting into a private messaging area. Anne liked Patrick because he respected her; he didn’t talk sexually (much), and he was a good conversationalist. Pat seemed to be everything she was looking for: moral, handsome, successful, and sensitive. Over the months, Anne grew to trust him and shared lots of personal information with him. She found out lots of things about Pat, too. He had not hooked up with women on the internet before because many women are just gold-diggers. (She wasn’t a gold-digger; she lived quite comfortably on her husband’s pension.) Pat was a creative businessman in two countries with at least four sources of income.

He traveled back and forth quite frequently visiting his markets and even sent Anne pictures of him shaking hands with city officials. This summer, their romance took another step. Pat shared that he was struggling with credit and that there was a good opportunity for him to buy American products and ship them to his markets overseas if he could use an American credit card. Because of the good exchange rate, they were going to make a huge profit. When met by Anne’s reluctance, Pat became forceful and insistent. Anne eventually gave in, but fortunately shared her experience with a friend who encouraged her to contact her credit card company. She canceled the credit card and contacted Sig14 Investigations to find out if he was real. Pat was real alright; a real scammer.

The Overseas Romance

Judy is an intelligent, resourceful businesswoman in Tampa who has been corresponding with a para-military instructor overseas. Robert said he taught anti-terrorism skills to US military personnel in middle eastern countries. (Pretty impressive!) Judy and Robert found each other through Plenty of Fish, a dating website that has had plenty of problems with Bots and scams, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find true love. At least that’s what Judy thought. Over the past year, Judy has sent Robert over $10,000 to help him with transitioning out of his company. Seems he was trapped overseas and couldn’t get home. Even though most dating websites warn against the “Military Scam,” Judy ignored the warnings because of the strong bond and trust she felt with Robert. Only after receiving a bogus check from Robert that shut down her bank account did Judy realize that she had been a victim.

A Year Building Trust

It’s amazing to me how patient these scam artists are. These are just a few examples of scammers who are willing to spend over a year building trust before pulling the trigger. They know that with time comes intimacy. The longer they build their persona, the more likely someone is going to share personal information and finances with them. They wait until they are certain that they can spring the trap.

Do you know someone who is in an online relationship that may turn predatory? Have they already sent money or shared financial information with someone they have never met in person? Do they have a hard time believing that their “special friend” could do something to hurt them? Let Sig14 Investigations help. We’ll find out if the person on the other end of the text is real or just someone taking advantage of them.

Contact Sig14 For More Information About Our Tampa Private Investigator

You need to act now to save a friend or family member and stop the extortion. Tampa Private Investigator Kenneth Stevens is the answer. Sig14 is a team of local, qualified investigative professionals who can start work on a case fast and get real results.

If you have a feeling that a Romance Scam is happening to you or someone you love, you should contact Sig14 Investigations for help. Kenneth Stevens has more than 35 years’ experience in law enforcement and private investigation services.

Our close relationship with Florida law courts, as well as membership in the FL Association of Licensed Investigators, gives us added advantages. Call us today and discover why Sig14 Investigations is the most trusted Tampa private detective.