Romance scams, how they work and how to recognize them

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In a recent episode of "Who has seen?" a section has been dedicated to online romance scams, a disturbing phenomenon that continues to claim victims and is seeing an increase in victims. Specifically, the cases of Gianfranco e Simone, two men deceived by people who exploited their search for love for extortion significant sums of money, promising a love that didn't exist.

Many think “how did they fall for it“, but in reality the scam it is much more well researched than it seems. Let's see in more detail how they work and how to avoid them.

How the first contact happens

Le romance scams online are a type of deception that occurs predominantly through the Internet, especially on dating sites or even via social media. The scammers they create fake profiles and build seemingly authentic relationships to emotionally manipulate their victims.

Often to contact they are completely realistic people, with many photos, a family and emotional life. To recognize them, try to search for the person's image on Google Images by clicking on the square icon. If you get results with different names, then you are about to fall for a scam!

How romance scams usually develop

Relationship building

The scammer approaches the victim online, often presenting himself as an ideal person, attentive and affectionate. Start building an emotional bond by communicating regularly and showing great interest in the victim's life.

Creating a deep emotional connection

Over the time, the scammer gains the victim's trust, creating a strong emotional connection. They can talk about marriage, about life together, and other future plans, making the relationship very intense and serious.

A fictitious emergency

After establishing a bond, the scammer invents an emergency situation, such as a medical, legal or financial problem, for which you urgently need money.

The request for money

The request for financial aid is presented as temporary and urgent. The victim, driven by the desire to help the loved one, is often induced to send money, sometimes in large quantities.

Other times the request happens because some bureaucratic body it is preventing the person from moving and reaching the cheated person.

Prolongation of the scam over time

Once the victim sends the money, the scammer he can invent new emergencies to get more funds. This cycle can continue until the victim realizes the scam or runs out of financial resources.

In all these phases the scammer will always postpone meeting dates o he will always say that he cannot meet with the victim because there is an emergency o they prevented the meeting with the bureaucracy. Even in this case he will ask for more money.

Request a meeting in person at the expense of the person you are talking to, is the most immediate way to verify the nature of the relationship and whether it is a scam.

The disappearance of the scammer

Eventually, the scammer disappears, often blocking the victim on all communication channels, leaving behind a financially and emotionally devastated individual.

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