Simply do not give money to people you encounter on the internet that is a definite NO, NO!
You may well meet your soulmate on the net, many people do indeed meet every day, and however it is true that there are also some dishonest people out there looking to take advantage of you. You have surely heard the many well-known tales of people being “gouged” (swindled) on the net for greater or lesser amounts.
It normally starts by two people exchanging via, Facebook, Skype or an online dating application, then step by step the crook or the fraud gains your trust, the future victim thinks that they have found true love. Then it happens, the so called soulmate asks you to help them out financially, as they are going through some financial difficulties, and could you (the to be victim) help by sending some money, we all know that it’s an easy trap to fall into, after all everyone needs money these days!
What happens next is an easy story to follow; the victim (code named “Mugu” by the crooks equally code named “Grazers” which is self-explanatory) is now convinced to have found true love, sends the money to help out the loved one especially when the promise of being paid back has repeatedly been made and promised.
Now what comes is classic crook behavior, slowly the communication fades out until the so called loved one disappears completely, and any hope of getting your money back has gone forever, and so has your dream of love. Although on our blog we have mentioned this phenomena a few times, the crimes and the gullibility continue along with the deception.
The cause is that too many online dating sites do not monitor or moderate strictly enough.
Here is what you need to know when dealing with this kind of problem:
- When in love the hormones released by our brains can and do alter our behavior and our thinking, leaving us more vulnerable to acts of stupidity
- The victim seeking love, the most human of our needs, simply wants to believe in the online romance that they have found, unfortunately this combo then opens the doors, to believing in almost any crazy cock and bull story
- Should the victim be suffering from depression then this promise of romance will lift their spirits and be a real confidence booster, with the online chatting taking place essentially in a domestic environment it will encourage trust and confidence
- The crook “grazer” operating from behind a screen or via webcam all of which helps them to hide and control their body language; it goes without saying that if the person was sitting in front of you, you would be able to pick up on deceitful body language and act according, but with the screen as an interface picking up on lies and so on is not easy.
- Whilst the chatting and all is happening the “grazer” now predator starts to work their prey. After a few weeks of this constant “love” communication the “grazer” starts to suggests things like, planning to come to your town, or to meet up etc. etc., and because your hormones are all over the place, you get caught up in the euphoria of love and the excitement of actually meeting and all that that may promise.
- Now comes the scam, the “grazer” has had an unforeseeable disaster happen and can no longer come, unless they can find the money to do so, and this is where the “mugu” falls into the trap by offering to help financially
- In some cultures taking money from a Westerner is perceived as normal as Westerners have loads of money and it can also be considered as part of the post-colonial payback.
- The advice is, don’t fall for it! Steer clear and stay calm someone special is out there somewhere!
Always beware of those who fall in love too quickly, who what to know everything about you, where you work, where you live, what your secrets are, and those whom wish to communicate outside of the moderators channels. Watch out also for those who claim to have been in the country for a long while but whose English or local language skills are really poor, it has come to light that many grazers are located as coming from the Ivory Coast or Nigeria, although not everyone is out to get you or your money, but remember to go slow and keep things at a pace that feels comfortable to you.
Some tips for good timeline:
- Don’t fall in love day one
- Get to know each other via the online chat line first, should they not wish to meet or come to a first date, take that as a warning sign
- Do not add them to your Facebook friends, keep your life private
- Try not to talk about your financial situation or salary
- Never send naked photos of yourself
- If you feel bold enough find a way to talk about grazers and underline that you would never send money to anyone you did not know
- Never promise gifts or plane tickets, just don’t do it
- Do your homework, use Google images to check his information, see if their photo comes up on any other websites, and check out their profile on Facebook too. There is no harm in being safe!
- Remember to tell your friends and family as they can give you feedback from a more neutral point of view
- Finally, trust your instincts and listen to your gut feeling and keep your head on your shoulders