Stolen Identity in Online Romance Scams
A person's stolen identity can very easily be stolen by scammers in the online dating world. It does not matter how well known or how reputable the website is. It happens on Match, Tastebuds, Zoosk, eHarmony, and many more. The innocent person searching for the love of their life, so eager to be special, is just about willing to believe anything the other party tells them after the discussion turns romantic. To the innocent seekers, the discovery that their love behind the awesome photos and even videos exchanged was not the reality is hard to accept. Who would be so cruel and mean to do this?
The scammer. The scammer can be an attractive woman or man, but more likely a person from a West African country like Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon etc. They could be from Russia. Imagine the moment you discover that the person you are texting intimately with is the same sex as you are! OMG. The scammers, if they are good, should all get Oscars. They are very well crafted to get money from you. They play upon your need for a love connection on the emotional level. This clouds all logical thinking in you when money is requested for a reason that could be valid, though it is not. The reason could be small or much larger. It's simple to wire money using Money Gram, Western Union, Ria, and others. Intimate talk is effective to get you to send money.
The problem is that time plays against the scammer because it is all a lie. The longer the lie continues, the more likely the scammer will start to lose track of the lies told and will stumble in facts. Telling the truth the is easy- just do it. Maintaining a lie over a long period of time, such as a month or more, is way hard, if the victim recalls facts previously said.
The most popular photos scammers use to lure men are from Ann Angel's collection. She is aware that her photos, identity, have been stolen, yet, powerless to change that. Even on her website she warns her readers. The problem is that even the scammer you think they are, may not be in reality. They often change her photo online or what they send to you. They may have multiple names using the same photo, which may or may not actually be them. The real person in the photo may have no clue their photos are being used by scammers until an event triggers this knowledge. So, if the scammer wants to exchange photos, think twice if you are an attractive person. The photos you send could be used by the scammer later on an online dating website under a different name. This is totally possible. Scammers send out hundreds of emails to strangers in the USA and Europe. They are from attractive men or women that you do not know. The just want to say "Hi", and just want to talk, along with an attractive photo. The scammers know that even if 5% of the 500 are replied to, it could amount to money if they work the victim smoothly. With exchange rates as they are with USD and African\Russian currency, they can live a nice life if USD are sent. If you have been scammed, your contact information may be given to other scammers in that area and the whole scenario begins again, except this time, you are much more savvy about it. You can "play" them as well because you know what they want. Even if you refuse to send money, many scammers will continue with you and every so often, try to get you to send money. They are patient. As long as you do not given any credit card data, bank numbers, you are fairly safe. If you demand to see their passport or health card ID, you can verify it with the embassy or agency or even legitimate news reporting agencies in that country. Just send an email, state the reason, and send an image of the document. They are more than willing to help.
Online romance scams can happen without you knowing about it at first. Everything seems real and valid. But over a course of weeks, you may see differences in the photos they send you and their passport photo, or just others sent. Look at the physical characteristics, not just hair color, The human eye is hard to fool if the nose or eye shape etc., are different no matter what the scammer keeps telling you. If you have sent money, all wire transfers require ID and signature to be picked up. Request to see their ID and an image of the signature on the money wire transfer receipt. You might find they refuse to do this. So, refuse to send more money. For instance, if the scammer name is Chelsea Boamah, the receipt should show this reasonably, not just some signature that could not be her.
Scammers steal another's identity from less popular online dating websites also. There are tons of them, so you never know if the person you are falling in love with is actually them! You can use FaceTime, if both have iphones, if not, Skype is good also, but videos can fool you. What you need to prove their identity is something "live" so that what you see and hear is the same as the photos you have been seeing. Many scammers post on Facebook, MySpace, Linked In and so on. The photo used is the same, yet the name is different.
My Chelsea Boamah Experience
In my own experience, I met Chelsea Boamah on Tastebuds dating site. After some research using, images.google.com, the photos she sent me had been used by many others because she had used Ann Angel photos and used some of her own (I think). She had several accounts under different names on FB and Linked In. As time went on for over a month, she or he, began to stumble on where they were born and I demanded to see proof. They had used many of Angel's photos and they did not always seem to be the same person, subtle differences were detected. They claimed to be an American, so I demanded to see the passport. They sent an image that seemed legitimate. I sent it in to the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana for verification. They told me that she was not telling the truth. Just as the scammer works you with emotion in order to get money, the victim should work and research whatever they tell you on the Internet in that city and country. If they say they lost their belongings in a fire, you can verify it by going to online news media or news agencies online. In my case, was Chelsea Boamah's identity also stolen by this scammer because she is attractive and is she even aware of it? Or, are the photos of her actually her and she is the real scammer behind the Ann Angel photos etc.?
Online romance is a house of mirrors. It is not always, you get what you see.