Internet Romance And Love Scams
If you have read any of my other hubs you will notice that a lot of them are related to romance, dating and love life in general.
This is partly due to the analytical approach I take to life, which allows me to be objective in situations which are often very emotional, and partly due to the fact that a huge number of internet searches are carried out daily on these topics.
For me, this translates to advertising revenue as I get paid for adverts you see when you read my hubs. To me, this is perfectly ethical; you essentially get free advice, I get paid for giving it by a third party.
It is this, though, that first brought to my attention the huge number of scams and criminal organisations that are set up to capitalise on this huge amount of traffic and the emotionally vulnerable people that it consists of. The difference between them and writers like me; they want your money.
They are (generally) not interested in helping you, providing you with support or finding your perfect mate. So I decided to compile a brief list of the most common internet scams designed to exploit you when you are at your most vulnerable.
In my opinion, this scam is one of the worst ones. A variation on the Nigerian 419 scam, these cons usually target those who are in middle or later life, as they often have a large amount of personal savings and also tend to experience difficulty meeting new people due to their lifestyle. This often makes them more vulnerable as they are often more concerned at the prospect of spending their twilight years alone.
These usually involve being contacted by a fake profile on a dating website. After a very short period of conversation/messages, they will usually profess their undying love. This will often be accompanied with wild claims about how much money they make, coupled with personal tragedy (usually dead parents or relatives).
They often ask for money for various reasons, i.e. plane tickets to come meet you, money for hotel bills, immigration fines, visa application, hospital fees and so on. People have lost hundreds of thousands to this type of con.
Most common media: Social networking and dating sites
Method: Fake profile, fake financial problems
Financial Risk: Highest
Love Spell Scams
Not quite as common, and usually not as expensive, this type of fraud is usually African based. My article related to getting your ex back on this site gets at least one comment PER DAY from fraudsters attempting to hock love spells at you. I find this really annoying and whilst I can sympathize with the people writing them to a degree, as they are often from very poor parts of the world, I cannot abide the level of cynicism required to perpetrate this type of scam.
Suffice to say I never approve the comments so you never see them, but you can understand the level of prevalence from this. My article is only on page four of Google, so you can imagine the number other, higher profile sites get.
The comments usually profess to be someone who has used a love spell to get their partner back. They usually claim to be British or American(at least the ones I get do) yet their language and grammar is usually extremely bad. They always claim they have been told to pass around the email address for the “love wizard” as the only payment for his services.
These tricksters get money out of you by asking you to pay for “spell ingredients” which will then be collected and used to cast the spell.
Most common media: Email spam, comments on related articles
Method: Fake testimonial
Financial Risk: Medium
Get your ex back guarantees/books/courses/texts
Whilst some of these are actually genuine therapists, you should be wary of any that give you any guarantee that you will get your ex back. There is no way they can guarantee this.
It is obviously possible to improve your chances, but there is no sure fire method. Do a search in Google; there are hundreds of books out there that claim to have a “secret method” that “guarantees success”.
If this method were such a big secret, why would it be available on hundreds of different sites? If you really do feel that you need help with your relationship, see a professional therapist with a corresponding qualification and regulating body.
At least this way you know you are getting good advice. The difference between a con artist and a professional is usually the promise; a professional would be extremely unlikely to guarantee you they will be successful, and is far more likely to focus on your emotional well being than ridiculous promises of definite success.
Often the books you can buy are poorly written, poorly presented and in some cases contain no useful information. Granted, there are some out there that provide reasonable advice, however it is impossible to know until you have already let go of your cash, and even when the advice is reasonable, it is often just common sense and STILL does not guarantee success.
There are plenty of books available in bookshops giving relationship advice, along with DVD’s and other media, so buy from a reputable vendor, and not these internet cowboys.
Most common media: websites, organic traffic from Google
Method: Fake guarantees of success
Financial Risk: Low-Medium-High depending on vendor
Anti Scam Scams
Almost all of the above methods also have websites that include a “scams” section. These will often use similar language as articles and information reporting internet fraud, yet at the end they will then claim that their site is the only one that is not a scam.
Most of the “love spell” scam comments usually include at least one line claiming “no money needed” or how they had been scammed but finally found a bona fide spell caster. In some cases, there are whole websites which claim to be anti fraud sites, which then turn out to be fraudsters themselves.
This means that potential victims who are suspicious often end up being directed to a scam site anyway due to the huge number of Google hits they get.
For example, if you type “get your ex back scam” into Google, the first site you come across that is NOT trying to sell you anything is at the bottom of page four and is actually MY OWN article on the subject. The only reason it is included is because I commented at the bottom warning spammers that they will not have their comments approved.
If you think you may be a victim of one of these scams, please, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE THEM ANY MONEY.
Hope this has been helpful, and that if you are considering an internet romance or love advice that you somehow have to pay for, you are now reconsidering.