Electronic seduction. | Various | DW Arabic window into the lives of celebrities and funny events | DW

Resorting to romance scams by impersonating a fake person on social media and targeting the victim to trick them, or what’s called “phishing,” is a common form of online fraud.

Electronic plagiarism.. with love

The process of “cyber spoofing” involves pretending on social media or dating apps that the scammer is in love with the victim, so that she becomes emotionally dependent on him. The fact that the scammer does not appear face to face with the victim is usually a well-known warning sign, since the actual meeting never takes place.

Eventually, there will come a time when the scammer, the fraudster, will claim via the Internet that he is facing financial problems and that he is in dire need of money to pay for, for example, a necessary medical operation.

The scammer can also tell a fake story about having stolen bags, lost passport, unpaid wages, unpaid bills and many other stories where your imagination is not limited.

While female (or those who claim to be female) scammers often try to seduce their victims with pornography or sexual suggestions, male romance scammers resort to different methods. They often pretend to be doctors, soldiers or successful pilots, according to consumer website Watchlist Internet.

For the details that appear on their profiles, criminals most often use pictures that do not belong to them and that they get from the Internet. Regardless of whether the criminals are men or women, they feel particularly successful when they say that they do business from abroad, according to the Consumer Protection Service.

“Electronic” seduction

In this scenario, scammers also prefer to text or chat with their victim online to offer more seduction.

At some point, a soldier who is supposed to be on assignment overseas will ask for money by transferring money to him because he does not have access to his own savings. It is at this point that alarm bells should ring for the victim.

Indeed, the pinnacle of this type of fraud is reached when a fraudster posing as a Russian astronaut on the International Space Station manages to convince a 65-year-old Japanese woman that she does not have enough money to buy a ticket back to Earth. And showing pictures of space and promising to marry her as soon as he returns to Earth, the lady opens her heart and wallet, writes the technology site “Gizmodo”.

The woman transfers a total of 4.4 million Japanese yen (just under €30,000 or $30,000), in five installments, until she becomes increasingly suspicious of the imaginary astronaut’s increasing financial demands, prompting her to call the police and report him. .

The question is, what should anyone who has online relationships be careful about? At the very least, one should always be skeptical when the question of asking for money is brought up, as advised by the police. That is, as soon as he is asked to advance money for something in the future.

Fraudsters often resort to adventure stories about princes and golden treasures to trick their victims into offering them money, often claiming they are staying abroad.

As a rule, criminologists advise that we never transfer money to strangers we have not met or do not know personally, nor accept any other requests from them.

AH/AJM (dpa)

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