True stories of internet dating

He even thanked Phoebe for bringing it to his attention.

Phoebe decided to continue her relationship, despite the evidence that the man she was seeing wasn’t who he claimed to be. “I told her what she was getting into, and what to expect as the scam developed - but she went ahead with it.”You may be thinking “What’s the worst that can happen? In reality, these scams are real money spinners for the people behind them, and the perpetrators often extract thousands from their victims.

In the course of her investigations into fake profiles like Peter’s, Melanie has even found two women on Facebook fighting over the same (fake) lover.

Once these scammers get into a relationship with a victim, they gain their trust by first asking for something small - say, or to cover a cash shortfall over a weekend, or some other unexpected expense.

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Melanie informed Phoebe that things didn’t look good, and went ahead and tried to verify the identity of Peter by running a thorough background check.

Dating scams are getting more and more sophisticated.And, of course, be aware of common signs that a social media profile is fake.Look for a lack of family members posting on the user’s profile, few or no past posts about common life events, and multiple profiles using the same photos.According to Melanie, they work in groups of up to 12, creating networks of fake profiles that support each other and provide the network with legitimacy.These networks of scammers call their victims “clients,” and often communicate with many people simultaneously.

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