Sounds scary, no???
Now, why with all the warnings we have every day in the media, friends, and the news, are we still becoming a victim of this?
Before going to the numbers, let’s narrow the areas where scams and fraud happen.
SCAM IN NUMBERS…………………..LOVE HURTS
#1 Business email / accounts compromised
#2 Investment /Scam Fraud
#3 Confidence / Romance Fraud
#4 Personal Data Breach
Not nice numbers to look at, but there is a BIG behavior connotation behind them: EMOTIONS AND GREED.
Either we get an email offering easy money, a new match, or a lost relative who left you a lot of money, all of these options have 1 thing in common, you.
It doesn’t matter how intelligent, well-educated, or behaved we are, we have basic needs.
In the second and third place in the 2021 list of fraud, we don’t find too many differences- these 2 are not too far away from each other -Fraud-Love scams-, usually come from the same place.
Either people who you know get their media profile copied and duplicated and contact you as “Hey Susan, it’s been a long time”, or “You know I have this awesome investment, and I don’t want you to miss the opportunity.” Hey, it’s coming from someone I know; why not?
I have had that done to me, as a victim and as a mirror profile. As a victim, I loved it; as you can see below, I screenshot the profiles, lured the scammers, and played with them until they gave me all the info I needed.
Now, as a mirror profile, what scared me the most was the lack of awareness from people who fell for the scammer. Out of 120 people contacted by the scammer only 5, yes only 5, reached out to me with the question, “Susan is this you?”. FREAKY SCARY. Thank God nobody got any money taken, but I do know how much damage that can do to your image, respect, and confidence.
A couple of things to do not to become a victim
I spoke with a Former FBI Cyber Security Expert, and some of the advice was, well, take a look.
If you like to indulge yourself with some……………. adult entertainment online, use an old iPad, and don’t click on links or downloads. Don’t use this device for emails, checking your bank accounts, or any information that can be used against you.
Emails asking for money in any way: don’t open them.
It’s a new form of extorsion-They sent an email saying they put a Trojan in your computer. That they see you either cheating on your spouse, stealing money from your boss, or watching porn and they are going to release that info to friends and family. THIS IS A SCAM- don’t touch this email. Flag as Spam and erase after. This helps the algorithm of your email provider to detect future emails like this.
DM from people you know. If someone that you know or you follow sends you a second request, do not follow. After you accept, they ask you for information or send money, invest in crypto, or watch a link or video. This is the way they get to your phone or computer.
Most people have their phones and computers linked, and when scammers get to one, they get to everything.
If you see or feel that something is wrong with a DM or email, contact the person you know in another way other than the one you are being contacted with the suspicious message. Always let the person know this is happening, maybe you get it, but someone else can get scammed.
Dating apps are a HUGE source for scammers. We interviewed a few victims, and the consequences – regarding money, relationships, and psychological damage- are devastating.
If you get a request or invite to make easy money, it is not easy, it is a scam. If they don’t want to talk on the phone, the app, or don’t want to show their faces in a video before you meet, be aware.
The truth is, if someone you haven’t met wants money from you, even before they meet you, is this a person you want to be with?
Another easy scam is the boyfriend / girlfriend import. What is this??? You meet someone from another country, and they ask you for money, nice clothing, visa, a passport, and plane tickets. How does this work, and why does it work? When you are going to get a visa to visit the US, they ask you if you know anyone, family, or love relationship, as this visa falls in a different category and it needs to be filed differently. It is complicated and requires a LOT OF PAPERWORK. So, this is how they lure you, “send me the money, and I will say I am going only to visit. Just send me the money through this X person, and they will do this as a favor to me.” And then, you lose your money and self-confidence as this person never existed. They are real companies doing this; check the references before.
The one I like the most is, I am with Doctors Without Borders, and I’m going to save the world, 2 weeks later, they send a pic of a person in the hospital, they lost their wallet, documents and they need you to send money…………………….really? I know an older woman  that got scammed by a guy  for thousands of dollars. When I asked her why she did it, and why didn’t she talk to me before, she said, “I wanted it to be true”.
The numbers are not clear, but the FBI estimates that only 10 to 20% of the cases are reported as people feel ashamed of these scams, and that is the reason scammers can keep doing it.
We interviewed victims, people whose identity was used to scam, and experts in the topic. The pandemic and the isolation helped this to happen.
Everyone can be a victim!!! If you are one or know someone who is going through this, contact your local FBI office. The general site has a section for fraud and the office to contact locally.
These online scams are costing the US and the world more than money. Protect yourself.
We have a class coming up in April about dating smart and an easy divorce guide. In this class, you will find experts, victims, and professionals helping you to navigate a safe way to relate to others. We were amazed when we interviewed people whose profiles and pics were used to scam others.
Separated, recently divorced men or women, over the age of 50 are the # 1 target, and inexperience is the main reason. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living when the heart is involved, anyone can be a victim.
Nothing to be ashamed of, but get informed.
In our team, we have an In-House-Lawyer, experts, Psychologists, Doctors, Former 3-letter agents, you name it, all of us are here to help you.
If you want to learn more or get a consultation, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our in-house-lawyer will set up a discovery call.
We are here for you. You don’t need to do this alone.
See you next week.