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Internet Dating Tips - A Typical Scammer Scenario by John Abbot & Member

When it comes to Internet Dating or Social Networking, whether you are trying to meet people who live in your own home town, across your country or, in the case of on the other side of the world, one thing you are likely to encounter and need to protect yourself from is a Scammer. What follows is a letter that was sent by a member in reporting a Scammer he discovered on CLM. We wanted to publish this as an article for everyone to read because this is a classical case of a Scammer trying to get money, and the way it was handled by our member was exactly the way it should be handled. Please read carefully and take heed.

While we are doing everything possible to keep Scammers away, there will always be the occasional one who sneaks through the system and you need to watch out for it. And when you do encounter a Scammer here please report it to us and provide copies of any messages or chats in which the Scammer asked for money, tried to lure you to a Scammer website or tried to get you to pay for sex or cybersex.

Here is the member’s letter slightly edited for typos or to reduce the length, add some clarity or protect his confidentiality. We wish to thank him for letting us share this with you:

Beautiful Chinese woman or nefarious Scammer? Maybe both.

Visit Renhongwang in Scammer Prison - Click on Photo.

“Regarding member name Renhongwang:  I just joined your site and was not so surprised to see this member here.  I met her about a month ago on another dating site (where) she immediately wanted to correspond via email so "we can get to know each other so well".

After just 2 or 3 emails, she said she was in love with me and wanted to come to the USA to stay with me for two months, to see how I really lived and be sure we were a good match. She wanted me to send her 1000.00 USD to cover the cost of her passport and visa. I received this email on the weekend, and she wanted me to send the money on the following Monday, so she could start the process and we could begin our life together.  She did not ask, but almost demanded this just after knowing her for about a week! I replied to her that I wanted to wait and know each other better, and build a good base before she came. And I told her that financially I it would be difficult to send her 1000.00 USD right away.

In her reply email she told me that she loved me, told her family and friends about me, put in for her two month vacation at work (??!!), and that she knows I have the money - so send it!

My reply was that the internet is full of scammers, and that it really makes her look bad to ask for this money, especially after I had told her my wishes. She did not respond again for a few days, but when she did she assured me she was honest and really loved me, and was anxious to start our life, and again ask for the money.

This went on over the course of 3 weeks. I was 99% sure she was scamming, but I had to be certain. So I called her bluff and told her that I had some friends in China, and they recommended a very good travel agency that can process her passport and visa for a very good price. I told her that they would email her to get her info, then I would pay the travel agency directly.

Her response to this was that she MUST use the travel agency her boss recommended, or she could lose her job. She again demanded I send HER the money right away, otherwise we will have to be only friends. After this reply I discontinued contact with her.

This member was removed from the other dating site no doubt because she was asking members for money. That site only removes members due to such abuses. I have no doubt she is on your site to continue her scamming, evil ways. She has photos of a beautiful woman (really beautiful), and she comes across in her profiles as very traditional, sweet, family oriented, and sincere. But she is nefarious!

I hope this helps keep your site clean.”

In a follow up letter received from the member after I advised we would like to publish his reporting letter he added the following information:

“When we first met, Renhong gave me a cell phone number and told me I could call her anytime. At first this made me feel she was genuine, which I am sure was her intention. I called her once that first week, and there seemed to be nothing suspicious. We had a good conversation, and talked about what we were looking for in life. Which again was to build my trust in her.

But soon she asked for the money, and the red flag went up. After I emailed her about scamming, she offered to send me her Chinese ID card to prove she was who she said she was. This was obviously another ploy to make herself look honest, but it was already too late - she had said that she loved me in just a short time, AND she ask for money, so my radar was up and running. But I still hoped to give her the benefit of doubt, just in case she may have been sincere. But, I was not going to give her any money.

I soon knew for sure she was scamming, and probably was a professional thief as well. But I still I wondered why she gave me her cell phone and offered her id card, since these are traceable bits of evidence. I realized that she most likely stole some poor woman's purse with her id card, cell phone, and possibly a digital camera with photos stored in memory. The authorities would have no way to trace anything back to the guilty party.

So the lesson here is that DO NOT BE BLIND to the tricks these people will pull to get your money. They are good, and have a lot of tools they pull out to get your cash...including offering cell phone numbers and id cards. Trust your instincts and never send anyone money, no matter how good looking or how honest they appear to be.”

I just want to add a few points to this member's letter.

1. Most Chinese women are very honest, but like everywhere else, there are still lots of dishonest people and they are the ones who are trying to get at your money.

2. In China a person can buy a fake Chinese ID card for about 20 RMB (yes, that is $3 USD) which will be more than good enough to trick any foreigner and will also pass for most local commercial matters, so they can also use that fake ID to obtain a new phone number everyday if they choose to, and of course there will be no way for authorities to track them.

3. In many cases the person you think is a beautiful Chinese woman is actually a Nigerian man, or a Russian hag or even an American couple (or just about anyone else you might imagine).  Hence our number one rule of Online Dating – always have a webcam chat very early in the relationship. In that chat make sure the person matches the photos on her profile and appears to be who she says she is. This does not guarantee that the person is not trying to Scam you, but it eliminates about 95% of the likelihood. Smart Scammers will not use their own photos on their profiles because then it is too easy for them to be caught by authorities.

Again here are some basic rules to follow:

1. Always have a webcam chat before you even start to trust anyone.

2. Never send money to someone you have only met online, even if you have had a webcam chat. Meet them in person first before deciding to trust them that much. The moment they ask for money prepare to protect yourself – the chances are instantly very high that they are not genuine but are Scamming you.

3. If you are going to pay for something for them, such as an airline ticket, visa costs, etc. find an independent means of paying it directly to the supplier. Do not accept her version of the travel agent to send the money to, or the Visa lawyer, etc. Go on the internet and find a real person on your own. If you need to, ask us for help.

4. Once you’ve offered to provide an airline ticket, or to send her visa fees to an authority of your choice, if she comes up with any excuse why you must send the cash to her, RUN!!  It’s time to move on to someone you can believe in.

From: Original         Author: John Abbot & Member         Time: 3/5/2010 4:20:35 PM

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