Gransnet forums


when romance turns to finance

(73 Posts)
infoman Thu 08-Oct-20 09:46:04

Been watching BBC as regards to some one who was duped out of a lot of money when their "new partner" starting spewing out all the sob stories for money.
Please be careful,we all work a lifetime to have a better future,
please don't let any one take that away from any of us.

vampirequeen Thu 08-Oct-20 09:53:12

The minute they ask for money alarm bells should ring. I met a chap online who seemed very nice. We chatted for weeks. He was a bridge engineer working in Nigeria and I was a primary school teacher. Suddenly I got a sob story about how he'd knocked down a seven year old girl outside a school and if he couldn't raise the money for her operation then she'd lose her leg. I told him he'd picked the wrong person to ask for money and surprise surprise I never heard from him again.

Witzend Thu 08-Oct-20 10:06:49

I once saw on TV an evidently intelligent woman, only in early middle age, who’d been completely taken in. After sending the scammer all her savings, she then took out a loan for another large amount, to send him. The bank staff asked her what the loan was for - she told them, and they warned her, but she went ahead anyway.

These vile criminals do seem able to establish an incredibly strong psychological hold over their victims.
Ditto other scammers. An elderly neighbour was scammed out of a huge amount of money after being told that she’d won £1m on a lottery (one she’d never entered.).
They were all so incredibly ‘nice’ to her over the phone!

I learned later that one tactic they use, is to tell their victims not to tell friends or family, ‘since they’ll only be jealous and try to stop you getting the money’. 🤬🤬

Barmeyoldbat Thu 08-Oct-20 10:26:15

They can't take what I haven't got.

Pantglas2 Thu 08-Oct-20 12:06:19

I haven’t met the man I’d feel inclined to give a fortune to - and that includes my husband!

sodapop Thu 08-Oct-20 12:08:17

There was an interview with a lady this morning who had given away £63,000. Her life savings and more, she had not met the man in the flesh just an internet romance. The lady seemed articulate and intelligent and yet had fallen for the " my sister needs an operation" scam.
Apparently there have been 600 reports of this type of scam in recent months, people feeling lonely and sad. How many more went unreported?

chelseababy Thu 08-Oct-20 13:09:21

I met someone via Dateline (pre internet dating) His business was in trouble and I offered to lend him money. He said no. We are still together 25+ years later.

Witzend Thu 08-Oct-20 13:10:35

Did anyone see a fairly recent TV programme about scams? Someone who was very IT savvy managed to trace the origin of a would-be scam to an office set up for the purpose in Lagos (Nigeria) where people were employed to work on these!

They were paid a salary, or maybe it was commission, while the Mr Big who set it all up was raking in a fortune.

Millie22 Thu 08-Oct-20 13:53:12

It's hard to believe that people can be so easily persuaded to part with their money. I think loneliness plays a huge part in this as they convince someone that they really care for them when all they want is their cash.

Urmstongran Thu 08-Oct-20 14:51:22

It’s faux romance when it’s (desperately) one sided.

Grammaretto Thu 08-Oct-20 15:06:09

I'm far too busy giving my money away to "legit" builders and car mechanics. How does anyone have time for internet romance?
Love your story chelseababy

JenniferEccles Thu 08-Oct-20 17:25:41

It’s seems almost unbelievable that savvy, intelligent women can be duped like this especially by a man they have never clapped eyes on, yet I have read enough accounts to know that it does happen.

I remember one woman in particular saying something along the lines of.....
“I am supposed to be an intelligent woman. I am a graduate. I have run my own business for God’s sake yet still I was taken in by this man”

I think the fraudsters are very well versed in how to gain a lonely woman’s confidence.

A lot of women give eye watering amounts of money to these awful men.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Oct-20 17:32:40

Loneliness has a lot to answer for.

M0nica Thu 08-Oct-20 17:39:22

I find these scams totally baffling, I think there must be some deep emotional hole or insecurity in these women's lives that makes them susceptible to such approaches. The majority of women, regardless of age and education, or emotional state would never conince themselves they were in love with someone they had never met and still less fall for a sob story and pay out money.

Luckygirl Thu 08-Oct-20 17:41:10

Indeed - loneliness and widowhood leave people very vulnerable.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Oct-20 17:46:47

The thing is, if you meet a man/woman and hit it off, you'll go out after work, have a chat, and perhaps arrange another date in a week or so.

When you are chatting to someone online, you are literally communicating for sometimes hours at a time, every day sometimes.

It's all very intense, and I suppose it's easier to get taken in if you're vulnerable.

Laughterlines Thu 08-Oct-20 17:47:23

Read the Shark Cage Metaphor. I know 2 women who have been robbed of everything their husbands worked for. Some of these men are very persuasive then they throw away your money on fast cars, dinky bachelor pads and weekends in Paris with other women. BE WARNED.

Bixiboo Thu 08-Oct-20 22:25:07

Saw this programme and the ironic thing was that her stepson told her not to send him any money. These cruel con merchants must be really plausible as there are a lot of very intelligent ladies who fall for their lies. Think you are right Luckygirl, loneliness plays a big part and does leave people very vulnerable.

Dorsetcupcake61 Fri 09-Oct-20 08:22:22

Many of these scammers are very skilled and some build up a relationship before targeting someone. I suppose its down to old saying about if something appears too good to be true..
The scammers have fake accounts and photos etc. Men are equally targeted.
Why are they so successful? They are skilled con artists. I think people often dont want to admit how unwise they have been. Sometimes they have invested so much in the relationship both financially and emotionally they feel they have to continue in hope it will all be ok.
A friends Mother had a near miss. She joined a faith based dating site. A romance quickly developed. The man lived abroad,worked as an engineer. He was sending her flowers and gifts(they often use stolen credit cards). There was talk of her meeting him abroad. Then came the story of his daughter who was unwell and struggling to pay medical bills. Despite her floating on air this was when I intervened and shared some stories about similar scams. She challenged him and he disappeared. I suppose being faith based she thought she would meet like minded people,which of course is possible. However their faith and compassion may be viewed as making them a good target!
Maybe it loneliness. Maybe there are some people who are not as aware of the darker side of the internet as they could be.
Over a decade ago I belonged to a social media side where you could also share images and websites. You came into contact with some lovely people but also some very strange ones. People with multiple online identities. I didnt come to any harm but it was eventually just to creepy! Since then I've been quite interested in issues surrounding cyberpaths etc.

GagaJo Fri 09-Oct-20 08:48:47

I have been contacted several times, through my private social media (they send messages), through LinkedIn, and through a social organisation I used to attend while in China.

I think they scour the net looking for photographs of middle aged women without men in their photographs. On two of these occasions, I did a reverse image search of the photograph provided and discovered they had used public photos of ridiculously public figures. One was the captain of a very large cruise liner, one was a chief army engineer. When I confronted the cruise liner scammer, he just disappeared, but the army engineer scam artist claimed to be insulted by my findings. One that had contacted me without a photograph told me I was a waste of his time anyway because I was as poor as a church mouse when I told him to get lost.

They really do think women are desperate.

Authoress Fri 09-Oct-20 09:51:57

Happened to me, almost; I wrote a blog post dissecting what he said from what he meant, and how the process escalated.

Jess20 Fri 09-Oct-20 09:52:55

I met some Aussie backpackers in Greece many years ago, we travelled together for a couple of days and I lent them several hundred pounds. They passed through London a few months later and returned it all, with interest, and flowers. Please meet and get to know people before lending money and never lend if you can't afford to lose it. Not everyone is a scammer but I think these particular internet scams are targetting people who are lonley. Agree with GagaJo, having good computer skills and a healthy scepticism helps.

harrigran Fri 09-Oct-20 09:59:03

I have been approached several times on FB, a couple have claimed to be top brass in the US army and another a globe trotting business man.
I have never been taken in by these charlatans and am amazed at the number of supposedly intelligent women who are.

Notinthemanual Fri 09-Oct-20 10:14:13

Years ago I went to the same resort several years running. One day a local man I'd got to know (not romantically) told me he had a kidney problem, no insurance and no money. He wanted to visit me in England and have the operation on the NHS. He would of course, repay me for the air fare. I tentatively said that was one option "but, of course, you might get MRSA in our filthy hospitals and die." His look said "Touche"

lizzypopbottle Fri 09-Oct-20 10:26:25

My daughter told me about a TV programme about this kind of thing made in Gambia. Apparently, middle ages women travel there specifically to meet young men. They send them regular money and even 'marry' them but the men actually despise and happily use them because they regard them as unclean (they are not the same religion). They also make up ridiculous names. One called himself Karl Marx but his victims apparently never caught on! My daughter was interested to watch because she and two friends went on holiday there several years ago and she confirmed that the pressure on single women to 'marry' these men, who profess their love virtually on the first meeting, was relentless. She showed one of them a photo of herself and her boyfriend. He left her alone after seeing that. Holiday companies should not sell these trips to such dangerous places.

There was a brave woman on morning TV a few years ago who, along with several other women, had been totally taken in by a handsome and plausible 'serving army major' who conned tens of thousands out of her and his other victims. His 'tours of duty abroad' accounted for his lengthy absences (actually away conning other women) and he often needed money to pay for his return home from war torn places! As if the army would refuse to get him home! She was thoroughly taken in.