Lesbian Romance Scams (but it can happen to all the other letters GBTQ and S-traight!)
Last week I had the opportunity to interview a lady by the name of Barb who is the creator of the organization romancescams.org. She described her story as to how she fell victim to the not so new but ever growing industry of people conning others using the net and love.
Barb was approached in 2005 by a man on her yahoo messenger claiming to be someone that was interested in her. After developing a relationship for a couple of weeks she gave him her number which lead to a conversation where she came to the realization that he was not who he claimed to be and that his intentions were criminal.
Barb was lucky. She found out before any real damage could be done. Most will not be as fortunate and will fall victim to their hearts and a slippery manipulative tongue, all of which leads to being heavily in debt, both financially and emotionally.
It is easy to lose track of the dangers in this world and the cruelty that can be inflicted by others from behind our computer screens in the safety of our own homes. Alas My Dears we are never safe, awareness should never be turned off but simply adjusted just like your thermostat. As beautiful a creation as the internet is, it brings with it many pit falls, you will have to learn what they are and how to avoid them just as you do when learning to drive a car.
First, LGBTQ members are not safe because these scammers don’t care what or where you are, they just want your money so even if you born with green polka dots you need to be careful.
Here is what you need to look for:
- They immediately want to get off the website and onto Yahoo IM or MSN IM
- Their profile seems to disappear off the website immediately after conversation begins
- They claim it was destiny or fate and that you are meant to be together
- They immediately ask for your picture and they send you a picture of themselves
- They immediately want your address so as to send you flowers, candy, and teddy bears, often purchased with stolen credit cards
- They claim to love you either immediately or within 24-48 hours
- They immediately start using pet names with you, like baby.
- They claim God brought you to them
- They typically claim to be from the US (or your local region) but they are overseas, or going overseas mainly to Nigeria, sometimes the UK for business or family matters
- Their spelling and grammar is atrocious and inconsistent (NO I am not a Scammer I am a real alien, thank you very much!)
- Their grammar is not consistent with how Americans speak, French speak etc.
- They appear uneducated with their speaking/writing skills
- They IM at unusual hours for your time zone
- They like to send you poems or love letters, most of which can be traced back to lovingyou.com. Sometimes they even forget to change the name in the poem or letter to match your name
- They do not like to answer personal questions about themselves and tend to ignore questions all together
- A majority of them claim to have lost a spouse/child/parent in a horrific traffic accident or airplane accident or any of the above or claim to be sick or in the hospital
- They have no close family or friend or business associates to turn to, even the US embassy, instead they can only rely on a stranger they picked off the Internet
- To them love equals financial assistance…if you do not send them money or help them out with what they ask, you do not love them
These are just a few so look it up and if you think that anyone has done this to you report is to places like romancescams.org so that they can work at stopping these criminal clusters.
Don’t be fooled! Love takes time to grow and being in love doesn’t mean you have to give up your social security card (never give these digits up!), credit card, or telephone number until you feel comfortable and are sure after asking millions of questions. We all want to find love and we all want to be adored and these guys know that and they do this all day long so they know just what to tell you.
So be smarter and don’t be scared to call people on their shit if you smell inconsistencies. If they are who they say they are their story will stick time and time again, and if they truly care as much as their words tell you then their actions will match.
Alright Loves, take care and stay safe in cyberspace!
P.S. It’s crazy how much I look like a scammer on paper but rest assured I’m not after your money, just your desire for learning!
~The Lesbian Guru
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to email me at TheLesbianGuru@Gmail.comwith ExaminerQ as the title or you can follow me on my Blog http://TheLesbianGuru.com! Or just Join The Lesbian Revolution of Health & Love on http://Twitter.com/TheLesbianGuru or http://Facebook.com/TheFemmeGuru