This week I explain how you can stop many online dating scams, sometimes called “catfishing”, to protect your clients as a private investigator.
Many lonely people, both men and women, get lured into chatting with someone online who claims to be romantically interested in them.
After a while, the online con artist begins to subtlety (or not so subtlety) ask for money. Frequently it looks like this…
1. The woman grifter will say something like, “I would leave my abusive husband in a second, but I can’t afford the divorce”.
2. “I want to come and visit you, but I can’t afford it.”
3. “Thank you for the money you sent, but he found it And took it from me.”
4. The male grifter will try something more like this… “All of my money’s tied up in this business investment”.
5. “I have a chance to make a killing, but I need $10,000 for the renovators to re-carpet the hotel I’m flipping”.
6. “Thank you for the money, but the contractor ran off with it! Now the client is threatening me with jail if I don’t finish the job!”
So how can you convince someone who’s “in love” with this thief that the con artist is lying to them.
Here’s a trick that frequently works like a charm…
Take the online dating profile photo the scammer is using and plug it into a “reverse image search” with your favorite search engine. Here’s what you will often find…
The EXACT same photo being used on multiple dating site, but using different names and locations.
If that’s not proof enough to your client that the person is running a hustle… well, honestly, you’re not alone. Some people are so lonely they will believe just about anything to keep the dream alive.
Do you have a case like this you want to share? What kinds of money-ask lines have you seen? Leave a comment!
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.