Internet dating scam stories
But with an Internet crime like this, it’s much more difficult.”As for the Texas woman, she came forward “because I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.
I not only invested money in this man but there is a big, huge piece of my heart that I invested in him,” she said.
She even holds out hope that one day Charlie will repay her, as he promised to do so many times. there can’t be a man in this world that could be this horrible to have purposefully done what he’s done to me.” The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do.
Otherwise, there is no doubt that he is a heartless criminal who robbed her and broke her heart—and who is almost certainly continuing to victimize other women in the same way.“I can’t even imagine a man, a person, that could be this bad,” she said. They spend hours honing their skills and sometimes keep journals on their victims to better understand how to manipulate and exploit them.“Behind the veil of romance, it’s a criminal enterprise like any other,” said Special Agent Christine Beining.
“When someone is using a computer to hide behind, the hardest thing to find out is who they are.
We can find out where in the world their computer is being used.
“This is a very difficult crime to prove,” Beining said.
“And once a victim becomes a victim, in that they send money, they will often be placed on what’s called a ‘sucker list,’ ” she said.
“Their names and identities are shared with other criminals, and they may be targeted in the future.”To stay safe online, be careful what you post, because scammers can use that information against you.
“It’s not just the finances, it’s the emotional part, too—being embarrassed, being ashamed, being humiliated.” Even now, though, she remains conflicted.
A part of her still wants to believe that Charlie is real and that their relationship was real—that the e-mail exchanges about church and the phone calls when they sang together and prayed together meant as much to him as they did to her.