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Where do the scammers get photos of themselves in these exotic locations and with these costly products? They troll other sites and steal other people's photos. Many are operating out of foreign countries, despite profiles saying they live nearby. When she declined, the messages got more desperate.
Budgyk knows this from experience: A Nigerian scammer lifted photos from Budgyk's profile. Their photographs are also likely of someone else, and that would be tough to explain in person. He sent heart-wrenching photos of a young girl, who appeared to be his daughter's age, hooked to a raft of medical monitors.
The crook will then lavish you with attention and flattery.
The idea is to get you to suspend good sense and become enamored with someone you've known online for just a few weeks and have never met in person. Kipps has decided that another tip-off is photographs that show all the trappings of wealth -- exotic cars, mansions, pictures in romantic foreign settings.
"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.
"But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.
" Moving off-site before launching a scam reduces the chance that you'll report the crook to the relevant site.
Of course, real people sometimes have nice things and go to great places, but these visual cues are key to scammers who want to get your guard down for their future bid for cash.
By fabricating an illusion of their own wealth, scammers may be able to convince you that you're simply "loaning" them money that, for some weird reason, they can't immediately access.
When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home -- and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport -- a new crisis struck.
By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer.