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A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim's money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, or employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.The pro-dater differs from the other scams in method of operation; a face-to-face meeting actually does take place in the scammer's country but for the sole purpose of manipulating the victim into spending as much money as possible in relatively little time, with little or nothing in return.The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer.Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious.Funds sent by Western Union and Money Gram do not have to be claimed by anyone showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response, and can be picked up anywhere in the world.

These requests may be for gas money, bus and airplane tickets to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.Some romance scammers seek out a victim with an obscure fetish and they will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer's plane ticket, they will get to live out a sexual fantasy of theirs with the scammer.Other scammers also like to entice victims to perform sexual acts on webcam.Military public relations often post information on soldiers without mentioning their families or personal lives, so images are stolen from these websites by organized internet crime gangs often operating out of Nigeria or Ghana.These scammers tell their victims that they are lonely, or supporting an orphanage with their own money, or needing financial assistance because they can't access their own money in a combat zone, etc.

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