Some catfishers use these fake identities to annoy or harass others online, or just to flirt without commitment. They lure their victims into an online relationship and use it to get money out of them – sometimes thousands of dollars.
Often, they work with accomplices who pose as friends, doctors, lawyers, or other people who can back up their story.
According to Huff Post, FBI agents believe roughly 85% of all romance scams are never reported because the victims are too embarrassed to come forward.
Online romance scams are a form of “catfishing” scam, in which a person creates a fake online identify.
Sometimes, they use fake names and stock photos; in other cases, they steal real people’s names, images, and personal information.
They usually claim to have jobs that keep them outside the country for long periods of time, such as working on an oil rig, serving in the military, or working for a nonprofit.