How to spot a dating con artist
Sh'reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few weeks before she realized that something was seriously wrong with the man who had been actively pursuing her by text message and email. They'd hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz. But meeting in person was always a problem. First, he was traveling through India with his daughter. Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized. 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.
10 Signs You’re In A Relationship With A Con-Artist
He introduced himself to me as an art dealer and a stocks and commodities trader for a select group of wealthy clients. He claimed he had recently moved back to the United States after an eight-year stint in Hong Kong and I was immediately captivated by him. He was charming, witty, intelligent and it seemed like he could confidently talk about almost any subject. Eric went to great lengths to convincingly play his role as a successful entrepreneur.
I would join him there for a relaxed Sunday by the pool or a gourmet dinner after which we would often go up to his room, open a fine bottle of red and dance until our feet were sore. We had so much fun together, but we also frequently had what I believed to be deep and honest conversations about social, political and religious issues.
I felt I had finally found someone worth spending my time with. One day, upon allegedly returning from a trip abroad, Eric invited me to a house where he was staying. It was an elegant Spanish-style home that boasted a putting green by a beautiful pool in the backyard. He opened a chilled bottle of Veuve Cliquot and we settled in for the evening together. I know it sounds too good to be true, but Eric was such a talented actor that I honestly never believed anything was amiss.
When I got there, he was standing in the driveway, proudly admiring a brand new white convertible Ferrari. After we had been dating for about eight months, he asked me to sell some gold coins for him and offered me a 20 percent commission for my trouble. He explained that his time was too valuable to spend running errands like this one and he knew I could use the extra income.
So I did. Then, four months later, when the U. He claimed the markets were going to collapse and that people would be unable to withdraw their money, much like what had happened in Greece a few years prior, and gold would be a much wiser investment. In exchange, he gave me 27 gold coins. Per his instructions, I stored them in a safe deposit box. Eleven months later, after handing over what was left of my IRA for Eric to manage on E-Trade, I became concerned because the funds in my account were quickly dwindling.
I called my former financial adviser who urged me to immediately have the gold Eric had given me authenticated. The next morning, June 14, , I took the gold I received from Eric to an expert down the road from me, where it took them five seconds to tell me it was fake. I immediately went to the Boca Raton Police Department and unsuccessfully pleaded with them to help me.
I realized I would have to build the case on my own. I recorded Eric talking about the price and origin of the gold he had sold me and my son, as well as the gold he supposedly was going to sell to my daughter. I hired a private investigator and contacted the FBI who referred me to the Secret Service, which handles cases involving counterfeiting. Unlike the Boca Raton police, the Secret Service agent who answered my call took my case very seriously and began an investigation into Eric and his scams.
From there, I started to connect the dots with what little information I had. First, I searched for the beautiful house with the putting green using Google Earth and public records and learned that it belonged to a woman named Jennifer not her real name. I then googled her name and a picture of her with Eric immediately surfaced. A few days later, I called Jennifer and told her that I had slept in her house, ridden in what I was now almost certain was her Ferrari, and that I was in possession of what I suspected were two of her paintings.
I begged her not to confront Eric for fear that he would disappear before we could have him arrested. However, she was so enraged that she told him everything she had learned from me and left him stranded in Naples, Florida, where they had been spending the weekend. Neither of us ever saw him again after that: Eric was gone and my money was gone with him. The following day, Jennifer and I met and I learned that she had been in a relationship with Eric for three years, two of which overlapped with my relationship with him.
All of this was to bolster his claim that he was an art dealer and a businessman. Eric used these checks to further convince me that he truly was as wealthy and successful as he claimed he was. By that point, I already knew he was a con man and was just biding my time while coming up with my plan of action. They made flyers with his photo and information about him and posted them at all of the locations I noted.
The PI even traveled to other states to follow potential leads in order to track him down, but Eric was nowhere to be found. After a short pursuit on foot, he was apprehended and later charged with grand theft, scheme to defraud and being a fugitive from justice. He is currently incarcerated at the Palm Beach County Main Detention Center where he awaits prosecution in Florida as well as extradition to California to be tried for his crimes there.
Whether we were out to dinner, dancing, playing tennis or just chatting, we always had a good time. I still feel physically ill when I think of his callousness. Just a few weeks ago, I received a call from the white-collar crime detective who was initially assigned to my case. Who knows how many others might eventually come forward? I try not to judge myself too harshly or obsess over how easily I was fooled. Besides, I already gave him two years of my life, so why waste any more time on him?
If somebody seems to be too good to be true, they just might be. And always trust your gut. It might be the one thing that saves you from losing virtually everything. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Florida Crime And Justice Scams. Real Life.
Real News. Real Voices. Canada U. US News. World News. Social Justice. Donald Trump. Queer Voices. Black Voices. Latino Voices. Asian Voices. HuffPost Personal. Special Projects. Project Zero. This New World. Listen to America. From Our Partners. What's Working: Follow us.
Both men and women can be tricked into dating a con artist. A Shrink for Men: Dating Street Smarts: How to Spot Emotional Predators and Con Artists. Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.
Both men and women can be tricked into dating a con artist. Con artists are usually good manipulators. They look for people whom they think they can use. Con artists are likely to be sociopaths, bullies or narcissists who are looking for non-confrontational, trusting and nice people-pleasers.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
5 Tips for Spotting a Con Man
Marcy has researched and written about relationships, domestic issues, dating, and con-artists for more than a decade. His picture looks like he's a nice guy, and he's so cute. She's really young and sexy, and she said she wanted to meet you. While many couples meet, date and even marry through online sites, not all online encounters lead to wedded bliss, and some can lead to financial or emotional disaster. Sadly, these con artists don't wear signs telling you to beware and run the other direction.
Dating & romance
He introduced himself to me as an art dealer and a stocks and commodities trader for a select group of wealthy clients. He claimed he had recently moved back to the United States after an eight-year stint in Hong Kong and I was immediately captivated by him. He was charming, witty, intelligent and it seemed like he could confidently talk about almost any subject. Eric went to great lengths to convincingly play his role as a successful entrepreneur. I would join him there for a relaxed Sunday by the pool or a gourmet dinner after which we would often go up to his room, open a fine bottle of red and dance until our feet were sore. We had so much fun together, but we also frequently had what I believed to be deep and honest conversations about social, political and religious issues. I felt I had finally found someone worth spending my time with. One day, upon allegedly returning from a trip abroad, Eric invited me to a house where he was staying.
A con-artist is what we now call someone who used to be called a confidence artist. A con artist often looks for an easy target.
This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. Online dating scammers tend to target people who have a large amount of information in their profiles, and the scam is usually based around stealing money, credit card information, or personal information from the victim. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
6 red flags for online dating scams
They smooth you over with cheesy lines, sway you with their flirty mannerisms, and instantly call you beautiful. Luring you in with their ever-so attractive, unforgettable scent that only lasts a night or two; not even long enough for it to linger onto your clothes. You in no way, shape, or form could have predicted their intentions were disingenuous the entire time. Refutal becomes your best friend as you reexamine reality. What makes con artists the best thieves of love is their determination. It will start with their calm effort, showing interest immediately but not eagerly. Opening doors, dancing with maturity, firmly gripping hands that feel a little too comfortable. Sharing warmth, words, and water with that person become so randomly symbolic and meaningful—I mean, who else would you want to experience it with in that moment? Mentions of insecurities become the easiest target, as they make themselves align with your insecurities. The curveball will square your jaw. Their words become as vacant as their heart.
Online Dating Cons and Scams
Internet dating is a legitimate way to find a romantic partner without the stigma it once had. However, this cyber playground provides anonymity for the players, con-artists and cheating husbands. Online men and women can easily conceal his identity by creating a fake profile, setting up a secret email address, have a throw-away cell phone and if necessary a P. These men come strong in the beginning. They will have plenty of time for you with numerous, long phone calls, emails and chats. These scammers are an expert at detecting the needy, lonely and naive woman.
I Discovered My Boyfriend Of 2 Years Was A Con Man Who Swindled Me Out Of $52,000
How do you really know if someone is genuinely a great guy — or just a phony? These days there are some talented con-men and creeps out there floating out on the Internet and other places and believe me, they can be easy to fall for — even I have been fooled before, I admit… But luckily I came to my senses and was able to spot out the phony before I got too heavily involved and I was able to make a clean break unscathed. Because Talk is cheap baby, and a guy or girl can talk until the cows come home about how great of a person they are, how successful or ambitious they are, how stable they are, or how head over heels they are over you. So here are some key factors and areas of their lives to look at and observe over time that will help serve as big clues that they are either authentic or not, and red flags to run the other direction from if present. The Big Congruency Tests: He may make a great first impression and be a pro at starting NEW relationships, but the maintenance ability is the most important.
How to spot a con artist
Around 7. But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud. Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money. One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money. But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate. Serious fraudsters sometimes even create further fake profiles and use them to be rude to you, all to make the main fake profile seem more desirable.
Sooner or later, you will have a run-in with a sociopath. There are just too many of them—possibly 30 million sociopaths in America. Sociopaths roam through all parts of society, all areas of the country, all walks of life. There is only one way to protect yourself from sociopaths: You must know what they are, and put your guard up when you start seeing the symptoms.
We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher. As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about.Top 5 Facts: Con Artists