Scammers come in different flavours

So you got contacted by an uber hottie… whoo hoo!! She’s from your home town and she is super keen on you and thinks you are special… that’s so awesome!! She wants to claim you as her slave… yesss!!! You’ve been talking for a couple of weeks… it’s going great! She seems to be moving really fast, but ok, that’s fine… good even! And she hasn’t asked you for money so SHUT UP FERNS!!

There are scammers who will invest in you if they are after more than the few dollars they can get from having you join some BDSM website or from sending a measly little ‘tribute’ to show your sincerity.  If they are after a few hundred dollars, they will court you for 2, 3, even 4 weeks. Then at *that* point, they will ask for money. It’s not presented as a tribute… noooo no no… It can be a convincing story and it’s designed to play on those emotions you have built up during those weeks of perfectly wonderful, and possibly hot, chats.

Some stories that these scammers tell:

“I’m travelling for work and I’m stuck in a hotel in [some other country], and my credit cards are not working! They are going to arrest me! Can you please send me $600 to cover the bill and I will pay you back as soon as I get home!?”

 

“I have sent you the contract, now you must pay me $250 for the associated legal fees… not for me, for my legal adviser…”

 

“I am in [some other country] and I was robbed! They took everything. I have been to the embassy and they say I need $495 to get a new passport. I really hope you can help me out so that I can get home to you!”

If you baulk, your sincerity will be questioned, all the promises made will be raised, and the “I’m the Mistress” card will come out. You can expect shock and guilt tactics to make you feel so bad that you start to think it could be true. It’s not.

*sigh*

So, I have a tip:

DON’T SEND MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW!!

I know it seems so obvious, but I also know that some of these scammers are skilled manipulators, very good at sowing the seeds of doubt, of hitting buttons. They are not flailing away with sledgehammers like deranged monkeys, it is much more subtle than that, and I know that smart men will argue that they *do* know and trust these women, that *this* is not a case like that, *this* is something different. Only, it’s not.

I have another tip… shhh… come close now… they mustn’t hear…

CHECK THEIR PHOTOS!

It’s not foolproof, but you can check if that picture of that fabulous hottie is really a Versace model using Google image search (you can use tineye.com* also, but I get *many* more hits with Google reverse image search).

How do I do that, Ferns?

Well, I’m glad you asked me that…

  1. Go to Google – Image Search
  2. In another browser tab, get the hottie picture on screen (if it’s a Fetlife picture, use the thumbnail, not the main picture, which doesn’t work), or if you have it saved, locate the folder
  3. Drag the image into the search box on Google image search *

If the photo turns up on Facebook, maybe that’s really them. If it turns up under one name on Facebook, under different name and location on Google+, it could still be them. If it turns up on both of those plus scammerlist.com and on ten Russian porn sites, then chances are… it’s not them.

* Both Chrome and Firefox have extensions for Google image search and tineye.com so you can just right click on the photo and run the search… very useful!

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27 Comments

  1. I just did this on a picture of myself and all the responses were of females and I have a bread! Lol.
    What does that say????
    Peter

  2. Peter: “Great advice. Thank you. :)”

    You're welcome!

    “I just did this on a picture of myself and all the responses were of females and I have a bread!”

    *laugh* Yes, well, if it can't find any matches it does tend to show very strange 'oh, it looks like this' matches!

    I was going to point you to a young 'woman' on FL who was targetting 'daddy doms' in Australia with personal ads, but the profile is gone after a few of us called her out (but not BEFORE she got quite a few appreciative comments on her very cute and not overly salacious photos from men… go figure…geez guys!).

    Ferns

  3. That's not even the worst of it. Sometimes they'll even meet you in person, and form an entire “relationship” with you. They might even introduce you to their “parents” and “friends.”

    Eventually they make their move and start talking about marriage.

    Once you've had the wedding, they now have access to all your accounts, the scammer even has the legal right to half of everything you own. They can move into your house, eat your food even get medical care under your health insurance!

    I'm telling you you can't be careful enough these days.

  4. Peroxide: “Also, Tineye does reverse image search using the actual image not merely the title, and has extensions for both Firefox and Chrome.”

    True, its limitation is that it searches its own database, whereas Google image search queries 'the whole of the internets'. I'm not sure what your point is about 'not merely the title': they both work the same.

    Ferns

  5. Ferns: *shivers* Oh god, that sounds horrible!!

    I know, I've heard stories of “scammers” that will stay married to their mark for fifty-sixty years. Then, when the mark dies they swoop in and take everything. It's a cruel world we live in.

    Ferns: [Google-magic]

    I did not know that. that's weird, wild stuff.

  6. Peroxide: “I did not know that. that's weird, wild stuff.”

    It is part of my most serious responsibility to educate you, little one. And having done so, I must now take a nap and recuperate.

    Ferns

  7. Of course you're right…and, of course you can also sense the 'but' yes? Of course you can ;)

    I have sent money once to someone who I'd spent a lot of time chatting with and never met. It wasn't because I wanted anything from her – it was because I 100% knew she wasn't lying when she described how her Christmas was going to be. I didn't even care what she spent the money on because I knew it would be used the right way. It was and I am glad I chose to although I know that the amount of money raised by scams would be enough to support a small country or buy nearly all the clothes I'd love to have :)

    Great topic

    x

  8. somethingstrange: “I have sent money once to someone who I'd spent a lot of time chatting with and never met.”

    I have also offered money to some people I have never met, but who I have considered friends, and, likewise, I have had friends buy me lovely and much appreciated gifts.

    So, what is the difference?

    a) the recipient never *asked* for the money/gift
    b) the recipient never made the relationship contingent on receiving the money/gift
    c) the recipient never used D/s to pressure the giver into the money/gift

    These scammers will use hope and trust and goodness of heart as weapons. It is ugly and mean and hurtful.

    Ferns

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