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Romance scams

Online dating scam investigation

What is a romance scam?

Romance scams are usually initiated on social networks, dating sites, and dating site apps. The scammers of these romance scams take advantage of the low-cost, efficient, and covert nature of online scams to disguise themselves as real and trustworthy people by forging fake online profiles, and using weeks or even months of elaborate conversations to chat sweetly with their victims and establish false emotional attachments and intimacy in order to gain the victim’s goodwill and trust, creating an illusion and sense of good fortune until the victim sends them money.

Romance scams are ubiquitous, i.e., there are online dating scams perpetrated by organized criminal gangs, and there are also love scams perpetrated by individuals, and whichever type of scammer they are, they will scam money from multiple victims.

Never assume that someone you only know online is who they say they are!

Scammers hide behind fake profiles and false identities, and they are very good at tricking their victims, doing their best to convince you that everything is real. They have extremely professional fraud scripts and highly skilled wordsmithing techniques, they have studied the psychology of relationships in depth, and they tailor their romance scam schemes to the identities, personalities, and traits of different people, and their deceptions are varied and undefendable.

The end of the romantic scam – just when you are happily planning your life, the romantic partner uses seemingly reasonable reasons, either in the name of love, or an emergency, or an investment project, with a variety of excuses, disguised as urgency and helplessness, take the way of begging, temptation, and even threats, so that the love scam Victims of love scams make remittances and participate in investments, so as to obtain money by deception. The romance scam will end when the love scam victim realizes that he may have been scammed and starts refusing or stops sending money, and the online love scammer thinks that it is no longer possible to continue scamming money out of you, and they cut off any contact with you and disappear so that you cannot find him. The end of the romance scam will break your heart.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says:Losses due to romance scams amount to a whopping $547 million in 2021 and a staggering $1.3 billion in 2022.
And China, the amount of money lost to chinese romance scams is RMB 329.1 billion in 2021 and a staggering RMB 2 trillion in 2022! It is relative to twice the defense budget.

Romance Scam Lies

Common types of romance scams:

Chinese romance scams

Chinese romance scams, also known as “Pig Butchering” scams, also known as a romance scam, is a long-term fraud that combines investment schemes, romance scams and cryptocurrency fraud. It usually involves a fraudster feigning a romantic interest towards a victim, gaining their affection and trust, and then using that goodwill to get the victim to invest in fake investment opportunities. This scam originated in Southeast Asia, and the name originates from the Chinese phrase “Shāz Hū Pán,” meaning pig butchering. A ring of cryptocurrency scammers search dating and social media sites for victims.

In China, this type of scam is known as the Pig-Butchering Scam , the “killing pigs plate” or Sha Zhu Pan, are a serious issue that has caused significant financial and emotional harm to many people.

■ On dating scams:

On dating sites or dating apps, romance scammers build themselves up as golden singles or beautiful good girls and women, and they are constantly scouting for people to cheat on, sending emails and chat messages from platforms or building an online relationship with you through popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc., Romance scammers go through all sorts of sweet and caring chats in order to gain your attention and trust! . They say you are true love, but they can’t meet you for a while, they send you love poems, gifts, and even promises of “marriage”, creating short-lived sweetness and beautiful visions, and then, once they have gained your trust, they start discussing money with you, and then, an “emergency” occurs. Emergency”, maybe it’s an “emergency surgery”, maybe it’s a “traffic accident”, maybe it’s a high-return “cryptocurrency investment “… In short, everything is a lie, and the truth is – they ask you to send money or invest, just to cheat you out of your money.

■ Intimate behavior fraud:

Potential suitors living abroad contact the victim and “friend” them on multiple social media sites. After a warm and bold chat, the cyber-scammers will ask their victims to video chat with them via webcam,, and after the cyber-scammer’s webcam suddenly “breaks,” they’re still asking victims to turn on their cameras for video chats and persuade the victim to remove their clothes and engage in other intimate behaviors.. Finally. They claim to have recorded some private and intimate videos about you in a video chat with you and threaten to publish them on social networks unless the victim sends money. Once the victim complies, and so the cycle begins – asking for constant money transfers until the victim is unable to pay.

■ Fake Dating Sites:

Unlike scam sites that are established, scam dating sites claim to offer dating services for legitimate parties but are full of scammers. A popular scam is a site that asks you to create specialized personal data to mine your information. But a great deal of it involves personal privacy and financial questions, or asking for information such as your mother’s maiden name or your first school (i.e. answers to common security questions).

Some free legitimate online dating sites may seem like it at first glance, but once you’ve been a member for a while, their true colors become obvious to use. You may receive a free premium membership or some other exclusive benefit for completing surveys that contain questions similar to those in banking. Regardless of what rewards you receive, you must not disclose any private private or financial information about yourself.

Note: If your profile contains only a few lines of text, no photo, and you haven’t even set your follow preferences, but receive message after message that may be from a suitor, then you’ve probably encountered a dating site scam.

■ Malware:

Malware is a common online threat that includes online dating sites and dating app. For example, matches may communicate with you about it and then provide you with their personal links or web page information, however, these pages contain Trojan horses and you will be directed to a web page that contains malware that can be used by online scammers to steal your personal financial information, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss. In general, just the fact that anyone on an online dating site is keen to direct you to another site should be taken as a potential red flag.

If you have been scammed. You can report the incident to the police, however, if you have sent money overseas, finding the online scammer will be very difficult and the fraudulent funds will be difficult to recover. Because, online scams and cybercrime are very good at hiding their identities and many are professionally operated by criminal gangs who are very good at online fraud, it is important not to be embarrassed and seek advice.

If you feel you have been scammed by the Chinese, contact China Red Star Detectives for free and confidential advice.

See-through the lies
Get the truth

Identify risks
Determine honesty

Romance Scam Investigation Services

The best way to prevent online dating scams is to hire a private investigator to conduct an online romance scam investigation. A private investigator cannot completely prevent romance scams, but can expose false identities, verify the truth of the matter, and identify and mitigate potential risks associated with online romance scams. Romance scam investigations include:

Background Checks:

PI can conduct thorough background checks on individuals to verify their true identity, including name, past address, phone number, home address, place of employment, and criminal record. This reveals red flags such as inconsistencies in their online personas.

Financial Investigations:

PI can perform asset verification and financial monitoring to verify that the assets or businesses the person claims to have actually exist, or to verify the status of the person’s assets, and can also monitor a person’s financial activity. If you have sent money, for example, PI can monitor fraud-related money transfers or transaction history of online accounts.

■ Skip tracing:

PI can drill down into the person’s real personal and social profiles, helping to verify true identity and analyze suspicions or inconsistencies.

Recognize online dating scams:

PI can recognize deceptive tactics such as emergencies created by romance scams, or the use of emotional manipulation to force victims to send money.

■ Relationship Protection:

Before committing to a relationship, consider a pre-relationship investigation, which conducts a basic background check to verify true identity and assess potential risks.

■ Truth Verification:

If an individual claims to be traveling or certain emergencies, a PI can conduct a fact check to verify their whereabouts and the truth of the matter.

■ Private Surveillance:

In some cases, a PI may conduct a discreet private surveillance investigation to observe the person’s life activities and confirm the truth.

Red Star Private Investigator romance scam investigation services, can be multi-channel collection of relevant clues, reveal the true identity of the fraudster, family background, work status and other information; verification of the other party’s social network, communication records, financial records, travel trajectory and other information to identify fraudulent behavior, to verify that the other party’s suspicious and inconsistent, so as to avoid suffering from the distress and pain of the love scam, including the loss of money, emotional humiliation and heavy regrets.

romance scams Romance scams

How to recognize love scams?

Recognizing love scams is crucial to protecting yourself from online fraud. Understanding the lies and signs of deception of romance scammers can help you recognize a online dating scams:

■ The perfect image in a photo:
Scammers use beautiful photos to attract people, and once you talk to them, they show the same interests and opinions as you to draw closer to you online.

■ Incredibly good:
Not only do scammers create an idealized image of someone with extraordinary looks, family wealth or a successful career, they also offer you “understanding,” “encouragement” and “concern.

■ Eager to show love: (“love bombing”)
They may express strong feelings and love early on in their online relationship with you, before they meet you in person. Scammers often include “Divine Providence” in their romantic scams, using luck of the draw as a romantic ploy.

■ Avoid video chat and meetings:
Romance scammers often claim to want to meet you, but all sorts of things go wrong. Remember, scammers never show up and always have an excuse. If they always make excuses to avoid meeting in person or making video calls, then this is a major red flag. Stay skeptical!

■ Inconsistencies in stories:
Stay alert if, in chatting with them, you find that his life story seems to contain many inconsistencies. The scammer may forget details or provide conflicting information.

■ Reluctance to share personal information:
Fraudsters often avoid sharing personal details such as real names, addresses, places of work or other identifying information.

■ Demanding money:
One of the most important red flags is that they ask for money. Scammers often fabricate emergencies to request your money.

■ Create emergencies:
They may create a crisis or emergency to manipulate your emotions and force you to send money.

■ Using fake photos:
Scammers may use photos or images stolen from the Internet to create fake profiles. You can use a reverse image search to check their photos.

■ Avoiding dating sites:
Be careful if they are quick to urge you to communicate on other platforms such as email, social media or messaging apps.

■ Multiple profiles:
Some scammers keep multiple profiles on different dating sites to prey on more victims.

■ Trust your instincts:
If something feels off, trust your instincts. Your intuition can be a powerful tool for recognizing scams.

■ Research details and verification:
Conduct research to confirm the person’s identity and story. Check their online status and look for any discrepancies.

■ No mutual friends:
If you have mutual friends on social media, ask them about the person. Scammers often avoid profiles with mutual connections.

■ Reverse image search:
Use a reverse image search tool to check if the photo they shared appears in another location on the Internet.

■ Personal information requests:
Even if you have been communicating for some time, you must be cautious when sharing your personal and financial information.

■ Claiming to be overseas: 
Many scammers claim to be wealthy, to come from wealthy, prominent families, to frequently need to travel abroad, or to be overseas, which makes verifying their identity more difficult.

Remember that scammers specialize in deception, and the best way to avoid becoming a victim of a romantic scam is to prevent it by being careful, staying alert, and trusting your instincts rather than your feelings.

what to do if scammed online dating

Helpful tips on how to avoid romance scams:


■ Trust your instincts:
If something feels wrong or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and stay cautious.

■ Gather information:
Gather all available information about the person in question, such as name, contact details, photo and any identifying information they provide.

■ Check their profile details:
Research their profile details on social media, dating sites and any other platforms they claim to be on. Scammers often use fake profiles, so look for inconsistencies and signs of deception.

■ Reverse image search:
Use tools such as Google Reverse Image Search to check whether the photos they share have been stolen from elsewhere on the internet. This can reveal if the person is using other people’s photos.

■ Be wary of sad stories:
Scammers often use emotional manipulation and sad stories to gain sympathy and trust. Do not send money to anyone you know only from the Internet, no matter how compelling their story.

■ Verify their identity:
Ask for specific information that could help you confirm their identity, such as their place of work, hometown, or other personal details. Scammers may avoid giving out this type of information.

■ Watch for red flags:
Look for common signs of a dating scam, such as moving too fast, confessing too soon, refusing to meet in person, and avoiding personal questions.

■ Protect your finances:
Never share financial or personal information or send money to someone you meet online. Scammers often create elaborate financial crises to take advantage of victims.

■ Talk to trusted friends and family:
Share your concerns with people you trust. They can provide a different perspective and help keep you grounded.

■ Report fraudsters:
If you have evidence of a online dating scams, report it to the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and the online dating sites or dating app where you met the person.

■ Stop contact:
Stop all contact with suspected scammers. Block their phone numbers and emails to avoid further interaction.

■ Seek legal advice:
If you have suffered a financial loss for online dating scams, consult an attorney to explore legal options for recovering your money or holding the scammer accountable.

■ Educate yourself:
Familiarize yourself with common online dating scams tactics and warning signs. Knowledge is your best defense.

■ Internet security protections:
Protect your online privacy by using strong, unique passwords and being cautious about sharing personal information on the Internet.

■ Emotional support:
If you are emotionally affected by a online dating scams, seek support from a friend, family member, or therapist. Scammers often manipulate their victims’ emotions, and emotional recovery can be challenging.

Why Choose China Red Star Private Investigators to Investigate Online Dating Scams and Romance Scams?

Investigate Online Dating Scams
  • 20 years of rich private investigation practice
  • Success rate of romance scams investigation is much higher than the industry average
  • Effective programs and reasonable costs for online dating scams investigations
  • Provide trustworthy results based on respect for ethics and the law
  • Focus on customer needs and strive to meet or exceed customer expectations
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