Written by: Miriam Rieck, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I am the perfect mark. I am in my mid-50’s, appear single, have an active online presence on both Facebook and Instagram, and for about two years was pretty active on the dating apps. Bumble mainly. When I realized that most matches on a couple of other apps, namely Hinge, were scammers, I deleted my accounts. But I did not know that until after I had been scammed… that is how I learned about Romance Scams and the Predators who use social media to find their marks/victims.
You would think that in today’s technological world, romance scams and what to look for would be instantly available, but over the course of the next 11 articles, I am going to share the ins and outs of a criminal industry that has been in business since 2006 and is accumulating over a billion dollars a year from victims all over the world. This is a big industry, and it is rare that ANY of the predators perpetuating these scams get caught or prosecuted… it is a PERFECT crime.
Romance scams occur when a person adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romantic as the manipulation method to steal from the victim.
The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do. They are predators, and they are present on almost every dating and social media sites. I have even connected with one on a language app. They are on Meetup. You must be aware EVERY SINGLE TIME you interact with a new person in a digital format.
The scammer in