Confessions of a Romance Cheater: Inside the 39-page guide to cheating desperate women out of thousands of dollars
A self-confessed reformist con artist has provided new insight into a shady industry that exploits vulnerable women.
Chris*, originally from Nigeria, was a professional love scammer for five years.
When he first became involved in scams, he described the scam as “exciting.”
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“It was kind of fun…you know, there was a lot of money to be had,” he told 7NEWS.com.au.
“I was in my sophomore year and needed a way to take care of myself, so I had to improvise.”
He says it’s not uncommon for young Nigerian men to be “trapped” in the program.
“We have pretty bad government here, so I think that’s one of the reasons people cheat,” he said.
A look inside
A “handbook” is distributed to scammers and used as a playbook for victims of fraud, mostly women.
The 39-page document, dubbed the “cheater’s bible” and viewed by 7NEWS.com.au, details pick-up lines, tactics to keep conversations going and finally how to ask for money.
“It’s a format designed to help you step-by-step through victim tracing,” Chris said.
“This is not an ordinary format, it has been used time and time again and is really effective when used properly.”
The guide, Chris explained, is intended for divorced women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
Chris says that if used correctly, the manual will provide the scammer with the right words to say to women to gain their trust and therefore make them more likely to hand over their money.
“Spend days talking about random things, learn a lot about them,” says the guide.
“The more you know about her, the better it will be for you.
“It can be time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it.”
According to the guide, scammers should avoid asking for money directly and instead make up a story to show sympathy for why they need money.
An example in the guide is telling a woman you were having a bad day, and then saying, “Tell her you’re broke, that you’re behind on your mortgage and they’re kicking you out next week.” and you have exhausted all means to get money.” .
“You can tell her your phone is broken and you can’t chat anymore,” it instructs scammers.
“If she’s in love with you, she won’t want you to go, and she herself will ask to buy you a new one.”
Chris says these tactics have worked very well for him in the past.
“We both just cried”
However, things changed in 2021 when Chris came to a heartbreaking realization.
Back then, Chris thought he hit the jackpot when he cheated a woman out of $35,000.
“But because of me, she started getting depressed and she was in deep debt and couldn’t even support herself because of me,” he said.
“I made her so miserable and it was too much to feel bad about.
“I just thought, I don’t want that to happen to my mom.”
Chris made the incredible decision to video call the woman, show his face, apologize and eventually return the money.
“When we spoke on the phone, we both just started crying,” he said.
“I was so surprised because I thought she was going to block me, but instead she helped me,” he said.
Now Chris works for an online company that provides reverse search technology to potential victims known as Social Catfish.
“I help them find out who the scammers are,” he said.
“They’re going to call me and be like, ‘Hey, can you check if this guy’s real or not?'”
Chris has warned that anyone genuinely interested in meeting you or being with you won’t hesitate to show their face.
“Try talking to them and see their face to find out if they’re real,” he said.
“If you ask for a video call and you don’t want it, that’s a red flag.
“And if someone isn’t going to prove to you that they’re real and make you comfortable, is it really worth it?
“You really just want to find solid proof that the person is who they say they are, you can really ask for their address or anything.”
A real threat
In 2021 alone, more than 3,400 dating and romance scams were reported to the ACCC.
It is said scammers often use “love bombing” techniques such as B. Expressing love and affection very quickly to try to influence the victims.
AFP Cybercrime Operations commander Chris Goldsmid said criminals invest a great deal of time – sometimes years – in establishing what appears to be a “legitimate relationship” with their victim.
“They will express their love for the victim and in some cases promise marriage, but often have a complicated history as to why they can’t meet in person,” he said.
“Anyone can be a target and he will use a variety of extravagant excuses to excite his victim’s heart.
“Romance scams are a common way for criminals to recruit money mules because they put emotional pressure on them.”
Individuals who believe they have been tricked into being a money mule should report it to Report Cyber and notify their banks immediately.
* Not his real name
https://7news.com.au/news/cyber-security/confessions-of-a-romance-scammer-inside-the-39-page-guidebook-to-conning-desperate-women-out-of-thousands-of-dollars-c-9606476 Confessions of a Romance Cheater: Inside the 39-page guide to cheating desperate women out of thousands of dollars