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Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23568
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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How do I go about finding out if someone that I have been emailing,

Customer Question

How do I go about finding out if someone that I have been emailing, texting, and speaking to on a cell phone is an online dating scammer? I have been scammed out of a good deal of money but I do not know how to find this person.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.
No legitimate person who is interested in dating you but who hasn't ever met you except via electronic means will ever need you to wire them money.
If your online relationship has cost you a great deal of money, then by definition, you've been the target of a scammer. The money request is the #1 sign of an internet romance scam. We have never seen a romance turn out to be legitimate once talk of love changes into an urgent need for your money, no matter what the supposed emergency.
Scammers are professional thieves. They know how to vanish into thin air. They prey on people from another country deliberately to sidestep the law and all of the information they have given you will be false. It is easy to find out who a scammer is not, because nothing he or she tells you will check out. But it is almost impossible to find out who a scammer actually is. The scammer could be anybody, anywhere in the world, and the overwhelming majority of internet scammers never get caught. They just change their names and profile information and continue to rob people blind.
So this becomes a matter for law enforcement. You can report your scammer to your police and to the FBI. The FBI has an Internet Crime Complaint Center for offenses of this sort. On their site they are partnered with Interpol and other agencies who can see that your information will go to authorities all over the world. You can find the Complaint Center at
Scam is an international problem of epidemic proportions. Don't expect results any time soon. Law enforcement is up to their eyeballs with it. If you expect your case to have any priority, you'd have to hire a private investigator.
There are also unofficial things you can do to report a scammer, which probably won't help catch a scammer but which at least could warn others:
Contact the site where you found the scammer and report the scam so that they will pull the profile. If she has a Facebook profile, Warn her Facebook friends.
Run the scammer's photo on Google Search by Image.
If it turns up a lot of scam warnings about him or her, post on those sites and add your voice to the rest of the people so that future victims will know that he is still active.
Post your story on your own Facebook account and on other social networking sites that you may belong to.If you are embarrassed to admit to this or concerned about liability, then post his photo and your story anonymously on sites like,, and others in that vein that you can find. Yahoo has a group for romance scam victims that gets pretty wide exposure. You have to join it but once you do, you can post there as well.
Sometimes you can find yourself networking and exchanging notes with others who were scammed by the same person, which will give you more information to give to the authorities so that they can find him.
Finally, there are also people who like keeping the game going even after they realize that they have been scammed, to see just how far they can make a scammer go and what ridiculous things they can make a scammer do when they think they are going to get money.
The site that comes quickly to my mind is the Ebola Monkey Man Site. He stays within the confines of the law but makes the scammers look silly.
Here is 419Eaters, which is along the same lines and will give you other ways of turning the tables on your scammer. It's not necessarily going to catch him, and I don't necessarily recommend this route, but again you are publicizing who, what and where you believe the scammer is as well as all you know about him and making him look ridiculous into the bargain. Sometimes, revenge can be awfully sweet.

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