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Zoey_JD
Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23992
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I'm so ashamed with my self in love with guy and only spoke

Customer Question

Hi yes I'm so ashamed with my self for falling in love with guy and only spoke and email
The worst part about it
I Ve kept sending money to him and I'm not sure what I can do.
I just want him to be caught
I've only got phone and email
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

Don't be too angry at yourself. You've got plenty of company. Americans wired off over $60 million dollars last year to internet romance scammers, according to the FBI. These scammers are very very good at what they do.

If you can find the scammer, you could sue or try to get him prosecuted for his fraud. But scammers have the technology to make themselves invisible in cyberspace. So finding them is difficult to impossible and a matter for law enforcement. I am sure that you know that they can simply close their email account and throw out their mobile phone, and "disappear" because everything else they have told you about themeselves will be false.

You need to report the crime to your police. YOu can also report it to the FBI online at their Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov. There the FBI is partnered with Interpol, which can spread the word about your situation to relevant law enforcement agencies all over the globe.

Scam is an international problem in epidemic proportions, and law enforcement authorities cannot keep up with it. They are severely backlogged and there is frankly no way of telling when and if they will ever address your claim. If you have the means to afford it and you want your investigation to have any priority, you would have to hire a private investigator.

From there, what else you can do is in the nature of networking with other scam victims to get more information for the authorities or tp warm others. Here are some things that you can do:

Contact the site where you found this man and inform them that the person is a scammer. Ask them to take down his profile.

Run the photos he gave you on Google Search by Image. If that turns up a lot of scam warnings about him, 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 he's on Facebook, warn his Facebook friends. If you'd rather be anonymous and not tell your story on Facebook, post his photo and disclose this fraud on sites like Romancescam.com, Scamwarners.com, Scamdex.com, pigbusters.net and any 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 on sites such as the above you can find yourself networking and exchanging details with others who were scammed by the same person, which will give you more information to give to the authorities to help them find him.

Finally, talk to your accountant. When you are the victim of a crime, which you are, you can deduct at least some of your unreimbursed losses due to the crime as a casualty loss. In that way, even in the worst case scenario, you'll be able to recover some of your losses in the form of a deduction when you file your taxes next year.

I'm sorry not to have much better news for you, but this is the harsh reality of internet scam. I'd ask you to kindly refrain from shooting the messenger.