Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.
The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.
They will send you the Money Orders or checks and ask you to deposit them into your bank account and then wire the money to them via Western Union.
Usually they say to keep some money for your trouble.
The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but fraudsters may try to contact you by making fake profiles, getting in touch and building what feels like a loving relationship.
Once a fraudster using a fake dating profile is confident that they’ve won your trust, they will tell you about a problem they’re experiencing and ask you to help out by sending money.
They may have arranged to visit you, but need money to pay for the flight or visa.
They may tell you everything has been booked but their ticket has been stolen, and you need to send money quickly to get them on the next flight.
This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.
When you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you.
They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.
Alternatively they may prey on your sympathies, telling you a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.
Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.