Special interest Article;
Anthony J. Iantosca,
"LOOK AT PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY REALLY
"NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THEY ARE"
"NOT WHAT YOU WISH THEM TO
Searching for love "in all the wrong places." I
have conducted numerous online dating investigations, for both male and female
clients who have contacted me through my site, on
INGENIO. My investigations found that some of the men and women from Africa, Russia and
China are very sophisticated with their on line "419 dating love scams". "419'' refers to the article of the Nigerian
Criminal Code (part of Chapter 38 obtaining property by false pretenses;
In many cases it is not the dating site who is perpetrating the fraud. It is
some of the men and women who post a profile, with the sole intent of making a
living. These perpetrators use other people's loneliness and desperation to their
There are many respectable on line dating sites through out the world that
have many success stories attached to them. These dating sites work very hard to
keep the con artists at bay. But in today's fast paced, high tech world the
weapon of choice is not the gun or knife anymore. It is the computer.
A tactic used today is called "Catfishing."
What Is a "Catfishing" Scam? A “catfish” is a person who creates a false
online identity in the hopes of luring people into romantic relationships.
Catfishing is basically an Internet scam or hoax in which someone pretends to be
someone else online and nabs an unsuspecting victim. People may go "catfishing"
for a variety of reasons.
So is "catfishing" illegal? Well, it depends upon the specific facts of the
catfishing scam, and also which state it occurred in. For example, several
states like California, Washington, Texas, and New York already make online
impersonation a crime, according to AG Beat. So if a teacher pretends to be a
student on Facebook, or a fan pretends to be a star athlete on Twitter, then the
impersonator could potentially be guilty of a crime. For online impersonation
laws like California's to kick in, however, the perpetrator's intent must be to
harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud. California's law also allows a victim to
file a civil lawsuit against the scammer if he/she has suffered any economic
harm. "Catfishing" may still be illegal when the online fraud is used to
perpetuate a crime. For example, if someone "catfishes" to profit off a natural
disaster, to seduce young children, or for any other illegal purpose, then that
person would obviously be guilty of the underlying crime.
When dating on line and communicating through texts or e-mails pay very
close attention to the words, language, phrases and punctuation the person is using. Many times than not the language the scammer uses does
not sound right for someone born and educated in the United States.
In other investigations, I have found that a man or a woman will post a
profile on an American dating site and state they are living here in the USA.
Their profile will say they are living in some obscure city in the Mid West or
South Eastern USA. Once they have you on the hook emotionally and you start to
press them for a face to face meeting, they will tell you they had to return to
their country of origin because of a death in the family or some other disaster
that has happened to a love one there. Usually, they need your help getting back
to the USA because they lost all their money when their luggage was stolen at
the Airport or some other catastrophe that has happened to them. These are "419 Nigerian scam artists." 419 is named after a
formerly relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria. In brief, 419 is a
sub-classification of Advance Fee Fraud Crime in which the perpetrators are West
Africans, primarily Nigerians operating globally from Nigeria and elsewhere.
These 419 love scams will always involve the wiring of funds, your funds to help
them out in some way.
In one "419 Love Scam," a lovely twenty two year
woman sent e-mails to me nonstop for over two weeks expressing her undying love
for me. She was also talking to one of my clients, by the way, and she asked if
I could wire her the money needed for her airplane ticket. She wanted to fly to
Boston to meet me. She had lost everything in Hurricane Katrina including and
not limited to, her mother, father, grandmother and pet poodle. Her profile had
her living in Lovesville, North Carolina. I did not realize the tidal surge went
that far north.
Believe me within a few weeks of e-mailing back and forth or talking on
messenger with a con artist, ( with a web cam so you can see how lucky you are
to have such a lovely mate ) there will be drama.
In my investigations, I also found what I call the "bait
and switch tactic." A man or woman usually in their twenty's will post a
profile on another dating site and send you an e-mail. Once you answer him or
her, they will ask you to open an account on an other dating web site that does
translation services, so the two of you can communicate better. These web sites
will charge you for every word or character they translate. Again, you pay for
every e-mail you send or receive. One woman I became friendly with told me she
received a small percentage for every client who opened an account and started
to send e-mails.
On line dating can be a very exciting and rewarding experience. It can also
turn very violent and deadly if you do not have a good understanding of the
personality you are dealing with. If you have met someone on line, and are
meeting them for the first time, I give my female clients a basic list of do's
1) For the first six dates or until you feel
comfortable with the person, always meet him or her in a public place.
2) Have your own transportation to and from the
meeting location if possible.
3) Let friends and family know where you are going,
who you are meeting and what time you expect to be home.
4) Have your cell phone with you, batteries charged
and your cell phone on. Have a friend call you during your first meeting to see
how things are going. If you feel uncomfortable always trust your " gut "
instinct. Have a code word that your contact will understand, and know you want
5) Never, never let someone you just met online, talk
you into driving you home alone.
6) Know your tolerance for alcohol. Do not over
7) If you meet in a club or bar never leave your drink
8) Never give someone you just met online your
personal contact information, or home address.
9) A gentleman who has your best interest and safety
at heart, will understand these rules. If your date ridicules you or tries to
make you feel foolish because of them, loose him quickly.
10) Never send or wire money to anyone you have met
I will not tell you the horror stories I have been
told by my female clients, who did not adhere to these basic rules.
Remember our two strongest drives are "sex and
aggression." There are those among us who have a deep uncontrollable need
to express domination and control over other human beings. This is accomplished
in different ways but with the same goal, control. They obtain extreme sexual
and physical gratification by means of physical violence.
What a person projects and what they are may be two entirely different
matters. A threat assessment profile conducted by this office will tell you what
he or she is really all about. What do you expect from him or her once the
honeymoon phase of the relationship is over?
Answering the question,
"What is the best I can hope for,
what is the worst I can expect?"
When dating on
line do not let emotion and imagination become your reality.
As the FBI
Profiler John Douglas has stated:
"On line, I can be anyone you want
me to be."
Please feel free to contact me here on Ingenio if you have any questions regarding online
dating. My Ex. is 01155. I am here to help you and answer any questions you may have.