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When we speak to victims they say they've been connected, prolifically in the initial stages, using extremely validating language and we are all suckers for it," she said."Being told how much they are loved, how wonderful they are …they use that sort of validating language and the prolific nature of it, regular text messages not just through the day, but through the night."The victim is then expecting those validating messages to come through."They ask for a small amount, and over a period of weeks the person is totally in love and caught up with situation, but there is always an excuse," she said."The love interest works overseas, there is always some disaster that would prevent them from getting money to see the victim." The fraud is called an "advanced feed fraud" as the victim gives money expecting to get it back and all sorts of false ID is provided to let the victim believe they will get the money back.Another trick is to isolate the victim from family and friends."The victim is so wrapped up in the story — friends and family will be much more wary and they have a completely different angle because they haven't been manipulated in the same way."It is critical for the criminal to isolate the victim, so they think their friends and family are being the wedge between their loving relationships."People are losing everything in these scams, from superannuation to life savings, and on top there is the loss of a person they believed was the love their life.Ms Malet-Warden said the victims were "happy to give because they are in love".Ms Malet-Warden said scammers used the complex language of love to connect with their victims in the early stages of a process that regularly hooked smart, educated people."The language is really important.oxytocin levels rise in these cases, which increases our level of trust," she said.
As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud.
It is a 'romance' between people who never meet, based purely on text messages, internet liaisons and phone calls.
Yet victims all too often are willing to give away thousands of dollars and risk facilitating a crime.
It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.
Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.