A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.
This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.
There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.
The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
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.Narratives used to extract money from the victims of romantic scams include the following: Some romance scammers seek out a niche of various fetishes where they will find an obscure fetish and they will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer's plane ticket, they will get to live out a sexual fantasy of theirs by having the scammer come to them to have sex.The scammers also like to entice victims to perform sexual acts on webcam.They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.The pro-dater differs from the other scams in method of operation; a face-to-face meeting actually does take place in the scammer's country but is devoted solely into manipulating the victim into spending as much money as possible in relatively little time, with little or nothing in return.The scheme usually involves accomplices, such as an interpreter and a taxi driver, all of which must be paid by the victim at an inflated price.Everything is pre-arranged so that the wealthy foreigner pays high amounts of money for accommodation, is taken not to an ordinary public café but to the most costly restaurant (usually some out-of-the-way place priced far above what locals would ever be willing to pay), and is manipulated into making various expensive purchases, including gifts such as electronics and fur coats. The victim leaves just as alone but poorer at the end of the trip.The merchandise is returned to the vendors, the pro-dater and the various accomplices take in their respective cut of the take.As the pro-dater is eager to date again, the next date is immediately set up with the next wealthy foreigner.Unlike a gold digger, who marries for money, a pro-dater is not necessarily single or available in real life.Another variation is that the scammer insists they need to marry in order to inherit millions of dollars of gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather.