Moreover, she said, romantic love can produce feelings of euphoria similar to the effects of cocaine or heroin, which explains why otherwise intelligent and accomplished people do irrational things to get a fix.Of course, people have always been fools for love — it’s just that the global reach and altered reality of the Internet increases the risk and can make the emotional and financial damage more severe.“I don’t think there is a general understanding of how much of this romance scam stuff is out there, how it works and what the consequences are,” said Steven Baker, director of the Midwest region of the Federal Trade Commission.Perfect is recommended for long-term relationships .
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Young women, particularly in the West, are promised a so-called jihottie (jihadist hottie) of their choosing for a husband. I., Homeland Security, State Department and United States Army Criminal Investigation Command have reported an avalanche of complaints about scams in the past two years. “I’ve been cussed out that I don’t know what I’m talking about because they are so infatuated with this person they’ve never even met.”Psychology experts liken this to the crushes or strong feelings of connection people develop for sports figures, rock stars, actors and other celebrities.
Young men are offered an attractive and devoted wife, which they might not have the money or social standing to obtain otherwise, particularly if they live in the Middle East, where unemployment is forcing many to delay marriage (and sex if they are devout).“There is a lot of talk about developing love, falling in love and finding love on the battlefield,” said Katherine Brown, a lecturer of Islamic studies at the University of Birmingham in Britain who researches terrorist recruitment tactics. Average financial losses are ,000 to ,000, but the F. It’s easy to project perfection on someone you’ve never met, particularly if, along with a pretty face, he or she is emailing, texting and calling every day or several times a day telling you how awesome you are.“For most of us, there are pockets and maybe whole sections of our minds and hearts that are not really reality-driven,” said Stephen Seligman, a psychoanalyst and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.
In the latest twist, scammers coax victims into taking explicit photos and videos of themselves and then threaten to distribute them to their Facebook or Skype contacts if they don’t pay them money or help them launder money.“We’re seeing a lot of these sextortion cases lately,” said Wayne May, an administrator who gives advice to the lovelorn on the website Scam Survivors.
“We get about 30 requests for help a day,” usually from young men who sent a picture of their privates to a buxom Tinder match who turned out to be a blackmailer.
“It’s staggering how many people fall for it.”Scammers typically create fake profiles on dating sites and apps like Match.com, Ok Cupid, e Harmony, Grindr and Tinder using pictures of attractive men and women — often real people whose identities they’ve filched off Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites.