Chief Editor of RomanceScams.org, Chelsea, does an in-depth interview with Jack Roberts, a global scam expert. Jack manages Global Investigations out of the UK and they help clients perform investigations on various matters, including dating scams.
Let’s get started:
Hey Jack, What’s Your Background?
I am a Global specialist on scam scenarios and set ups and in this day and age scamming is covering the whole of the globe and the threat is growing and becoming more serious.
Criminals are getting a lot more dangerous and the scams are becoming more refined. Here at Global Investigations we have been investigating scam cases for over 25 years and are seen as the UK and Global experts in such sometimes very complex, sophisticated, and often demoralizing investigations.
Many scammers claim to be from the UK or even the USA when in fact they are often in African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana. They think they are well versed in covering their tracks and hiding their true identity, however, here at Global we often have the latest information on these perpetrators and can, after running some time based checks, use more attuned methods to attempt to uncover the scammer and their location.
We have won industry awards and there are articles about us in the national press and I myself have also even been used as a critical character in a dating scam based fiction book called “Dead at First Sight” a novel by the world-renowned, best-selling crime writer, Peter James.
In your own words, what are romance and dating scams?
We are seen as taking a lead and direct approach on the scammers that are dragging many older and vulnerable people into fanciful and fictitious dating dialogs. They are mainly based around romance and these clients of ours are generally lonely and exposed. They are sometimes elderly and not aware or very pc savvy enough to know the difference between a scammer and a real responder.
They work on the very soul of a person, and seek to gain trust and acceptance with people who may be at a low in their life, generally vulnerable or at a point where they need to have a friend. They seek to flatter and deceive and they do this over many weeks and months and even years before they release the sting. They will claim they are widowed, lonely themselves, desolate in a foreign country or involved in some sickness or injury and then the gates of deceit will truly open.
Remember, some of these scammers will attempt things that will be convincing, like waiting for you to first contact them. They may send you flowers and money to your account first, send you poems and songs and claim they love you and can’t live without you. They will manipulate pictures and images and make you believe they are in the places they say they are. Scammers now also manipulate videos and movies to look like they are talking with you and they are being professional in their applications.
What type of service do you provide to romance scam victims?
We offer a thorough check on the people involved and sometimes we can display and clearly put down in print what has happened and how you have been taken in. We look into what we can see on this individual and the methods they have used and advise on what is possible and not possible. Sometimes we have been successful in tracing parties involved and we will also help in instances where assistance can be asked of the Police, but many times we are providing reassurance and then secondary advice on what is the best way forward. We also advise on how to protect yourself and your family from further scams, but each case is so different from the last I would advise anyone that needs assistance to contact us and we will help as much as we can.
What is that one story about a victim that always has stuck with you?
There are so many that I don’t have a particular story that sits higher than another, as I’ve seen so many lives being torn apart and so many homes, marriages and business go by the wayside and never recover. It is emotionally draining to see vulnerable and lonely people on the whole lose further faith in mankind.
Can you provide some tips on how people can protect themselves against scams?
Yes, first thing is never assume anything on the internet with anyone you have never met personally. Never ever send money to anyone no matter how small, never accept any money and do not give out your bank information or card or personal information until you can verify someone or you have met someone personally.
Always confide in a friend and always look for signs that a person is lying. Trust your intuition and trust your feelings when you suspect a fraud. There are so many of these fake profiles on social media and dating platforms and of course from random strangers on unsolicited emails.
What would be the first thing you recommend someone do once they figure out they are a victim?
They need to stop and get some help. That might be just with a friend, social worker or a family member and they need to realize they are not stupid and they are not the bad person in this however much they have lost or however much they have opened up. These people are professional in what they do and they have no ethics or remorse and they will have no feelings for you, only one of financial benefit.
You then need to contact a professional, such as us here at Global, to see the damage they have caused. They may have used your bank accounts for laundering, they may have your family’s information to further scam and they may now place your name and details on a “suckers list” and circulate your information to many others. There may even be a way we can find these people and bring them to justice.