Jamaica is home to millions and a travel destination to many; and while it may seem like it is all sunshine, rainbows, and beautiful beaches, there are quite a few elaborate scams that originate from Jamaica.
Romance scammers have been around for many years, but with technology getting more advanced every day and what seems like a never-ending amount of methods used by romance scammers, we have decided to create a help guide to help you combat this.
Within this guide, you will discover the most popular Jamaican dating scams used by scammers. This help guide will feature ways that you can use to prevent this from happening to you; and things that you should look out for.
Jamaican Dating Scams: Common Formats
The Money Mule
Romance scams are a widely used tactic to target victims on dating sites. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be hard to detect, so let’s go over one of the most popular online dating scams that originates out of Jamaica. This scam will begin with you being contacted online on either a social media platform or an online dating site. Aside from the fact that this person lives in Jamaica, nothing will be unordinary.
Jamaica isn’t usually a widely known location for scams, so sometimes people are less concerned when receiving messages from Jamaica, versus somewhere like Nigeria, for example. Once you both begin chatting online, it will start off as most other online dating chats do, with the typical casual back and forth messaging.
Quickly Develops Strong Feelings
Eventually, though, after a week or so of chatting together, this person will seem to quickly grow strong feelings towards you. Although not necessarily an immediate red flag in every case, growing such strong feelings for someone after only a week should raise suspicion. Next, over the course of a few months, the scammer will begin grooming you
Next, the scam will begin. This person will explain that he may have some sort of restrictions in Jamaica that prevents him from running business properly. He will then ask you if you could receive the money for him, most likely in the form of a credit card, so that you can buy certain items and ship them out to his customers.
The cards will have different names on them. He will simply explain, however, that his company gives each employee a credit card; but because of certain restrictions, he is having you do it in the meantime. He may even allow you to purchase a few things for yourself occasionally. Keep in mind, though, that you may only receive and send money instead of purchasing items to ship out. In other words, you will be the middleman who cleans the money to make it less traceable to authorities.
A False Romance
Undoubtedly the most popular online dating scam used across the world, this scam will run your bank account dry very quickly. How it starts out is that you will initially receive a friend request on social media or match with this person on an online dating site.
They Fall in Love At Warp Speed
Once you both begin chatting with one another, the scammer will start to quickly mention that he has fallen in love with you. Beware, as this is an outright lie; he is only trying to build intimate rapport with you in order to build trust.
After your trust has been gained and you are more vulnerable due to the so-called “Romance Spell” he has placed on you, the scammer will then begin mentioning various financial troubles, such as that he has lost his job, for example. After a few days, he will state that he has an emergency or ordeal of some sort, like life-saving surgery for a family member.
Victim Sends Money
In shock and wanting to help the person they’ve grown feelings for, the victim sends the money with little to no hesitation and the scammer thanks them. If allowed, the scammer will continue this for an infinite amount of time, at least until the victim notices something suspicious.
This particular scam has continued for years until the victim finally took the initiative to research this person, which is why it’s very important to take the necessary precautions when online dating. That especially holds true when the other person is a foreigner.
Great Prevention Methods
Too often a weak point that scammers forget to strengthen is their social media profiles. Let’s use Facebook, for example. I’m willing to bet that if you open a scammer’s Facebook page, that it will lack structure in a very obvious way. Lack of friends, close to zero page likes, very low engagement. These and many other aspects, like lack of photos, are a tell-tale sign that this person is very likely a scammer. Checking their Facebook account alongside their other social media accounts is a great way to help you determine their honesty.
Video calling is the last thing a scammer wants to do when trying to hide their identity — which is often the case. Asking this person to video call is almost always an effective way to distinguish an honest person from one who isn’t. Although there are rare but special circumstances, avoiding a simple video call multiple times is a huge red flag and should be taken as a warning.
Google Reverse image Search
Dating scammers often use stolen photos as their profile pictures that they have stolen from other regular people online. Using Google reverse image search is a fantastic way to help you truly find out if the person whom you are talking to is attempting to scam you. This feature of Google works by searching billions of websites for the same image; if you see more than one name connected to that photo, then this is most likely a scam; on the contrary, if you only see one name connected to the photo, this is a good sign, although this doesn’t necessarily prove the best outcome.
Things To Remember for Jamaican Dating Scams
Honest People Don’t Ask For Money
Throughout my research, I have yet to come across a person claiming to have sent money to an online love that led to a good outcome. When someone asks you for money online, specifically a romance, this should immediately cause suspicion. It’s normal to want to reject that your online romance may be out to scam you, but the potential risk is not worth it. Never send money to any romance online, specifically if you have not met them.
Don’t Give Personal Information
Sometimes, scammers may ask you for banking details or even your social security number. In many situations, scammers will initially gain your trust, so don’t think that this can’t happen to you. Once they gain your trust and you are vulnerable, they will ask for this information. However, once you send this to them, you may face identity theft, bankruptcy and many other legal issues. When asked for this, immediately block this person and report them to the FBI.
Falling in Love Too Quickly
Almost every romance scammer will try to lure you into the scam as quickly as possible. They do this by making you think that they have fallen head over heels for you. However, this is not the case. People love being loved, but don’t let this take grasp over you. When someone mentions that they have fallen in love with you after only a week or two, then you should be cautious of this person.
The FTC states:
According to the FTC, 143 Million dollars was stolen from victims of romance scams last year alone. This is a higher amount than any other online dating scam. They also state that the average victim of this scam had an average loss of $2600; and those over the age of 70 had an average loss of more than $100,000.
Those are hefty amounts to be lost, when all this could be prevented when using healthy caution. The amount of money stolen from victims has nearly quadrupled, with 8,500 victims in 2015 rising to a whopping 21,000 in 2018. This should be a fair warning that you should never send money to anyone online that you do not trust.