By fabricating an illusion of their own wealth, scammers may be able to convince you that you're simply "loaning" them money that, for some weird reason, they can't immediately access.
There were other warnings signs: when he wasn’t criticizing her, he was complimenting how “connected” she was in Manhattan social circles. And when he’s sucked you dry, he’ll find someone else,” she laments.
“I should have run, but I listened to my heart, not my head,” she admits.
By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer.
"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.
The idea is to get you to suspend good sense and become enamored with someone you've known online for just a few weeks and have never met in person. Kipps has decided that another tip-off is photographs that show all the trappings of wealth -- exotic cars, mansions, pictures in romantic foreign settings.
Of course, real people sometimes have nice things and go to great places, but these visual cues are key to scammers who want to get your guard down for their future bid for cash.
But — here’s the clincher — he was also, from the very beginning, exciting, charming, witty and seductive. Yes, there’s a good musical theater metaphor for people like Sarah’s boyfriend, but there’s also a technical term: .
Sarah realizes now that those traits may make for a good date, but not a good relationship. Narcissism is extreme self-absorption — to the point of being unable to achieve true intimacy with anyone.
"I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years.
"After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.
"You see this communication and think, 'Oh my gosh, I must be more attractive than I thought! They're also likely to target people with weight problems and those recovering from illnesses. Any of these issues might make you a bit more anxious about your ability to find love and potentially more receptive to the con.