Nine ways to spot and prove a romance scam
Technically, online dating scams are part of what are known as “advanced fee” scams. The scammer usually requests money to visit the victim, usually to pay for a visa and airfare, but then suddenly runs into other “unexpected” difficulties (arrests, kidnapping, etc.) that cost the victim additional money. The closer the date appears to be getting to the victim, the more unexpected calamities appear. The scammers seem to delight in torturing their victims and seeing just how outrageous they can make the stories be and still get paid.
Many victims lose substantial sums of money, often their entire lifesavings. Some wealthy victims have lost millions of dollars. Many willingly go spending into the poor house selling off every available asset, convinced that their online lover needs just a bit more money to make all their dreams come true.