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To think that it IS a *bit* stupid to give £1000s to someone you haven't met?

(88 Posts)
StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:27:43

I'm just listening to Woman's Hour on catch up and there is yet more coverage of the dating scams and an interview with a police officer. Yet again, as often lately, she (and Jane Garvey) are at huge pains to say that falling for these scams is not a sign of stupidity.

It is a bit, though, isn't it?

Isn't it slightly daft to keep insisting otherwise just to spare some blushes?

Samcro Fri 11-Dec-15 11:29:01

there was a professor on the tv the other day that fell for it.
so shows even intelligent lonely people can be scammed

ThomasRichard Fri 11-Dec-15 11:29:19

YANBU really but these scams are directed at quite vulnerable people.

Squeegle Fri 11-Dec-15 11:31:49

Often when people fall for this, they are vulnerable for one reason or another. Maybe they are desperate for love. So, maybe they're being preyed upon while in a vulnerable state. That's not the same as stupidity. Although I have to say it is foolish. But we don't all want to go around being absolutely and utterly suspicious all the time.

However, like you I do feel people should try and be a bit more savvy.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:33:54

Yes, I suppose academic intelligence and savviness are not the same Samcro.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:35:36

Maybe 'we can all do something stupid when we are vulnerable' would be a better line and more likely to be taken seriously. It IS stupid.

tootsietoo Fri 11-Dec-15 11:41:58

I listened to the same feature and yes, it is a bit stupid, but at the same time I can understand how people can be sucked in. I was scammed once - in Indonesia, I was conned into paying a ridiculous amount of money (affordable to me, not devastating, but nevertheless a lot in the context) for a piece of "art". The minute I walked out of the room I realised what had happened, but for some reason was completely under the spell when I was in there. It was an excellent lesson, and years later I realised it was probably worth every penny to have had that lesson! Conmen are clever people and they go for people's weaknesses. Vulnerability is the key.

TheHiphopopotamus Fri 11-Dec-15 11:42:20

Maybe 'we can all do something stupid when we are vulnerable' would be a better line and more likely to be taken seriously. It IS stupid

I agree. I genuinely can't understand why you would give your life savings to someone you've never met. My dh (who I've known for donkeys) has a hard time getting me to lend him a tenner*

*That's a joke. I would never lend money 😌

tabulahrasa Fri 11-Dec-15 11:44:49

Pointing out that it's stupid though, that won't stop people falling for it, but it might stop them reporting it.

Rollermum Fri 11-Dec-15 11:46:07

Yes I agree. I try not to judge and think you never know what you would do in some situations but even so I like to think I am more savvy. I thought it was interesting saying they research you and push your buttons and actually it is obvious from stuff about me online what mine might be - though not romantic related.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:49:03

That's a joke. I would never lend money


KitKat1985 Fri 11-Dec-15 11:52:20

Yes I think it is a bit stupid. But I agree that these fraudsters do tend to pick on people who are vulnerable in some way.

Nicknamegrief Fri 11-Dec-15 11:55:40

But we all do stupid things ....

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:56:34

Pointing out that it's stupid though, that won't stop people falling for it, but it might stop them reporting it.

Yes, that's the difficult balance, isn't it?

A clear 'just say no; never send money to someone you haven't met' message might be better for preventing future fraud but at the same time you need people to come forward and report fraud and not feel stigmatised.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 11-Dec-15 11:58:03

I totally agree op, I am glad that this is becoming more in the forefront, so that people can be aware and on their guard. I struggle to lend dh £1, let alone 1000 shock. Also what baffles me is the number of women falling for these young Turkish, Exotic blokes, don't they know, they are not after them for their looks or personality, but their wallet and a Visa.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 11:58:25

But we all do stupid things ....

Exactly. There's no shame in it. Particularly for those who fell for it when the scams were not publicized.

heavens2betsy Fri 11-Dec-15 12:00:19

I said this too.
Its one thing to lend someone a bit of money and find you've been had but to hand over all your life savings to a stranger??

hellsbellsmelons Fri 11-Dec-15 12:01:12

I agree we all do stupid 'things' but it doesn't make us stupid people.
But this is something I can't quite get my head around.
But I've never really been in a very vulnerable position so have no idea how I would react if i were.
It's fucking infuriating that these people can and will keep doing this and getting away with it.

Viviennemary Fri 11-Dec-15 12:04:26

Academic achievement doesn't always go hand in hand with common sense. Is it sensible to give £1000's away to somebody you haven't met. Not usually. And these 50 or 60 year old women handing over tens of thousands to those young lads because they think they love them. confused

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 12:07:05

to those young lads because they think they love them

That's hard to fathom too, TBH. How do you get to the point of believing it is love?

Bearing in mind that these fraudsters haven't shown their real faces, avoid the phone and skype... confused

mmmuffins Fri 11-Dec-15 12:07:12

But even when the scams weren't publicized, would you not think, "How incredibly rude, we haven't even met yet and this man is asking me for money!" I do feel like you must be in a desperate place if you would be willing overlook a red flag like this.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 12:09:14

I do feel like you must be in a desperate place if you would be willing overlook a red flag like this.

You'd have to be, wouldn't you? Real 'existential crisis' desperate.

They are despicable crimes.

unlucky83 Fri 11-Dec-15 12:20:36

I think unless you have been exposed to fraudsters it is easy to judge - to understand they are very good at what they do...they know the right things to say, how to build a rapport, how to appeal to your natural decency etc.
There was someone on here a wee while ago talking about being conned on ebay and how stupid they felt ...I completely understood how they felt (They did get their money back though smile)
I was conned on ebay - I also got my money back (from paypal) and it wasn't a large amount but I was amazed at just how devious and clever the scammer was. Lots of apologetic, friendly, genuine sounding emails - before I even started to chase etc - then instant replies meant that it was only after 2 weeks of waiting for something with 2-3 days delivery that I started to get suspicious -after 3 weeks I was about to ask for a refund (and even feeling sort of guilty about that) when their feedback started to fill up with negatives and the extent of their scam became apparent. (They were so good that even so I did ask for a refund -to give them the benefit of the doubt etc -I got no reply.)

ricketytickety Fri 11-Dec-15 12:36:05

It seems like they are to outsiders but when you are the target of the con artist, they have lots of well practiced tricks up their sleeves to reel you in. They play on natural human emotions and reactions to circumstances to coerce you into parting with your cash.

The romance scam works because people hope to find love and the con artist works hard at the beginning to fulfil that person's hopes before they start working on extracting the cash. People have little alarm bells ringing at the start, but the fraudster will know this and have some little tricks up their sleeve to convince the target they are genuine. These scams can be very long - they might romance their target for months on end before they think they're ready to extract the money.

So not stupid, but human with normal vulnerabilities that scammers can exploit. I know a few people who have been scammed in various ways and none of them are stupid. They are just normal people who tread carefully but even still thought they were handing money over for genuine reasons. Don't know anyone who has been date scammed.

I think you're right about the message. It needs to be clear and maybe dating sites should be stating it: never send money to your dates whether you have met them or not. Just have a simple rule.

grundrisse Fri 11-Dec-15 12:45:27

I dunno. I'm remembering back to when I broke up with my ex DP and started dating again after about 15 years. I had no clue - literally no clue - how it was supposed to work and I was terrified. I felt like I was entering a world where I had no clue what the expectations were. I probably wouldn't have given someone money because I was broke, but I did agree to go on dates that I kind of knew were ill-advised, and I made some bad judgement calls about which relationships to pursue further. Thank God I ended up dating DH one day!

I can see how a charismatic conman or woman could exploit someone on the wrong day. This week, a man came to my door wearing a badge from the local hospice. I've not been well (flu). I let him in, and listened to a sales pitch for a charity lottery. I gave him my bank details, and he signed me up. It was only when he left that I realised that I could have done the most stupid thing - fortunately, when I rang the hospice I found out he was completely legit. But he could have been a fraudster with a fake ID.

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