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Watertown man scammed out of $250,000 in online love-gone-wrong scheme

Watertown News reports (scroll down) on a case of a man who thought he'd found a love connection online, to whom he sent $4,200, ostensibly to help her sort out her father's estate, then started getting threatening calls from people claiming to be Justice Department agents who said he'd sent money to a terrorist organization, so he'd better pay them even more to keep from going to prison. And then there were the calls from Guyanese lottery officials.



Looking for love in all the wromg places.

That would've covered a whole bunch of martinis and delicious Greek food at the now departed Aegean restaurant.

Elder financial scams are a reality.

I miss the Nigerian Prince scams from years ago! The Prince needs your help getting money out of his country.

and they're getting wilier, smarter, more diabolical, and more dangerous, to boot. That's why I've never used an online dating service, and why, if I see a phone number, a person's name, or place that I don't recognize on my caller I. D, that I don't answer my phone. If I see any email that's suspicious, I delete it-pronto!


The scam callers will do their research on you first -- name, address, even birthday and names of relatives. They'll spoof the caller ID to some local police or government name and number or even just 911 (never trust caller ID or even the calling phone number, it is easily faked!) and start hammering hard and fast to provoke fear and anxiety, which suppress rational response, and keep you from contacting anyone else (since that would reveal the scam).

That's precisely why, if a name, phone number, place, etc., comes up on your caller I. D., that you don't answer the telephone. Having caller I. D. is a very good way of protecting against scamming.

My number is on a Craigslist ad for a service, so I get all kinds of scammers. Quite often the phone number will match the first 6 numbers in mine, which makes me instantaneously suspicious, but I'm Mr. Skeptic anyway. They move on pretty quickly after ascertaining I'm a poor mark.

If you think that only a moron would fall for a scam... ... some scams are very sophisticated. I have heard of targeted “spear phishing” exploits that got as much as a 40% catch rate... among professional employees of a major bank.