URGENT: Romance Scammers Now Using Fake Webcam Footage to Deceive Victims

A new online romance scam uses fake Webcam footage to get new victims...(Press Release – February 23, 2012) A new evolution in romance scams is about to create tens of thousands of new victims. Online Dating Magazine reports that scammers are now using fake Webcam footage to deceive victims.

Here’s how it works:

First, the scammer spends weeks inside Webcam chat rooms recording footage of an unsuspecting person on different days. The person being recorded doesn’t know they are communicating with a scammer.

The scammer then tries to deceptively obtain photos of the unsuspecting person by email. The scammer may also find photos on Facebook or via online searches.

Finally, armed with photos and multiple days of Webcam footage of the unsuspecting person, the scammer creates a fake online dating profile to lure victims.

“Up until now scams would consist of communication via an online dating service followed by emails and phone calls,” says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine at www.onlinedatingmagazine.com. “Now scammers can initiate fake Webcam chats with you to further make you believe the lie. They have full control over the footage. They can pause it, make it jump to a point where the person is laughing, type when the person is typing, etc. It comes off as very realistic and impressive.”

Tracy says that this new scam is creating two types of victims: the person being scammed, and the person who was recorded by Webcam and doesn’t realize their footage is being used in scams.

Imagine a guy named Andrew having a Webcam chat with someone he believes is a 28-year-old traveling businesswoman. The scammer memorizes the illicit video and bookmarks, in advance, certain parts of the video for quick access. So Andrew may see a woman in the Webcam typing while the scammer types, “Andrew, look at this new dress I got today.” The video of the woman in the Webcam then stands up to show off the dress. There’s now no doubt in Andrew’s mind that the person he is chatting with is real when in reality it is someone completely different. It’s possible to have a Webcam chat with the “person” on 18 different occasions and they are wearing 18 different outfits. That’s how elaborate this new scam has become.

Tracy warns that the scam can be taken further, with scammers using recorded Webcam sessions of their victim to scam someone else after they’ve gotten the victim’s money.

“This has taken the romance scam to an entirely new level,” says Tracy. “Word needs to get out quickly to warn people about this new development.”

Tracy says that the best way to test whether you are Webcam chatting with a scammer is to innocently ask them to do something and see if they react. For example, type, “What’s that crawling on the wall behind you?” If the person “pauses” or doesn’t look, then that’s a major red flag. When asked to do something they don’t have footage recorded of, scammers will pause the Webcam video and attribute it to a communication problem while answering your question in the chat window.

Online Dating Magazine is asking people to help spread the word about this new scam. Online romance scams are the most successful of all online scams, costing victims worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

“Some of these scam organizations are making more money that the big online dating services,” says Tracy. “It’s important to warn people so that they don’t fall prey to these elaborate schemes.”

About Online Dating Magazine
Online Dating Magazine is a free online publication and watchdog group for online daters and singles. The publication was launched in 2003 and has served millions of online daters since then with tips, reviews, warnings, and experiences. You can visit Online Dating Magazine at http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com

Online Dating Magazine is also on Twitter (onlinedatingweb), YouTube (onlinedatingweb), Facebook (onlinedatingmagazine) and Pinterest (onlinedating).

About Online Dating Safety Awareness Month
Online Dating Safety Awareness Month was first launched by Online Dating Magazine in 2011 and occurs every February.  During this time, sites are encouraged to publish information that educates online daters and singles on how to have a safe and fun online dating experience.

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Comments

  1. I am writing this because I think I am a victim of a romance scam. I am also worried that he might use my photos and I think he recorded our webcam sex. We did it only once. Please help. I am afraid my friends and family will know and see this video of mine.

  2. I have seen on webcam the same person in his pictures is this possible

    • Scammers can get photos and Web cam sessions from people they communicate with then use both of those to scam another person. In addition, they can buy photos/web cam sessions from shady sellers and use those in a scam. That’s why it is always important to look for signs that you might be the victim of a scam and never give money to someone you’ve never met no matter what they tell you.

  3. I know for a 110% certainty there are minimum 18 guys running this scam out of the Philippines.

    I have a copy of a FB chat where a “ring leader” admits to his cousin that he uses a voice changer so he sounds like a girl.

    The Philippine National Police know who these people are but unable to find them because they are so well organized. They have makeshift internet cafes set up throughout various towns & cities.

    When I sent the PNP the evidence I had discovered, mostly by myself, 8000 miles away they were stunned & impressed, the one sticking point is that they do not have a physical address as to where any of these people are currently living.

    They told me themselves, even some drug dealers over there don’t have as much money as these guys were photographed with.

    They figure it was 3 solid months saved of their time looking into the matter. And enough to put it HIGH on their priority list.

    Paying off the local Police, using their cousins names or part of names, as fake profiles, using fake ID’s to pick up money transfers.

    FBI will take a report, but unless you have PROOF who the actual people involved are, they won’t act.

    Wording to look for:

    * im in a contest & hope you can vote for me
    (interesting sidenote on this voting scam)
    – they have multiple affiliate accounts set up with various adult single & web cam sites
    – by having someone go thru the process of signing up on maybe 4 or 5 links as part of this voting process, the consumer can easily be out $100-$150
    – they have earned upward of $300+, which is almost a months rent for a low to middle income family

    * I’ll wait it to my email
    * excessive use of words babe or hun
    * its only small amount for my foods babe

    If someone says they are stuck in a foreign country … RUN AWAY FAST

    *** If anyone has been scammed by someone from Philippines, please contact me

  4. bizarrio says:

    I am not surprised at all. Scammers always find new ways to scam people out of their money.

    This is one of the reasons why I do not use a webcam.

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