OPW -- Sep 28 -- Victims shell out $100,000 every single day to scammers who put up nice pictures on dating sites, sweet talk singles and then say they need money, e.g. they're on business and are stuck in Nigeria. Scamming is an international crisis with most scams coming from Nigeria. There's a saying in Nigeria. "You blame the person for leaving the rice available to steal." A lot of the scammers are graduates but don't have a job to go to. 70% of Nigerians live on less than a dollar a day in Nigeria.
Scammers pocket $300 million a year from British victims. Not too long ago a senior UK politician was a victim; $15k stolen from his bank account.
VICTIM: Deedee accumulated a $928 phone bill...but 'Cole' (the scammer) said he'd pay it when he returned to the USA. He needed a $2300 ticket home to the USA. Deedee has sent him $3700 so far. She totally believes 'Cole' is in love with her and thinks he lives in Buffalo, NY. Dr Phil located the man. He's a lottery scammer in Nigeria; people send money to get money back. She never noticed that he had a West African accent. The man in the picture is Michael, a model (and police officer) who's picture was taken from focushawaii.com.
The next guest is pretty sure she's being scammed but is in love and can't give him up. The scammer says he's English and his father is African. Hence the accent. He asked her for money a month after they started talking. He'd gone on a contracting job and was beaten and robbed and needed money for hospital. Then he asked for $750 for an airplane ticket, then $200 more for additional anti-terrerist fees. "I don't know, love does strange things to you I guess." Noone was at the airport. Five days after she went to the aiport the scammer's 'doctor' called. He was in a coma after being hit by a car and woke up calling her name. The doctor needed money for his bills. After leaving the hospital he wanted $25k for a farm. She kept on sending him money. 9 times out of the 14 times he asked in the ensuing 4 months. To this day, she wishes he would show up at her door. She's STILL chatting with him on the internet! In reality, the picture is of a UK model.
Dr Phil estimates internet scammers take $15 billion a year. "All those people who are bullying and victimising innocent people. We're gonna turn a big floodlight on over their heads, on this show, this year."
Mark Brooks - Dr Phil mentioned Yahoo and Yahoo chat on the show. No mention of Match. After the show at 7pm PST Dr Phil was on the Match.com website on a live chat to take questions. Alas, I logged in at 7:30pm and the chat session was over.
Internet dating sites have three lines of defence again scammers. 1. Automated filters that look for words and behavioral patterns that indicate the presence of a scammer. 2. User flagging. Users can flag profiles of people that they suspect are up to no good. 3. Customer service/abuse teams review profiles, photos and user flaggings.