And now we have a new modern twist on the Miss Lonelyhearts con, using low tech, easily learned skills and Facebook. The trick works like this.
- The con artist (male or female) creates a brand new new Facebook account. The con selects a person with a Facebook account who looks the part they wish to play. Usually they pick some mature looking guy in uniform if they are going after women. If they are going after men, it will be some busty young woman.
- The con artist makes up a name that is similar to the person whose account is being cloned. Then the con person steals candid photos from the target person's photo album and posts the pictures as their own.
- Once the account is set up, the con artist friends a person who does a lot of cutting and pasting and other things that require extra steps. They particularly go after people who pass along posts that they have been bullied or made to feel guilty for not posting. These they mark as easy targets or "marks".
This kind of fake account is most effectively used to roll widows and lonely-hearted women and widowed or shy men. Inevitably the con artist flatters them and portray themselves as well off potential romantic partners. Then one day the con tells them they are stuck somewhere without a credit card and they ask the mark to wire them money, promising to pay them back when some money gets transferred to their account until they get their replacement credit card.
When they get the money they disappear. That's why they need a fake account. They disappear once they get the money. They need to steal your pictures so they look authentic with lots of friendly pictures. Most of the time they don't choose any pictures with a spouse. If they do, they tell the target that their spouse has recently died and they are so terribly lonely.
If you do get approached by one of these people, watch for these signs:
- They will be overly familiar, calling you pet names and telling you how handsome or beautiful you are.
- They will seek to become more intimate relatively quickly.
- They will tell you how well off they are and how much money they make. It will be rather a lot.
- They will tell you how much you mean to them and ask you for small favors at first.
- They will offer to give you money or some kind of help.
- THEN they will ask for money from you.
These people are truly despicable. Don't let them in. Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
© 2017 by Tom King