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Old 09-01-2015, 09:42 PM   #26356
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That was the first thing I did, and I was immediately taken to this thread: http://www.romancescam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54241. Dude's current profile pic was about 2/3 of the way down. Plain as day, photos stolen from a Romanian police commissioner.

When I told her, she seemed disappointed (naturally) but she seemed to accept it. However, she's still talking to him. She doesn't know I know that, and she's flat out lied to me about it. But if I tell her I know she's lying, she'll change her passwords and then I won't be able to keep an eye on things. (She has me set up her devices for her, so I have her email and cell account logins. I won't apologize for snooping - she's my mother and trying to keep her safe trumps my usual sense of ethics in this area.)

The guy has since changed his profile pic, but he's still using a stolen photo of Mr. Ciocan, just a different one. He claims to be contractor outside of DC. He says he's originally from Germany as a way to explain his accent.

She's been emailing him, but he only communicates with her via Facebook and phone. His email is just a gmail address, but since he never writes to her, I can't even nab a header for any possible info nuggets. A search on the email address nets me nothing so I imagine it's new and only being used to encourage trust.

His phone number is a Pinger voip number, so he has a Wash. DC number but could be anywhere.

I reported his profile to Facebook, but that probably won't do anything.

She's also opened a PayPal account within the past couple of weeks.

What really, really, REALLY steams me up is finding out that when I send her links showing proof that the photos are stolen, she emails the links to him. WTF??? Based on timestamps, he then calls her and says goodness knows what to explain it away.

I feel helpless. As of yet, he hasn't tried to reel in, but he's working up to it. I know how these guys operate. He'll say he's coming to see her but "something" will happen on the way and he'll need money. But until he actually does something like that, law enforcement can't do anything because, at the moment, he's basically just catfishing her. The Romanian PC is the only one that can take action over the photos, so that doesn't help me here.

If I confront her, I could lose my ability to keep an eye on things and she'll either deny it or defend him. I know her pretty well.

Arrrrgh!!!!
Hugs.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:47 PM   #26357
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Hugs.
Thanks. We need a sad-but-grateful smiley but that will do for now. It felt good to get it all out.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:55 PM   #26358
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CWN I can try to help you with any false claims regarding the "being from Germany" if it helps. I'm a certified German <-> Polish translator and as such have to be proficient with both languages, culture and everyday life on a high level.
IF that helps. Because it seems to me your ma WANTS to believe him.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:05 PM   #26359
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Thanks. We need a sad-but-grateful smiley but that will do for now. It felt good to get it all out.
Can I ask how old is mom?
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:09 PM   #26360
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CWN I can try to help you with any false claims regarding the "being from Germany" if it helps. I'm a certified German <-> Polish translator and as such have to be proficient with both languages, culture and everyday life on a high level.
IF that helps. Because it seems to me your ma WANTS to believe him.
Thanks for the offer. So far, he's apparently sticking to generic things, saying that he's originally from Berlin, and his facebook profile is very minimal so fewer details to potentially catch him out on. There's also the possibility that he's told her more things but since she's not talking, I've no idea.

Again, thank you. I really appreciate it, and if he comes up with anything to check out I'll PM you.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:11 PM   #26361
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Can I ask how old is mom?
She's 73, and he's claiming to be the same age despite the man in the photos being so very obviously at least 20 years younger than that. Sometimes denial keeps people from figuring out 2+2, you know?
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:18 PM   #26362
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She's 73, and he's claiming to be the same age despite the man in the photos being so very obviously at least 20 years younger than that. Sometimes denial keeps people from figuring out 2+2, you know?
Good luck with your mom.

Though in defense of your mom, how many of us have "not" listened when warned about a guy.
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 AM   #26363
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I feel helpless. As of yet, he hasn't tried to reel in, but he's working up to it. I know how these guys operate. He'll say he's coming to see her but "something" will happen on the way and he'll need money.....
I'm sorry to hear this... even though I don't understand how people can just blindly trust others they have never seen in real life, I know many fall for scams such as this.

As your mom is older, do you have shared authorization regarding her bank accounts and credit cards? If so, and she won't listen to reason, you might be able to fix this problem before it occurs. Block the credit cards and move all money out of the bank except for what is necessary for normal living.

Tell the bank about this situation, that your mom is in danger of losing a lot of money (transferring it willingly), and see what the bank says about it. I think they might be partial to preventing a scam.

Note: I'm not a lawyer. I do not know what is allowed and/or possible in a situation such as this. Even *if* you can do it, it might damage the relationship between you and your mom.

Maybe it would even be best, if she has enough money, to just shrug you shoulders and hope she doesn't lose too much. Losing 2K on an account of 10K of savings won't put her in trouble, but it's a big enough loss to be a teacher for life.

Ultimately it's you who will have the thankless task of deciding what to do... or to decide to do nothing.

Good luck.

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Old Yesterday, 05:45 AM   #26364
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Good luck with your Mom, CWatkinsNash. My parents (in their 90s) keep me jumping, but at least I haven't run into that problem.
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Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM   #26365
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As your mom is older, do you have shared authorization regarding her bank accounts and credit cards? If so, and she won't listen to reason, you might be able to fix this problem before it occurs. Block the credit cards and move all money out of the bank except for what is necessary for normal living.

Tell the bank about this situation, that your mom is in danger of losing a lot of money (transferring it willingly), and see what the bank says about it. I think they might be partial to preventing a scam.
I'm only listed on the account to have access in case of death, so no, that's not an option. And I can't guarantee that the bank wouldn't do anything because I have no administrative rights to the accounts. I'd have to prove her incompetent, but despite how it appears from this situation, she's otherwise quite capable.

Thank you for the advice, regardless. I appreciate it.

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Good luck with your Mom, CWatkinsNash. My parents (in their 90s) keep me jumping, but at least I haven't run into that problem.
Thanks. This is a new one for me, that's for sure.
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Old Yesterday, 02:18 PM   #26366
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I'm only listed on the account to have access in case of death, so no, that's not an option. And I can't guarantee that the bank wouldn't do anything because I have no administrative rights to the accounts. I'd have to prove her incompetent, but despite how it appears from this situation, she's otherwise quite capable.

Thank you for the advice, regardless. I appreciate it.



Thanks. This is a new one for me, that's for sure.
CWatkinsNash:

Not to be an alarmist--it's not my nature--but I do know of at least one woman whose life savings were wiped out--over 200K. And there's no recovering them, as the scummers aren't in this country, 99.99% of the time.

I'm trying to remember the name of that client's book--maybe that would help? Does she have a Kindle? (Altho--I think it's also in print).

Would you like the name? If you think it might help, I'll go find it; apparently, these scum all use the same lines and routines. She (the client) put in actual emails, TM's, etc., from this guy. She got to KNOW him, AS a scammer--telling him that she wouldn't chase him, and got all sorts of information from him.

Let me know.
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Old Yesterday, 02:33 PM   #26367
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Would you like the name? If you think it might help, I'll go find it; apparently, these scum all use the same lines and routines. She (the client) put in actual emails, TM's, etc., from this guy. She got to KNOW him, AS a scammer--telling him that she wouldn't chase him, and got all sorts of information from him.

Let me know.
Hitch
I would definitely be interested if you can find the name of it, thanks! Yes, she has a Kindle. I might just gift her the Kindle book, since I'm too far away to smack her in the head with the printed version.

My mom doesn't have much money to take. Blessing and a curse, I guess.
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Old Yesterday, 04:33 PM   #26368
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I would definitely be interested if you can find the name of it, thanks! Yes, she has a Kindle. I might just gift her the Kindle book, since I'm too far away to smack her in the head with the printed version.

My mom doesn't have much money to take. Blessing and a curse, I guess.
I can't believe I remembered it: It's "Who is the Real Man Behind The Screen," by Diana Garren. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Real-Man-B...dp/099076110X/ (Good thing she has a Kindle--the print version is very expensive, but the book was over 800 pages, IIRC). (n.b.: we did NOT do the print version).

The author worked with several Feebies putting this book together, and she relates the story of how SHE was scammed out of money, herself. She then realized she'd been scammed, and, somehow, befriended the scammer, who gave her all sorts of info. I'm the one who showed her how to use Tineye, to find the pics of the guys (all male models, of course, from their portfolios and headshots).

I hope it helps, I really do. I know that, as I said, I get 2-3 scammers a week on FB. I lead them on--luring them into saying just ENOUGH BS that I can report them to FB for being scammers, just to try to help other women...at least, for THAT identity. Of course, almost none of these bozos know that I served, so they don't know that I'll know that 99% of what they're claiming is utter BS (like, my personal fave, SEALS in Syria. Uh...riiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhht.)

It's not bad enough that there are all sorts of honor thieves on FB already, who AREN'T trying to scam people out of money (there are something like, 10,000 women on Facebook who claim to be "forensic anthropologists" when there are TEN registered women doing that in the US, and several hundred thousands "Ranger Snipers," ditto on the absurdity of the numbers--they all use crap that they heard on "Bones," god help us all)...but this crap is just nauseating.

Good luck.

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Old Yesterday, 05:51 PM   #26369
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I can't believe I remembered it: It's "Who is the Real Man Behind The Screen," by Diana Garren. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Real-Man-B...dp/099076110X/ (Good thing she has a Kindle--the print version is very expensive, but the book was over 800 pages, IIRC). (n.b.: we did NOT do the print version).
Thank you so much, Hitch! I really appreciate it! I'm going to gift it to her, but I want it to be more of a "Since you had to deal with that dirtbag, thought you might be interested in seeing how these people operate" or something so I need to put some thought into the timing.

On a brighter note, it looks like phone contact has dropped some in the last couple of days.
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Old Yesterday, 09:30 PM   #26370
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You might want to touch base with the police in both your Mom's jurisdiction and your own, to see if they can offer any advice.* Also, check any resources that might be available here:

http://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccip...property-crime


* Many local police departments have good community outreach programs to help with computer scams and crimes even though the actual crime would fall under the FBI's jurisdiction.
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