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Let’s say you’ve met someone online, whether on social media or an online dating website. You have similar interests, and the sparks are flying, so much so that you’ve formed an online relationship over some months with the hopes of planning to meet in person. However, those planned meetups are always canceled because your love interest claims to work in an oil rig across the country, is low on cash, and needs help with money to get to you. If this sounds familiar, you are most likely a victim of an oil rig romance scam. If you want to learn how to end this emotional and financial scam, keep reading to learn valuable tips to keep yourself safe.
Oil rig scams can last as long as the victim is willing to keep the relationship going with their scammer. You have to keep in mind that victims believe they are in genuine relationships with these people, and the only reason they have not been able to meet in person is that they are located miles away.
Scammers will keep in contact until their victims can no longer financially support them. To get as much money as possible, romance scammers will make it seem like money is the only thing holding them back from visiting the victim. Since these victims are eager to meet the person they have been romantically interested in, they will send as much money as possible to make visits possible.
When victims notice that their love interest continuously cancels their meetups and frequently asks for money, they will pull back; and as soon as they want to end the relationship, the scam can become more severe, and the potential of internet blackmail and online sextortion can happen.
To stop a romance scammer from harassing you, you should seek expert help. It’s typically hard for victims to deal with this type of scam because their feelings are involved, and the person they have invested in romantically for months isn’t real and is just there to scam them out of their hard-earned money.
Sometimes, a romance scammer will disappear once the victim ends the relationship, feeling satisfied with the money they have made. However, in many other cases, to get their victim to continue sending money, a romance scammer will threaten to release any private and personal information or nude content the victim has shared with them during the relationship if they are compensated to keep quiet.
Blackmail and sextortion are grave crimes that need and should be handled by professionals. To stop the scam from continuing, document the evidence and report the crime to the police, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, and cyber investigators.
If you think you’re being scammed, it’s best to immediately report the scammer so they don’t have the chance to victimize anyone else. Start by reporting them directly on the dating site or app you found them on—platforms have a way for users to flag suspicious accounts and behavior. You can also report them directly to law enforcement agencies like the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Cyber investigators can also be a massive help in finding the identity of your scammer and bringing them to justice. The more expert service you have, the better your chances of catching this criminal. Additionally, if you’ve already sent money or provided sensitive personal information, be sure to contact your bank or credit card company immediately. They may be able to help recover any lost funds or prevent further fraud attempts against your account.
Romance scams are an unfortunate reality of online dating and social media platforms. Still, we can protect ourselves from oil rig romance scams with proper education and awareness. If something feels off about a particular person, don’t hesitate to trust your gut instincts! Be sure to report the crime as soon as you receive threats. Being silent about romance scams will only allow abuse to continue. By following these tips, we can ensure our love stays real even when meeting people online!
If you or someone you know has been a victim of an oil rig romance scam, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact the sextortion helpline now for support and guidance.
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