When victims talk to a romance scammer, they are usually asked to send the money for an emergency reason. However, there have been times where a romance scammer might ask their victims to send them cell phones as well. It turns out that they are just as valuable as money and easy to obtain as long as they can get their hands on someone’s cellular account and a helpful victim. If you are someone who is suspicious of the person you are talking to online, here is the cell phone scam that you need to watch out for!
How Does The Cell Phone Scam Work?
The romance scammer forms a relationship with their victim and gains their trust. Then once the victim has fallen for the scammer, they are asked to ship the scammer a phone or multiple phones, depending on the situation. These excuses can range from the scammer simply needing a new phone, or the scammer needing new phones for their employees.
The victim is instructed to go to a specific phone store to pick up the phone(s) and bring them to a post office. Sometimes, the victim has to pay for the phones they pick up! They are also instructed to go to a UPS or a FedEx to ship the package over to the scammer in various locations. Most of the time, the scammer instructs the victim to ship the package overseas in Dubai or Nigeria.
The scammer takes the phone(s) given to them and sells them, making money off of the phone(s). Usually, they purchase the phones with someone else’s cell phone carrier account and request to pick them up at various cell phone stores. That’s when they instruct their victims to pick the cell phones up for them, using the various excuses they come up with. They do this so that there is less chance they will be caught for their crimes.
How to Avoid The Cell Phone Scam
- Don’t send anyone you meet online a cell phone for any reason. The scammer can purchase a cell phone and pick it up themselves, regardless of the long list of excuses they try to give you.
- Don’t continue a romantic relationship online with someone asking you for money or other valuables. This is a huge red flag that you are talking to a romance scammer and not someone who has your best intentions at heart.
- Don’t give someone your personal information or financial information. If anyone online asks for this information, it is never for a good reason. Scammers will ask for this information so that they can commit identity fraud or drain your bank account.
- Don’t buy or ship anything to someone who you are talking to online. They are only asking you to purchase the item of value so that they can resell it and get your money back on their end. They are only asking you to ship something to them if they stole it and don’t want to get caught.
- Report any romance scammer that you have been in contact with to the FTC. They can help you track the scammer down and possibly get some of your funds back. They will also keep this scam in their records so they can warn other people about the dangerous scams that are out there.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you are concerned about the cell phone scam.
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