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Are you wondering about oil rig scams? Scam artists find many ways to cash in on their victim’s trust, and one of these involves claiming to work on an oil rig. While there are legitimate individuals who work hard on oil rigs, this is (unfortunately) an occupation that scam artists weave into their lies.
Oil rig scams are part of something called “romance scams” when a scammer pretends to be in search of love while in a remote location. The farce is exposed when they ask for money and wire transfers. Unfortunately, many victims don’t realize they’re being tricked and fall for the oil rig scammer – hook, line, and sinker!
Wondering if someone you’re talking to online is really who they claim to be? Follow along as we explain how these types of scams work, who gets tricked, and how to protect yourself.
Imagine for a moment that you’re an online scammer. You meet victims through commonly used dating apps like Plenty of Fish and Tinder. Signing up, you know that the more people you speak with, the better odds you’ll have in your quest for easy cash.
You move fast and strike up multiple conversations with victims all over the United States, while safely at home in Nigeria. Before long, you have several women falling for you. They like that you’re, seemingly, smitten and want to form a severe and lasting connection within a matter of weeks.
Meanwhile, as the victim, you want to talk to your new love interest by phone or video chat, but they claim they’re only connected by a computer that has spotty service. You’re willing to be patient as your new love portrays himself as a spiritual family man and widower, who wants to get off the rig and come to visit you. There is only one problem they say they’re low on cash and need money to start over with you. Or, they lie that their rig is broken and they’re contractually obligated to pay for repairs.
The main reason why scammers pretend to be on oil rigs is that it gives them a good excuse not to talk over the phone. Since some rigs genuinely don’t have the cell services available, scammers rely on this. In reality, some carriers do have off-shore cellular towers, and others have satellite dishes.
This is why some oil rig scammers will claim they only have internet service periodically or via satellite, while others claim cell. Another reason for this convenient ‘front’ is because oil rigs do not allow cell or mobile devices in hazardous external areas aboard the rig. When you’re a scammer, this gives you a cover that lets you send loving messages while staying anonymous and getting cash.
Cash for their flight to you, expenses, repairs, to move, for business needs, emergencies, their family, etc. If someone you’re connecting with online says they are on an oil rig and in need of gifts or cash, they’re almost guaranteed to be a scammer in disguise.
Scammers asking for iTunes and Amazon cards are popular options, along with Visa, Mastercard gift cards, etc. The scammer will find excuses as to why they need supplies or to download an app so that they can chat with you more, etc. Each reason is a lie to keep you hooked.
Being scammed by an oil scammer is painful and can be expensive. If this has happened to you or if you’re worried it might, you deserve the truth. Stop wondering and know for sure!