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 romance scams work, who gets tricked, and how to protect yourself.
How Do Oil Rig Scams Work?
Imagine for a moment that you’re an online romance 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.
Why Do These Types of Romance Scammers Claim They’re on an Oil Rig?
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.
What Will Oil Rig Scammers Ask For?
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.
Warning Signs to Look For
- They’re far away (oil rig, etc.) and can’t meet.
- They avoid video chat or only send pre-made videos.
- You feel as if you’re talking to different people, online or by phone.
- They push for you to get off of dating sites and speak only to them.
- They declare their love and interest very quickly.
- They ask for cash, gifts, transfers, etc.
- You notice breaks in their communication – a unique way of speaking and errors that make them sound like they aren’t the native English speaker they claim to be.
What to Do If You’re Being Scammed
- Contact the site you’re using and report the user.
- Block them.
- Contact your bank if you’ve made any transfers, etc., and ask for help.
- Change your account passwords.
- If you’ve given them money or gifts, contact the FTC
- Visit Social Catfish and search the name you’ve been given to verify if you’re involved with an authentic person. You can also search phone number, email, username, image.
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!