Rodger is a man from Hillsborough, New Jersey who was looking for companionship. After going through a divorce, he met someone who claimed to be a woman named Ariel on the dating app HUD. However, she ended up being a romance scammer who duped him out of $20,000 over the course of 5 months. The woman in the photos was also a romance scam victim since all of the pictures of her were stolen from her profile. He thought he had found the one, but instead sent over thousands of dollars thinking that he was helping the love of his life.
When Did the Romance Scam Victim First Send Money to the Scammer?
He was looking to move on after his divorce, so he tried out HUD just to see what would happen. That’s when he met Ariel and sparked many conversations with her as he got to know more about her. They started to like one another and became more serious as time went on. As they started to get to know one another, he got to know her birthday and learned many more things about her.
Because he knew her birthday, he thought that they were super compatible since she was a Capricorn and he was a Virgo. When looking up this compatibility, he learned that they were a perfect match for one another.
The first person she sent him was of her in her army uniform, which showed him that she had integrity. He also admired the fact that she had a son since the woman of his dreams also had a son. Because of this, he decided to spoil him for his birthday and got him a $100 Steam gift card.
Why Do Scammers Pretend to Be God-Fearing?
Ariel had a bible verse tattoo that she showed him, which made him fall for her more. He thought that they were so similar because he knows if he ever got a tattoo it would be something about God. She started saying prayers with him which showed that she had the true qualities of his dream woman.
The faith-based scams are used to let victims’ guards down. Most of the time, they will pray with you, send you scriptures, or send you pictures of a Bible to prove that they are faithful to the lord. However, what they are really doing is trying to play into your emotions so that they can take advantage of you easier.
How Did the Romance Scammer Dupe Rodger Out of Thousands of Dollars?
Ariel and Rodger were really hitting it off at this point until she asked him for a favor. Ariel claimed that for her birthday, her friend purchased her a new motorcycle. However, the supposed problem was that no one was going to be home at the time of delivery. She asked Rodger if she could ship her new motorcycle to his house, and he agreed.
However, there were issues about getting the bike to his house that kept arising. He had to pay a security storage fee for changing the ownership of the bike. He even had to pay customs to get the bike over to him instead of Ariel’s house. He paid $1200 for all of this through MoneyGram. However, the scammer said that there was an issue getting the money, so the scammer asked Rodger to pay for these fees through Google Play Cards.
After Rodger paid all these fees to get this motorcycle, Ariel ended up changing the shipping address and he was out of thousands of dollars. Ariel got a special gift from the South Korean defense for her assistance as a nurse in Korea. She got a box of gold for her hard work which she planned on using to buy a house and start a business for her to retire and start a family. They needed his ID to prove it was him to accept the gold and they also needed her passport.
Rodger paid thousands of more dollars in customs and holding fees for this second package. However, an officer found drugs inside of the package and threatened to send Rodger to prison. Rodger thought that if this was true, it couldn’t be his fault since he was never in possession of these drugs, so he kept fighting it.
Rodger wanted to be taken to court to fight the case and knew he would win with his witnesses. He also knew that Ariel would win as well with the military backing her up. He was under investigation for 3 days and then they said it was one of their corrupt officer who put one of the drugs in the package. There was even a news report that they sent Rodger to “prove the CBP officer was in trouble.” However, they still thought he put the rest of the drugs in the box. They threatened to go to his house and arrest him if he didn’t go to the airport with the lawyer.
How Did Social Catfish Prove He Was a Romance Scam Victim?
Since she was supposedly in the military, she is not allowed to be wearing her uniform on a civilized document, such as a passport. However, in her supposed passport, you can see that she is wearing her uniform, which means that this photo is not a legitimate passport photo. Scammers will photoshop these documents to make them look legit, and will even add watermarks to the photos. Also, there are things in the document that don’t often change. For example, the signature won’t look like the name in the passport, which could show that the passport doesn’t actually belong to that person.
Also, there was a supposed FBI agent that was emailing Rodger, but this would never happen. They would either send you a certified letter or show up at your doorstep if you were really in trouble. Since the fake FBI agent claimed there were drugs in the package with a ton of money, the FBI would more than likely show up at his doorstep waiting to arrest him if it was real. Instead, they are sending emails and getting a lawyer involved so that Rodger would send them money, which isn’t something the FBI would do whatsoever.
The CBP officer was supposedly the one who put the drugs in the package. To prove this, the scammer sent a supposed news report screenshot to Rodger showing that the officer was convicted of the crime. However, if you look closely at the photo, you can see that there are watermarks on the photo from a stock picture company.
There are stock picture websites that will sell you their photos if you own a business or a website that needs pictures. However, if you don’t pay for the photos and steal them off the website, there are watermarks on the photos which are little symbols on the picture. This proves that the scammer stole images of the CBP officer from a stock photo website but forgot to remove the watermark.
After running the investigation, we found out everything was fake. The suspected officer and the lawyer that contacted Rodger were fraudulent. When running a reverse image search on the bucket of gold, we found out that the legit photo was originally in a news article about something completely different. When you take a closer look at the text in the photo, you can see it run off a little bit into the gold. This proves that the text was photoshopped in the picture.
After running additional image searches, we found out that two separate women’s photos were being used in this romance scam. Whenever the scammer wanted to portray an innocent military woman, they used a military woman’s photos to show that she was in the military. However, when the romance scammer wanted to send risque photos to Rodger, they would use a porn star’s photos who looked similar to the military woman. We concluded that he was definitely a romance scam victim.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you think you’re dealing with a scammer or have had your pictures stolen, Social Catfish is here to help you if you are a romance scam victim!
If you want to be a part of our next YouTube video or blog post and share your story, now is your chance. You can help educate our audience about what you have gone through and make sure no one else goes through the same thing. All you need to do is email ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com, and we will get back to you with more details.
You can also reverse search any information you have on the Nigerian romance scammer to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image you can search it up in our search bar to see if there is more information on the suspected scammer you are talking to.