In this episode of Scamfish, we help a woman named Ann who is currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. She met a man named Mike Paul Ruzgar online who claims he is working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Mike and Ann have been dating for 2 years and met on the dating app Tinder back in September of 2019. She has been wondering if he is a romance scammer after she sent thousands of dollars to fix an oil rig. Our team at Social Catfish investigated and found many results.
Ann’s Story About the Oil Rig Scammer
Mike Ruzgar started talking to Ann on Tinder two years ago in September of 2019. He video chatted with her from his nice-looking car and asked her to chat on Google Hangouts. He claimed that he doesn’t need Tinder anymore now that he’s found her.
After messaging back and forth with one another on Google Hangouts, Ann fell madly in love with him. Mike was so successful in stealing her heart that he was still texting her “good morning” each morning at the time this Scamfish episode was made.
Ann has been waiting to meet him for the past year and a half, but every time they make plans something comes up. He keeps saying once he’s done with the project he’s working on he will come to meet Ann since he claims to be an engineer on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ann received a text message one morning claiming that one of the machines broke. He also claimed at one point that he thought he was going to get arrested because he didn’t finish his contract. Then after that, he claimed that he wanted to get off the rig but couldn’t get on a helicopter due to COVID-19.
He asked Ann to send him money to help, and Ann did exactly that thinking she was helping him. After all the countless times she has sent him money, she thinks she has sent him close to $40,000. After all this money was sent, he told her he was finally going to run away from the oil rig since they won’t let him leave.
The only thing Ann is confused about was the fact that she saw his face when he ended up in the hospital due to getting in a fight with someone on the rig. She contacted Social Catfish so that she can move on with her life. Not that many people in her life know about the situation she’s in and she just wants to live a normal life again.
Social Catfish Investigates the Oil Rig Scammer
After receiving this video from Ann, our team immediately started to investigate this mystery man. At first, David kept finding matches for the images, but couldn’t find out the person’s name. He noticed that the same guy Ann thought she was talking to was wearing expensive clothes and was always out in clubs or concerts. This man looked like he had status and did not look like he needed money whatsoever.
He saw multiple pictures of him with another girl but could not figure out who he was. Based on the photos, he thinks that they either have money or they are pseudo-celebrities who hang around a lot of celebrities or artists. They investigated more photos and found one where the guy had a lot of legroom on a plane. This means that he’s either flying first class or in the emergency aisle.
In one photo that they looked at, they saw a photo that was obviously photoshopped. The color of the hands on the guy did not match the color of his skin and did not look like his hands whatsoever. David also ran an email search on his email to see if it was linked to any social media accounts or was a part of a data breach.
Ann was communicating with the scammer using three of his emails. After running a search on all three emails, we found that there was no information on any of them. This is a giant red flag because if they were legit emails it would be linked to either a social media account or a data breach, especially with all the dating profiles linked to his photo. Since it isn’t linked to anything, this means that it was a fresh email used only to communicate with Ann.
David found a photo where he had the company “Telemicro International” on the man’s shirt. When he Googled the company, he saw that it was a DJ company that this man worked for. After days of scouring the Internet, we got enough of a lead to let Ann know what was going on.
We Shared Our Results with Ann
David got on a video call with Ann and started to run through the results that he found with her. He looked into the contract with her and informed her that a huge company would have a lengthier contract than the 300-word copy that was sent to her. Because of this, he was able to confirm that this wasn’t a real contract.
David investigated the driver’s license that was sent to her by the guy she had been talking to. He compared it to a photo of a legit Turkish license and found that there were some notable differences between the two images.
The font on the license sent to her didn’t match the font on the legit license, and the watermarking on the legit one was a lot brighter than the one that was sent to her. The photo in the ID sent to her was a selfie, and not taken at a government office. Based on these findings, we can conclude that the license sent to her was fake.
Then, David went through the results we found on the guy’s images. He told her that he noticed that a bunch of these photos was taken at a club. He also found that he was wearing really expensive and flashy clothing. Therefore, David came to the conclusion that he has to have money of some sort for him to live this lifestyle.
Then, he looked at the photo where the guy was wearing the “Telemicro” shirt and was standing next to another guy. Looking into the company more, we found out that he actually works as a DJ for this company. We even translated a few social media posts to find that he is standing with coworkers at an event. He networks with celebrities and doesn’t need money at all.
This confirms that Ann is talking to a romance scammer who was lying about being an oil rig worker since the guy in the photos is actually a DJ. David also sent an IP tracker to the scammer and found that he was using a VPN to make it look like he was in Chino, CA the first time we tracked him. However, after the second time he clicked on the link it revealed he was in Lagos, Nigeria. He has been talking to Ann to get his hands on her money and that’s it.
She started crying after hearing this news and stated that a part of her knew all along. She stayed with him as long as she did because he gave her attention that she wasn’t getting. She knows she’s a smart woman and didn’t think she would let herself get caught in a scam.
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 want to be a part of our next YouTube video or blog post and share your story, now is your chance. You can 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 oil rig 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.