At Social Catfish, we helped a woman named Shellie who was dating three different men online. She was suspicious about the three men being scammers and we stepped in to verify their identities. While talking to one of the men claiming to be named Robert, she received several envelopes of cash from a third party. She would buy gift cards and Bitcoin with this cash then send this currency back to Robert. She met these men on Zoosk and Facebook dating, and we ended up tracking one of them to Lagos, Nigeria. We found that all three of the profiles were romance scammers using our tools on SocialCatfish.com.
Want to know how we found their identities? Keep scrolling!
How Did Shellie Get in Touch With These Romance Scammers?
Shellie’s husband passed away five years ago which has been making her feel rather lonely. She thought that she was able to start dating again and decided to join Facebook Dating and Zoosk. She met three of the men she is currently talking to on these dating apps. Two of the men claim to be working on an oil rig and one of them claims to work as a general contractor for roads and bridges.
She met Robert, who claimed he was a general contractor, a year ago on Zoosk. They talked for months which made Shellie take the relationship really seriously. He kept promising Shellie that he would come to see her soon, but all the plans that he would make always seemed to fall through.
He also sent her an envelope full of money and a drawing. She checked the money to make sure it was legit and then converted the cash to gift cards and Bitcoin. She didn’t see an issue with it since it wasn’t her money, it was his. She still talks to Robert since he has stopped asking her for money. He sends her good night and good morning texts along with asks how her day was.
Another man keeps asking her for $1,000 to drive from Florida to where she is. However, Shellie knows that he could do it with only $500. She figures that if she sends him money, maybe he will show up or maybe he won’t. There’s a trailer in her front yard so that she could afford to send all this money, but she isn’t going to do it anymore since she’s at her limit.
He video chatted with her one time and it seemed like his video and audio were off from what he was actually saying. At first, the video chat seemed legit but as it went on, she was thinking that he was one messed up dude.
How Did She Send Money to These Romance Scammers?
After sending money to all these men, Shellie is now in debt. She would send all the money in Steam and Apple gift cards by purchasing them at the grocery store, scratching the codes off the back, and giving them the codes. The scammers would then take these codes and sell them on third-party websites where they can get 80% of what the gift card is worth back in cash.
She saw that when she had a stack of them that she needed to keep an eye on how much she was spending on gift cards. When she first started sending them gift cards, she didn’t realize how much she was sending because they would only ask for a little amount here and there. She also pawned her jewelry at a pawn shop to get some extra cash to send to them. After seeing how much it was starting to add up, she thought that something fishy was going on.
She is reaching out to Social Catfish to find out if the men she is talking to are real. If they’re real, that’s great. If not, even better because that would save her bank account. Right now, her main focus is her bank account and she will do whatever it takes to save it after Robert screwed it up three times.
Social Catfish Investigates These Men
After we received this video from Shellie, our team got right to work. We used our reverse search tools on our website, public records, phone numbers, emails, and sent a tracker to these scammers so we could figure out the identities of these three men. Robert took the bait and clicked on the locator, thinking that he was going to get a gift card. After investigating, Linnie reached out to Shellie to inform her of what we found.
Antonio is not the man he claims to be. After doing a little research, we found that the real man in the photo is a man named Anthony Dohrmann. We can tell that it’s his official Facebook page with the blue verified checkmark by his name. This means that he verified his identity with Facebook to prove that he is the actual Anthony Dohrmann. He also made a video where he publicly announced that his photos were being used for fraudulent activity.
They investigated the photo of “Antonio’s” face as he was working on an oil rig to figure out whether or not the photo was legit. When Linnie ran a reverse image search on this photo, she found that there were many people using this same photo on their websites. This showed her that it was a stock photo, and she also noticed that Antonio’s face was photoshopped on one of the men. When they need a photo to explain their story, they often photoshop their face into a photo that matches their story.
The person who claimed to be Simon Robert isn’t actually who he says he is. Linnie found the Instagram account of the actual man named Robert along with his business page, Facebook page, and wife’s Facebook page to confirm that he was legit. Sometimes when a scammer steals photos from someone, they use part of the real name for their fake name since they are Nigerian and don’t speak much English. They don’t understand how we conjugate first and last names, so they will usually take two first names and make it a first and last name.
She then took a look at the photos from a man who claimed to be named Robert Michael Morrisey. They found his images using a reverse image search to find that his real name is Don and he owns a heating and cooling company. When looking at his Facebook page, we were able to confirm it was legit since he is photographed with his wife and children and has friends who react to his posts. Social Catfish was able to track Robert’s location by sending him a link. Robert clicked on this link thinking he was going to get a gift card, and we were able to track his IP address back to Lagos, Nigeria.
What is Money Laundering?
After investigating the envelope, Linnie confirmed that Robert was using Shellie for money laundering. This means that he told one victim to send him money through Shellie, claiming that she was related to him. Then once Shellie got the money, she was instructed to convert it into Bitcoin to make it easier to send back to the scammer. However, the real reason why he wanted the money in Bitcoin was to make the purchase untraceable and make it impossible for Shellie to get her money back.
Money laundering is illegal and you can definitely go to jail for it. The reason why romance scammers want to launder money is it eliminates the money being traced back to them and them getting in trouble for fraud. They work with multiple victims and lie so that one victim thinks they are sending it to a family member when it’s really another victim. Then the other victim thinks they are helping out a scammer’s family member by sending them money when really they are sending the scammer the other victim’s money. It’s all a scam.
What Does Shellie Recommend For Those Who Are Online Dating?
All three of these profiles are not who they claim to be and are fake profiles. The men in the photos have nothing to do with the romance scammers that are in contact with Shellie. Their photos were also wrongfully stolen. These scammers are also using fake names to mask their identities. The scammers that she is talking to might be one person or several people since scammers sometimes work in teams. Linnie doesn’t recommend sharing with scammers what you know, since they will take this information into consideration and become better at what they do with the next victim.
Shellie went on these dating sites to meet someone she could talk to and have dinner with. Her husband died five years ago which has been making her feel lonely and wanting a companion. She doesn’t have any friends where she lives and just has herself which makes it even more lonely. She tells people that you need to see them face to face to verify who they are. If they can’t prove themselves within ten minutes, it’s not worth your time. She just wants a team again and scammers make it hard for her to find that since they lie like a snake and slither in the grass. She hopes that a mamba bites all these scammers.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you think you’re dealing with romance scammers 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 Nigerian romance scammers 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.