The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.
The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.
He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.
They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
For weeks, even months, you may chat back and forth with one another, forming a connection. But ultimately, it’s going to happen—your new-found “friend” is going to ask you for money.So you send money..rest assured the requests won’t stop there.