The menace of romance scams again re-echoed recently at the media hyped trial of the wife of a clergyman who allegedly murdered her husband.
She apparently had cashed some fraudulent checks sent to her by a fraud syndicate working from Nigeria and Canada.
She seemed to have sent some money to the fraudsters, and was said to have tried to cover up the fraud with the bank officials.
It was during an argument with her husband, a minister in the Methodist church, over this expense that she allegedly shot him.
This story should tell anyone who cares to listen one home truth-that romance scams and other related crimes are very real, and they are affecting the lives of many more people than was previously thought, both in the United States and elsewhere.
While very few of such cases will ever hit the National limelight and be as sensational as the one described above, the reality is that many people are being harmed by romance scams than was previously thought.
One of the major factors that make people to succumb to these scams so easily is secrecy.
The tendency among those who are involved in online dating is to keep details about their dates a secret to themselves.
From all I have seen, heard and read, many people who have fallen for the scams kept the knowledge of the relationship away from anyone, including those who should know about it.
And when a close person to them either got to know somehow, or got a hint as to what was going on, they literally got mad with them.
Some scam victims keep on dating the guy or girl for months, keeping everything about him or her secret.
The scammers seem to encourage this sort of thing too.
With time, when the scammers have worked hard to gain the trust and confidence of their potential target, then the fraudulent checks, money orders, credit cards and other fraudulent items involved in the scam begin to arrive.
The warning signals are always there quite alright, but by this time, the victim is far too much in love with the scammer to ever believe that they could be wrong.
The next thing that happens is the scam proper, in which the victim loses hundreds or thousands of dollars.
If you are involved with dating online, then it could be very helpful to let one or two close people into your life, and let them know what is going on.
That way, if things go wrong or they appear to be, you know you have one or two people who can help put you on the right track.
Many victims I talked with in the course of my research expressed their regrets that they did not have anyone to watch out for them when they were being scammed.
They pointed out that if they had been more open, and confided in someone they trusted, they would have been spared the much pain and agony that followed the romance scams.