Scammers post profiles, using stolen photographs of attractive people, asking for others to contact them. This is often known as catfishing. Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money. This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education dating scam etc.
There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim’s country. The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money. Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce. The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they’ve quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer. The scammer wants the victim to cash the money orders, and then wire money to the scammer. The forged money orders leave the banks to incur debts against the victims.
The scammer says they are being held against their will for failure to pay a bill or requires money for hospital bills. The scammer says they need the money to pay for the phone bills in order to continue communicating with the victim. The scammer says they need the money for their or their parents’ urgent medical treatment. The scammer says they need the money to successfully graduate before they can visit the victim.