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Now he's a peer counselor at Romance Scams.org, a six-year-old support group that has over 17,000 current active members and claims to have counseled some 50,000 people who believed themselves to be victims.Many of the scammers are based in Nigeria, home of the infamous 419 email scam -- love fraud is a much savvier twist on that old formula.Her ticket out was to marry him, she said, and she knew a travel agent who could arrange for a local ceremony -- with someone else standing in as him -- a Canadian visa and her airplane flight.Each of these things cost yet more money, all of which he provided. He waited at the airport for her, but she never showed.
"I don't know if I'd go as far as [calling it] 'love' because I don't think you can fall in love with just a picture and some words.Another responded: "Sorry that doesn't mean a thing as my scammer used two web sites to scam me." She added: "Sounds like a new twist to your scam if you ask me." That is the understandable and heartbreaking degree of fear and suspicion that can result from being targeted.Then he got a request for yet more money, an unexpected declaration fee.
"Like a fool, I went and sent my last 2,3000 dollars," he said.
"His family was trying to force her out of the apartment that she was living in with him, and they had even cut off her power," he tells me by phone from his home in Nova Scotia.