When it comes to getting ripped off, people with a generous or romantic heart are the most likely to fall.
So says Darryl Nelson, owner of the Cash Plus store in Traverse City, who sees two or three people getting scammed
Nelson believes there are three basic motivations involved in a scamgreed, romance, or a generous heart. A scammer will quickly glean what makes you tick, and then swoop in for the kill, Nelson said.
Sometimes its the woman who has fallen in love with the wrong mana guy who comes to Northern Michigan, but has a counterpart in Nigeria, ready to reel her in.
The romance scam is simple enough. A man develops a relationshipeither in person or over the Internet (hell make contact on a matchmaker site). Over many weeks, maybe months, love blossoms. He sends flowers. He sends her daily love notes. He listens to her problems. And then he has an emergency. He had to run back to Nigeria because his grandmother is dying and he urgently needs money because he finds his account is locked up.
The girlfriend comes in to wire him money, and I tell her, I cant say whether your story is true or not, but it looks like a scam. Most times theyll insist that this is really their boyfriend, that no one has ever treated them this well, has never listened to them the way he does. And now he needs to take care of his grandma who is sick.
Most people think that people who are scammed are simply idiots. But in a lot of cases, thats just not true. These are not dumb people. Theyre people who have a big heart and a diminishing checkbook.