Colonel Richard Kemp Romance Scams

 

I once had a romance scam – pulled on me. But I didn’t fall for it. And I wrote about these – on this blog:

Well, recently I started corresponding with a female friend – on Facebook. I’ll change the name and location, to protect her identity. Let’s call her Mary Kate Danaher from Ireland. And you might have guessed it. This is really a fiticious woman, in the John Wayne movie – The Quiet Man.

Anyway, Mary fell for this man, on a popular, social media platform. And It was a fake Colonel Richard Kemp. His real website is Richard Kemp.  And in case you think it’s the first time, type in the keywords “Colonel richard Kemp scam”. And you find some forums, talking about this particular romance scam. Anyway, this scammer asked for money – for a sick child. And money for someone kidnapped by ISIS. And Mary fell, for a fake person.

What is the difference between Mary and me? I was a peace corps volunteer, in Liberia, West Africa. And I lived among all kinds of rascals. And they tried to scam me – all the time. So I learned a lot. That’s not to say I can’t get scammed. It’s just much harder to do.

What should Mary have done? Well, the main thing is insist on a video chat first, via some media like Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangouts. A fake Richard Kemp can’t really look, like the real McCoy. Unless they have good costume artists and voice technology. And I doubt that they, will go through all the trouble.

Here’s one example Mary wrote me about:

 Please try to bring out the money part and the promise to repay it I have with me the letter signed by the guy and the fake receipt of the Ghana hospital where 36000 dollars were spent on the child.

What would I have done? Call the Ghana hospital myself.  See if this person was even a patient there.  A receipt is easy to forge.

There were other scammers – posing under the famous assumed name. Actually, Mary encountered 3 or 4  – each claiming to be, the “real” Colonel Richard Kemp.  And this is very important.  Each is asking for money, for some story you might read, in a comic book.  And they are probably still out there – scamming people.

The red flag is when someone you don’t know – requests money.  Unless you know the person personally…and have met them and interacted with them over time…don’t do it.

It’s like a discussion I got into – via a forum. Part of which centers around fake news.

Fake news is like scams. Suppose i get a call, from the IRS. They say I owe some back taxes. They will take me away in handcuffs, if I don’t pay via debit card.

Well, I never heard of this. And the IRS normally sends several letters – by mail first.

Now I can’t find this IRS procedure, on either social media or a Google search. So it’s fake news. And costly too – if I send the phony IRS agent some money.

Now I read a supermarket tabloid story. It says Trump took a ride – in a UFO. Well, I don’t buy into it. But if ALL supermarket tabloids, were running variations of the same story. Guess what? I might say, it’s in the realm of possibility.

Same goes for a story, in the New York times, CNN, etc. If one station or newspaper runs it – it’s probably fake news. But if everybody runs it (including the international news sources – like the BBC). Guess what? It’s within the realm of possibility.

What I look at – is this. The number of news sources (both nationally and internationally), are reporting variations of the same story. Meaning they are approaching, a bell shaped curve. Which means that both liberal and conservative news bodies, should be fact checking it.

It’s now a part of my framework. Or my existential, phenomenological perspective.

If later some fact or aspect, renders the story incoherent – guess what? I alter my framework or my existential, phenomenological perspective – ever so slightly.

And for learning what goes on, via the Dark Web.  I follow Dark Web News.

Let’s end on a lighter note.  With  a recent sharing, from the Sunil Bali blog.

$95 million dollars has been found in a flat in Nigeria.

The poor guy spent the last 10 years trying to share it, but no one responded to his emails.

Romance Scams Revisited

A while back, I wrote a blog post entitled Take the Money and Run. It was about a woman, who tried to trap me in a romance scam. I thought it might be fun to share some portions of exchanged emails and make some brief commentary. We will call that woman by the name of Gertrude, which is Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark.

Here’s the first email I received in July of 2014.

“My name is Gertrude, a friend of yours from Linkedln, and i got your address from your contact info. I like your looks, you are cute and you remind me of someone i used to know. i would love to be friends with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”

The person goes on to say they are a nurse in Nigeria and work for UNICEF. Here are the clues something is wrong:

Notice the works “with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”? If someone is really a nurse, they should have had some basic courses in English composition. That means knowing when to punctuate a sentence and begin a new one.

They are really NOT friends with me on LinkedIn. They don’t have many connections (i.e. only one or two) and nobody recommending them or endorsing them.

Well, this does sound interesting, so I decided to correspond. Granted, we only exchanged or two emails daily. But two days into the correspondence, she wrote about her mom dying and a past bad relationship. The problem is that if I want out with someone and went on two dates three or four hours long, neither of us would bring up family members passing or bad past relationships. At least, that has been my experience. But this person brought it up in casual email conversations.

Five days later, this was part of the email I’ve received from her:

“ It sounds so good to talk about ones feelings and never hold back and just being truthful and sincere, what we have now is the mirror of the kind of relationship I would love to go into, a real genuine relationship based on honesty. Well, as you know its the joy of every woman to have a family and its my dream here too, i want to have my own kids and a loving man in my life, to love and take care of them.”

“I am really interested in wanting to know about what makes you the special person you are today, i can date anyone as long as there is love between us. I want to know more about your family, your background, your life experiences, your goals and dreams, your interests, and anything else you want to tell me…”

Moving a bit fast, don’t you think?

Then came the con and here’s part of an email, where she shared she was sick:

“The doctor advised me to get my own food stuffs since that’s what i have always done, he also prescribed some stronger meds and anti-biotics for me to get. he said i needed them urgently or i risk getting worse cause the ones i am on right now aren’t strong enough. i am so scared here my dear, I asked the camp commandant if she will be able to help me get the food and meds from outside the camp cause i am very weak and i wont be able to go the distance needed to get them myself. she agreed to help me. But the problem i have right now is that i don’t have any money on me now. As a worker i do get paid some amount of money when I’m back home and we get little allowances for personal upkeep here,…”

What can we learn here? If you read the original post, I was asked for money. I took a day or two before responding and did some background investigation. I found out it was a scam and didn’t respond. The moral? People don’t show up with offers of much money, lottery prizes, etc., unless you are related to rich people or entered the lottery by buying a ticket. A beautiful woman doesn’t fall for you in a few days via email. In fact, it might take a few real dates, before any chemistry is happening between you. And if folks want you to buy something, give money, etc., without you taking time to check things out – walk away.