Here are the stories that readers have shared with us, and we would like to share them with you! To submit your private investigator related story, visit the Post Your Story page.
Gods Nigerian match for you?
Probably not. However, the Nigerian scammers are perfectly happy to let people think this. The newest and most modern method of scamming people is through dating websites. With many of the victims found on the Christian based websites. Everyone at this point should know about the email scams stating you will be sent X amount of money to deposit and Y amount kept by you with Z amount sent back to wherever, usually Nigeria or some other African country. These scammers are nobody’s fool and know that the general populace is on to them. So now they have switched to something truly brilliant and very scary.
This newest wave of scams is through dating websites, chat rooms, and social networking sites. At first these started with pictures taken from modeling websites or individual model’s websites. The scammers would use these pictures to draw people in and immediately ask for money, through the same old process listed above. Even this is old news now in the scam game.
The scammers have refined the game to the point where they are using relatively normal looking people and developing a relationship. This guarantees that once they have found a mark they can keep milking it for as much money as possible, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. More often it is a few thousand here and there but can also be a couple hundred. They are not picky and will take whatever they can get.
The process basically runs the same as normal courtship; this will go on for however long the scammer feels necessary before they feel they can start to ask for money. It starts with initial contact on the website, and is not always initiated by the scammer. From here the scammer will develop a relationship in the normal way. They will chat about nothing, ask questions about your background, and develop an emotional attachment. They will be giving the same in return, but almost all have some sort of sob story, wife just died in car crash, parents just died, recent messy divorce, bad breakup, etc. The whole point is to make the mark feel sorry for them.
Once the scammer has the mark in their grasp is when they throw out the hook to make money. The ‘hook’ is can be anything which requires money to get. It may be gold, an expensive car, artwork, medical care, plane tickets, etc. The story usually goes something like this: ‘I need x amount of money to get y’. Usually the scammer needs the money to get something left by a dead relative. A recent story was the woman needed 1,600 to pay the government fees to get 5.5 kilos of gold out of a bank. The gold was left by a recently deceased father and was about to get confiscated by the government. This scam came complete with a note from the bank, the bank was in fact real, however, the note was clearly not.
These scams are so effective because of the emotional attachment. Often the marks of these scams are so emotionally involved that they refuse to believe anyone who tells them otherwise. In the case where the hook is an object this only works for a short time, but because of the emotional attachment the scammer can still continue to work money from a person. A truly brilliant scam is medical bills for an ailing family member. This is extremely difficult to verify and goes on until the mark is out of money. These are the scams that run for over $100,000.
Another brilliant part to these scams is that enough of the story is verifiable through a simple Google search. Often the scammers will do research and base their stories on enough real information that a simple search by the mark will add enough credibility to make them think it is ok to give the scammer money. Another recent investigation revealed that there was in fact a residence at the provided address and a small business by the name the scammer had given. This was enough to convince the mark the person was real. Further investigation revealed that the scammer’s name had never been heard at either place.
It used to be that these scammers would not talk on the phone and do everything by email/instant messenger. This is still somewhat true but recent investigations have revealed scams which the mark had in one case actually met the scammer and another had spoken with the scammer on the phone. In this case the scammer also spoke with the investigator investigating the scam!
The only good way to avoid these scams is to either stay away from dating websites or not send money to people you may meet on them. A good general rule is if you do not actually meet up with the person they are probably fake. Another important point is that not only men are targeted by these scams, woman are as well. Men and women can get so emotionally involved that they refuse to believe anyone when they are told they are dealing with a scam.
It is my theory that the Christian dating sites are the most common for these scams as the people who join these sites are usually good people trying to find other good people. They believe because it is a Christian dating site that everyone on there is Christian. Scammers commonly target people with low self-esteem. This is another factor in the effectiveness of Nigerian Dating scams. Remember, there is no vetting process for any of these websites, it is not their job to protect you from the scammer, it is your responsibility to protect yourself.
Something else to note, while these scams most often originate from Nigeria and Africa; they are not exclusive to that part of the world. They only get the name in deference to the fact that they created these scams. There are plenty of copy cats around the world now.
If you are in doubt about your current relationship then go to our website and fill out the inquiry for a free consultation. I will be happy to go over your case with you and if necessary investigate it to make sure you are safe. It is far better to spend $750 on a good investigation than it is to throw away thousands on nothing.
Case Analyst/Private Investigator at ICS
Leif from Spyville shared this story with PI Stories back in 2008:
I get a domestic job, a woman has hired us to follow her husband, whom she believes is cheating on her. I arrive at the subject’s work place at about 4:30 we have been told he leaves between 5:00- 5:30. About 5:20 we’re off. This is a normal looking white male, balding a little, driving a ford station wagon. We stop at a gas station and fill up and it looks like we get cigarettes too. Off we go again. I follow him to a club, well not so much a club as a bar. A little dark and off the beaten path, the perfect affair spot. He sits in the car for about ten minutes and then gets out he is wearing a white shirt dark pants and a loosened tie. In he goes. So in I go with my trusty hidden camera I make a bee line for the bar and order a soda and pay with a twenty. I leave the money on the bar and spin my stool around to see my guy sitting at a table about three feet away. I get the inner seize and casually spin back to the bar.
I wait about a half hour and I think he’s just a drinker when a woman who does not belong here walks in. She looks to be 25 -20 years old and is very attractive. I guess this as most of the males in the place are looking her up and down. She sits with my guy and I reach for the record button. My hidden camera is built in a light jacket and I have it hung over the chair. I spin the chair and jump out walking with my soda towards the pool table and the head. I am hoping I have a good shot of the two of them I get back to my chair in about ten minutes and throw my jacket on and out side I go.
I check the video and I got zip. That damn Murphy got me so I’m cursing up a storm and chain smoking trying to figure out how I can get back inside when he comes out with the woman and they get in his car. Off we go again. Then I lose them at a light when some moron cuts me off.
I look around for them with no luck, anyone who has been there knows how I feel at this moment. I cruise around some and go back and check the bar. No joy. I head towards the highway and roll into a commuter parking lot next to the highway to do my report, curse and chain smoke some more. I back in to a spot in a dark corner and look over to see, you guessed it the subject’s car with him and the girl in it.
So now I am in a perfect spot, I got my camera I got position and I have the subject. So I wait. They appear to be talking so I wait I take some video to show they are there. But I can’t show anything except he is in a car with a woman who is not his wife. They get a little closer and I am waiting for the brake lights and then the trip to the hotel.
I am wrong. They look like they are going to get into the back seat! I grab the camera and get video of them getting into the back of the car. It looks like I beat Murphy when a cop rolls up next to my window sees the camera and motions for me to roll the window down.
I do and we talk. I can’t tell him who I am working on but I think he has a good idea. He asks me if I called in and I told him the story up to the point where he pulls up and I got no video for the night. I look a few times and see asses and elbows in the subjects car windows I am really beginning to hate my life now. After the cop and I have a good laugh over my luck he tells me to have a good night and smiles, this was not a have a good night smile, this was a watch this sh”t kicker grin. He rolls to about ten feet away from the subject’s car. I have just grabbed my camera and am hoping to get the last few minutes of anything in the back seat. The cop hits the lights, high beams, flashers and a couple chirps on the siren. I hear him on the loud speaker “please step out of the vehicle” and out pops my guy wearing nothing but black socks and boxers and the woman comes out behind him pulling on a shirt and hopping in one leg of panty hose. I have the camera up running full blast I am laughing so loud I thought they would hear me. I get about a half hour of the cop just laying into them standing with hands on hips while they got dressed and then found their ids and standing arm in arm while the cop runs their licenses. They get back in the cars and start driving off when the cop rolls up to me and gives me the lights and siren. The subject left the lot and was gone. I would not have followed him anyway. The cop drives back to my window and we laugh half the night.
I get to the office the next day and show my boss the video and give him the report. He tells me that four other guys have been unable to get anything on this guy.
A few months later we get a call to testify in court for a divorce hearing. This is a surprise as most times we never have to. 5 of us have to go as we all worked on the case. Unknown to me, the husband and the husband’s attorney haven’t seen the video yet. So I listen to the story of a man who loves his wife but had a drinking problem and would go out nights and drink and play poker and every imaginable thing except see another woman. I think the wife was the best actress I have ever seen. I swear she had a tear forming in her eye.
I do not know where nor how much the wife’s attorney was from or got paid, but he was truly evil. He put each of us on the stand one at a time with me last. Each of us got the same questions did you see Mr. ——— with anyone outside of work? Did you observe any behavior contrary to his statement? This went on for about an hour. It was my turn after lunch. This lawyer hammered me. I was thinking he forgot I was on his side. So you tricked Mr.———- into doing this or that. You manipulated him you, you , you. I was sweating by the time he finished. I had just been released from the stand when the lawyer said of by the way did you obtain any video of Mr.————- . I had forgotten!! Ummmm yes I did. You have to imagine I am half sitting and half standing like a deer in headlights now. I am doing the tennis match between the judge and the lawyer. The judge takes pity on me and tells me to be seated again. So the lawyer goes at me again how did you get the video, what does it contain? (I have had defense attorneys treat me better than he did.) This is when the Husbands attorney jumps up and objects. Well I think we need to see this so called video (the wife’s attorney was looking right at me and he winked) The wifes attorney asked the judge for a recess to show the video. I thought it was all over. The husband’s attorney jumps up again and says we can see it right now we have nothing to hide. Oh My god I thought this is the first time this video is going to be seen?
So here I sat in court watching, what was the best video, all year, taken at our company. I swear I tasted blood from biting my lip so hard trying not to laugh.
We see a few minutes of the car at a bar, then some video of the guy leaving the bar with the woman then some video of them sitting in the car. At this point the wife’s attorney looks back towards me and winks again. I get the urge to start giggling like a school girl; I actually had to put my hand over my mouth.
The next thing we see is the husband (in the black socks and the boxers) and the woman hopping around on one leg. I was beside myself I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The wife looks back towards me and smiles a little. The husband looks at like I should be on fire and screaming. So I bend over some trying to hide (and laughing as quietly as possible) the judge actually asks me if I am OK. With tears coming out of my eyes I look at him and said I am sorry your honor I swallowed my gum this brought on more laughter.
He called a recess (Thank God)
The husband lost BIG. I still start laughing when I think about it.