Online Scam – Love TrapCyber criminals know what men want the most, romance.

Eugene (alias) was a US serviceman. Young and full of life. His family was proud of him.

Although he was confident and charming, he did not have the best of luck when it came to the ladies. Being a soldier did not help. He was lonely. And that feeling seemed to have a hold over him, driving him quite crazy as his days of loneliness grew more and more unbearable.

Wanting to find some appreciation, he did what any modern man does. He got online. It started on an international dating site and within a few weeks down to instant messengers. He found attention, alright. But it was halfway across the world.

He met a Filipino girl. Her English was great. Subtle flirtations he offered were not lost on her. She acted shy, as if she wasn’t sure about an American man. He took it up as a challenge, he had to make her believe that the days of Vietnam are long gone. He decided not to rush in. At least, there was a spark. He wanted it to become a fire. And he was ready to kindle it and cherish it with the carefulness of a prehistoric man.

It did. He achieved it. The love came to him with all it’s waves and thunders. It all happened over the internet, of course. At this point, there was a night, when he felt a bit more confident. He sent some photos for her muse to enjoy. Maybe to show what her love did to him.

Things suddenly started to turn after that night. Without a notice love turned sour, and questions of money started getting raised. It was a pure and simple blackmail.

The girl asked for money, set a deadline and hung a threat over his head of exposing his behavior to the authorities in her home and stateside. He couldn’t believe it at first, all of this came as a unpleasant surprise—so much that he pleaded, it would have been on his knees if they were together in reality. But the reality was very different, and it struck hard on him. It wasn’t love, at least not towards him. It was for his money. The threats were real, and with a broken heart he finally complied.

He sent her a grand and half. In a fair world this would have been the end of it. But, this world is never fair. The threats stopped temporarily, just to rear it’s ugly head again. Violent requests for more money came, with similar sounding threats. Eugene had no other options left but to take some action.

He couldn’t go to the authorities, that would just defeat the purpose. A distraught, disheveled Eugene then came to us.

We listened and we understood. This wasn’t anything new to us or the netizens. Threats like these are a recurring theme people deal with almost everywhere everyday. We assured Eugene that we will take care of the situation. We promised him to get those photos deleted, the perpetrator brought to justice and save his honor and career.

We traced the IP address by leaving a trap in the mail. The bait worked. Within a week we found out where she lived and what kind of tech she is using to run those online scam operations. It was all downhill after that. We notified the Filipino authorities with details of the situation. They were helpful. She was caught and charged accordingly. The photos were deleted and we showed Eugene the proof that he was in the clear.

Eugene remained our client ever since. We helped him with more cyber security services as he needed them. TechForing has always put the client first and built lasting relationships wherever possible. Learn more about our personal cyber security services here.

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client-justin
Justin Leader
CEO and Agile ScrumMaster, HyperVelocity Consulting

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