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Mays is a romance scam-baiter, which means he hangs out on dating sites, posing as a naive love-seeker, with the goal of unmasking — and exhausting — confidence men and women.“You pretend to be a victim and string them along, try to get them to waste as much of their time, money, and resources as you can,” he says.Mays would post any identifying details that scammers used online — from the email addresses they created to the back stories they recycled — to make them searchable. But for Mays, who co-hosts a scam-baiting podcast, “it’s also like improve comedy.”Most people aren’t turning to him for comic relief, though.But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.(I know; red flag.)“He even called me, calling me ‘Mom’ a few times,” she says.The most common complaint Scam Survivors receive is for “sextortion,” where scammers make tapes of sexual encounters with their victims, then press them for money in exchange for keeping the video private.According to Mayes, they’ve handled more than 14,000 such cases in the past three years.“We will advise them, first of all: Don't panic.

Within 10 minutes of posting, she had a handful of virtual suitors — and one stood out.It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.She decided to do a little research online and discovered that, yes, cholera is a problem in Ghana, and yes, treating it can be expensive — except that Ghana actually has a free cholera treatment program.“In that moment, something was not sounding right to me,” Firefly says. But she also realized something else: There were probably a lot of people, just like her, being victimized on dating sites, and Firefly was determined to do something about it.One day, scrolling through an online forum, she met Wayne Mays (not his real name) from the UK.

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