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A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim's money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
Sensitive people are more vulnerable to online dating scams, based on a study conducted by the British Psychological Society.
Scammers are very adept at knowing how to "play" their victims - sending love poems, sex games in emails, building up a "loving relationship" with many promises of "one day we will be married".
The woman will be unable to inherit the fortune until she gets married, the marriage being a prerequisite of the father, uncle or grandfather's will.
The scammer convinces their victim that they are sincere until they are able to build up enough rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim's country.
This falsified passport was used in an actual internet romance scam.
The deception can be obvious to observers – for example, the photo on this passport does not comply with regulations for size or pose – but these signs are often ignored by willing victims.