Things that indicate your romance email is a scam.

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Gentle Giant

Giant Admin for a Day
Staff member
At the beginning, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of things that indicate a romance scam. These are indicators which we have seen over the years which suggest a scam. The list will probably always change some.

If you have read about how to identify a scam email (which is here) then in addition to things like bad grammar, poor spelling, even poorer punctuation, etc. these are some other indications that your "sweetheart" is only going to bring you grief.

Also, if you find yourself in a romance scam or you think that it might be a scam you might want to check out Help! I'm in a scam and I don't know how to get out! at

1. I am from the U.S. but I lived in Europe all my life.
Scammers use this line to explain why they know next to nothing about actual life in the U.S. Of course, they don't know anything about actual life in Europe either because they are probably in West Africa.

2. I am currently working in Africa.
Yeah, okay. That could happen. But still.... why? This doesn't mean it's a scam but it could be a big red flag.

3. I am an engineer.
Scammers like this one because they think it sounds really impressive. However, since it's a scammer, he may not know any more about engineering than you do and he probably knows less. He may be a school dropout. In any case, his profession is: criminal.

4. This is my picture...
...and they look like professional model shots. In fact, they probably are. That's because the scammer has stolen them off some website and recycled them for a romance scam format. After all, he steals money, why not steal a few photos as well? It's no skin off his nose.

5. I am widowed and I have 1 child or 2 children etc.
This is to push the sympathy button. Think about that poor lonely man trying to raise a child all on his own. Can't you see yourself fitting into that picture? But he isn't a lonely widower-- he's a scammer and he wants to steal your money.

6. I am a businessman/woman and I travel a lot for business.
Oddly enough, they always seem to travel to Africa sooner or later. Gold and diamonds seem to be the latest hot commodities.

7. "I will come and see you soon, baby, but I have to sell my personal possessions first".
Yeah, sounds like a great business person, or in other words, it's just a scammer talking and he just wants to steal your money.
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