For weeks, even months, you may chat back and forth with one another, forming a connection. But ultimately, it’s going to happen—your new-found “friend” is going to ask you for money.
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.
The two scammers then either threaten to call the police unless the tourist pays them not to get the police involved, or they ask to see the visitor’s money to prove s/he didn’t steal theirs.
When the tourist takes out his money, they grab it and flee.
Arthouse/Rug Sale Scam: A young “art student" will approach a visitor (often at large tourist sites) and ask if s/he likes artwork created by local students.