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What followed was more song and dance: a purported passport photo, a video of Bustin on a Skype call (with the scammer’s voice superimposed) for a “live” conversation, an invitation to move into his home in north London barely two weeks after their initial phone conversation.
Hebibi told The Sunday Times that she’d been contacted by “Sebastian,” who claimed to be British and working in Thailand.
These are the warning signs the FBI says we should keep an eye out for to spot somebody who’s trying to con us, our family or our friends: If you, or the intended victim, still isn’t convinced, a powerful tool is the one used by the 60-year-old widow to find out who “Martin” really was: run a reverse image lookup search to see where else Prince Charming or Princess Distressed and Broke Maiden has been hanging out online.
It’s free, and it’s instructive: you could well find the photo a fake friend has used, perhaps even posted on sites devoted to exposing the fraudsters who use the same images over and over – typically, stolen images.
She told the publication that the scammer first contacted her on 29 January.
He/she was using photos stolen from a social media site.
The woman grew suspicious a few days later, when “Martin” claimed to be on holiday in Dubai and sent her photos supposedly of him having breakfast, then in the swimming pool.