(Last Updated On: December 22, 2023)

Love Scams: Foreigners Lie to Bulgarian Women on the Internet

Authors:
•  Julian Stoyanov, Nova Broadcasting Group Ltd.
•  Lydia Zagarova – Psychologist, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Love Scams Target Bulgarian Women To Steal Their Money, Break Their Hearts, and Destroy Their Trust – Leaving Them Traumatized

Translated from Bulgarian

The Love Scam Victim’s Story of Lydia Zagarova from Bulgaria.

How the Love Scams Scheme Works

Every year more and more Bulgarian women become victims of romantic love scams. At Christmas, the number of lonely hearts increases.

Five years ago, Lydia Zagarova posted photos on Facebook. Immediately afterward, a stranger likes them and asks her for friendship.

Her Love Scam Suitor was Gomez Robinson

She describes him as a handsome and charming man with a radiance. He said he was a military doctor on a mission in Yemen. “A passionate, loving correspondence began. It was full of love bombs, promises, and wishes for marriage. Who doesn’t want to be showered with love? But that’s what’s suspicious,” the deceived love scammed woman commented.

Her Suspicion becomes a Thorough Investigation

After days of kind words, promises, and declarations of love, she understands that this is all manipulation, all just a love scam and she was a scam victim. She discovers that Gomez also introduces himself as Adisu Willies. She also found him by the name of Fred David. Different Facebook accounts – one stolen identity of Dr. Fernando Gomes Pinto from Brazil.

Then came the Requests for Money

The love scammer asked her for $100,000, which she had to transfer to an American account. Lydia managed to get out of the love scam emotional trap in time, but according to the police, every month at least two Bulgarian women give tens of thousands of euros in the name of love. [SCARS estimates it to be closer to 2,000]

The goal is to financially help a newfound passion that turns out to be not an American lieutenant or surgeon, but a fake profile love scammer from Nigeria.

“These love scams have been in Bulgaria for years and will remain for many more years. The term for these crimes is romantic fraud/love scams/romance scams/relationship scams. Women are carefully selected – who have social media photos of them alone or with a pet, a flower, which is an indicator that she has no family, ” said cybersecurity expert Vladimir Dimitrov.

Thus begins the Grooming and Manipulation of the Single Lady Targeted

“They write loving sexual lines, imitations of intimate acts. They are very convincing in this. They groan, they groan, they imitate sex,” Lydia said. The traps of love scam deceptive suitors can be varied, such as sendingt them gifts too.

As a part of the love scam they say “the courier firm says the shipment was stopped by Swiss customs, and a million dollars were found inside bills and the victim has two options: either pay a fee or be arrested for money laundering.” We’ve had victims come up to us and say, “Officer Georgiev is waiting for us at the airport to get $1 million. Come with me.” It’s all a scam,” Dimitrov explains.

Having burned herself on her love scam, Lydia began her mission to help other women in a similar situation. She is not ashamed to speak out and believes that the stigma in Bulgaria gets in the way of deceived women scam victims to be able to recover and move on.

“Anyone can become a victim of romantic deception or love scam. We can’t stigmatize. We shouldn’t make fun of. We don’t know tomorrow if this will happen to our daughter, to our mother, to our grandmother,” she said.

Lydia Zagarova, SCARS Director

Lydia is a psychologist, a member of the SCARS Board of Directors, and a Psychology Advisor to SCARS.

SCARS Resources:

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

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