Dr Phil: How To Spot An Internet Romance Scam & Online Dating Warning


Dr Phil: Internet Romance Scam Artists

Dr Phil talked with Dawn, who may have been the victim of an online dating scam, and her family, who is concerned that she has been taken in by a con artist. What do people need to watch for with Internet romance scams?

Dr Phil: Turkish Prison Dating Scam

Dr Phil producers were on hand when Dawn tried to call David, who was allegedly in a Turkish prison, where he had tried to commit suicide after cocaine was planted in his luggage at the airport. That is already a remarkable story.


“Usually it’ll ring twice and then go to busy, and then I have to call him back again,” Dawn explained. She said she sometimes calls him dozens of times every day because she loves hearing his voice.

Dr Phil: Drug Running Dating Scams

Dr Phil: How To Spot An Internet Romance Scam & Online Dating Warning

Dr Phil talked with a woman who fell victim to an Internet romance scam about the online dating warning signs to watch out for that can be red flags.


The next day, Dawn tried again to call David. This is very sad to watch. She did finally get in touch with someone who claimed to be a Turkish inspector detaining her online boyfriend, David.

Back on the set, Dr Phil tried to maintain an impartial tone, despite his clear skepticism. Dawn tried to rationalize which law enforcement officers might be answering his phone and why. She is not entirely certain whether he is running drugs.

Dr Phil: Catfish Internet Scams

Gail, Dawn’s sister, chimed in to point out that when Dawn got a phone call from a doctor claiming that he could not be released from the hospital unless Dawn paid his bill. They have this lady hosed, and it’s gross. This is exactly why I am afraid to watch that MTV show, Catfish.

Dawn and Gail sparred about the soap opera timeline in which David’s every day seems to be embroiled. Daughter Heather said once she learned her mother was giving money to David, she tried to intervene but was rebuffed.

Dr Phil: Online Dating Scams For Money

Dawn’s employer actually laid her off when she discovered what Dawn was doing with her money. The day before the show taping, David’s lawyer sent him paperwork to transfer $4.5 million into her account, which is another scam tactic.

She admitted that the money has not come through. Gail had questions about his financial dealings, and it did seem like David had an excuse for everything. Dr Phil and the family all agree that the picture Dawn has is probably not David.

Dr Phil: How To Spot Internet Romance Scams

Here are some red flags to watch for if you think you are in an online dating scam.

  • Professionals working overseas
  • Building a relationship with the victim
  • Quick or sudden declarations of love
  • Creating stories to elicit money
  • Bad grammar and spelling
  • Reliance on instant messaging
  • Plagiarized poetry or love letters
  • Few concrete details about life or work
  • Fake photos
  • Interest in webcam chats
  • Ask for emergency funds to be wired
  • Ask for money to visit you
  • Ask victim to handle banking in the US
  • Ask for passwords and personal information
  • Pretend to be online dating victims
  • Pretend to be law enforcement personnel

In Dawn’s case, all but two of these elements were satisfied. Dr Phil explained that scammers in Nigeria and other countries work to scam and exploit dozens of victims at the same time.

Dr Phil: Internet Predators

Dawn said that she understands this is probably a scam, but she said she does not want to get her heart broken and is afraid to learn the real truth. What does Dr Phil have up his sleeve to help Dawn get an answer?



  1. Gisselle bendter says

    Met him on match.com and he introduced himself as Sgt. goodwill from USA in mission at Iraq, wife died and had son with a friend in Ghana. We chatted for month including his son Perry on cam. It happened that he found a briefcase of gold and wanted to ship to me but had no way then he brought the idea that his friend in Ghana knows Ghana Customs and can pass gold there to me, it started with few $ until I paid almost $46,000 during the process until I found on the web that it scam and I contacted the Ghana Serious Fraud Crime Unit(info.ghanapolice at consultant.com) and he was arrested and some of my losses recoverd.Beware of scam from Ghana contact officials!

  2. says

    i too was romanced and scammed it makes me sick. i was leaving my entire life to be with this man. now i am heartbroken and have depleted my account

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