Without the requested information, I can only provide you with the following general response, which will hopefully still answer your query. The facts indicate that this is very likely to be a ‘romance scam’. The widespread use of online dating and socialising has offered numerous opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of. As it is not possible to determine if someone is who they say they are unless you meet them in person, there will always be a degree of speculation involved. That is especially the case considering real peoples’ identities can be stolen and someone can pretend that they are a real and genuine person.
That is why it is generally pointless trying to trace the person you are supposedly talking to as there could be someone completely different behind that identity. Instead, the best approach is to look at suspicious behaviour and requests made by that person and identifying certain 'red flags'. The following are the most common ones:
- You have met this person online, usually through a dating or social networking website, or instant messaging.
- They will usually be located in a different country to you – they could either be open and say they are from there, or they could claim that they are there on business
- They will start a long-distance relationship with you. They may take time to gain your trust, although often the relationship progresses unnaturally fast.
- They may use photos of another person and claim it is them, although these can easily be obtained by accessing someone’s social media profile, so there is no guarantee that this is the person you have been talking to. You can try and reverse search images to see if they have previously been used elsewhere: https://www.tineye.com/
- The most important red flag is that they eventually ask for money for various reasons. There are dozens of variations, with the most common ones being for travel expenses to meet you, for help with financial difficulties they are suddenly facing, for expenses relating to you receiving a package from them, etc.
- Once the money has been sent, the fraudster either stops all contact and runs away with your money, or they return and ask for more for different, often unexpected, reasons
In summary, if you have met someone online, never met them in person and commence a relationship, only for them to start asking you for money, you basically know it is a scam. The key now is to not proceed any further with this. Cease all communications with them and certainly do not send money if asked to, no matter what they say.
Also do not send anything to the supposed United Nations (by the way they are clearly not the UN).
In order to report this, you should contact Action Fraud (The National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre), by calling 0300(###) ###-####or online: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime