lovefraud3
lovefraud3
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What is love fraud?

In my post last week, I referred to an article on Salon.com called, Facebook status: In a scam relationship. The article starts with an anecdote about a guy who met a woman on Myspace. She supposedly lived in Ghana and proclaimed her love, then told him a hard luck story. He sent her a total of $14,000, even though they never met. The person did not exist. The guy was scammed.

After relating the anecdote, the article stated, “He’s a victim of what’s called ‘love fraud.’”

I had two reactions to that sentence. The first was, “Wow—‘love fraud’ has entered the lexicon.” The second was, “This writer doesn’t get it—love fraud is not limited to cyber scams.”

Then, a few days ago, I received an inquiry from a television talk show producer who is considering doing an episode about “love fraud.” He Googled, “love fraud,” and of course, immediately landed on this website and blog. He too, however, seemed to think that love fraud was limited to fake romances conducted over the Internet, which turn out to be money scams.

It’s time to set the record straight.

When I learned that my ex-husband, James Montgomery, was a sociopath, and that millions of sociopaths were out in the world putting peoples’ lives through a meat grinder, as had happened to me, I realized that the public needed to be educated. Although I was in the midst of my divorce and couldn’t immediately embark on an education program, I decided that I would eventually build a website.

So 12 years ago, on August 7, 1999, I reserved the domain name, “Lovefraud.com.” If you want proof, check the Who Is information.

Lovefraud.com launched on July 20, 2005. Our logo is trademarked. “Love fraud” is my term. Therefore, I will define it:

Love fraud is the intentional exploitation of an individual through manipulating emotions and trust in a personal relationship. The exploitative relationship is frequently romantic, but can also be between family members, friends and associates. The relationship can take place in real life, or exist only through communications media. The people who engage in love fraud are sociopaths.

For years, I’ve heard from people who want to tell me about their “love frauds.” In fact, I have collected more than 2,500 cases of people who tangled with sociopaths. Yes, I’ve heard about online scams. But I’ve also heard about betrayal by high school sweethearts, long-term spouses, family members, first dates, co-workers and business partners. This type of exploitation is widespread. In fact, it is epidemic.

So to all you bloggers and journalists who are suddenly interested in love fraud—this is not just an online money scam. Love fraud occurs any time a disordered individual uses a personal relationship of trust for the sole purpose of exploitation. Unfortunately, it happens much more frequently than most of us realize.



270 Comments on "What is love fraud?"

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  1. DUPED_IN_SOCAL says:

    hahahaha @ hens….

    thank you for that smile, you sweetheart. xxoo
    I wouldn’t go back there either!~~~!!!!!!!

  2. Hope to heal says:

    Dear souljourner ~ thanks for posting the link. Hey, maybe it will help to get more folks educated on the dangers of getting too close to one of these disordered people.

  3. zimzoomit says:

    souljourner,

    you are right on point with “On the scale, so many of these afflictions and symptoms criss cross in mysterious and confusing ways” .. it’s sad when the woman “after me” (possibly his THIRD wife, by now) did not see it or maybe she has, finally..dunno. He broke up her SECOND marriage. I think my ex overlapped his 1st & 2nd wives, too, when, I think they lived on the SAME STREET. How very sick he is. He told me that his first wife cheated. No! Uh uh. HE cheated with the NEIGHBOR’S WIFE and WITH TWO of his first wife’s GAY MALE friends, or so she told me. Talk about “flipping the script”! It still makes my head spin when I think about it. And yes, I think his sisters were like The Children Of The Corn..keeping an evil secret behind fake smiles, for years.

    Zim

  4. zimzoomit says:

    I suspect that my ex’s two oldest (of five) sisters (all older than the SPATH) knew about the incestuous shenanigans he’d had with his youngest sister and his gay male cousin (which he described to me…told me about), and could’ve felt “guilty” for “not protecting him” as a 12-year-old, so I think he “took it out” on them (as well as on other women in his life), played on their “guilt” .. to suck $ out of them later in life, even when he’d become a MIDDLE AGED male. His two older sisters married well, had husbands with substantial careers and/or were “well off” .. one of them, he told me, gained her high profile career because her wealthy husband PAID to help her start up her business. It was like..even if her career failed, it wouldn’t matter, because her husband was that well off. The second one, the oldest, she too, had a successful career, but that trickled out when she became infirm..didn’t matter, though, because her successful husband (also well off) “carried” her, from then on (but gee..hey..I wasn’t SUPPOSED to have a husband who was FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, if he had a say so, was I?) He, in my opinion, “bilked” both of those oldest sisters. The next to oldest loaned him thousands of dollars, but first made him sign a contract (I saw it) stating if he went bankrupt, he couldn’t write off his debt to her. The oldest (the one who became infirm), he told me, GAVE him the $ to pay off his divorce lawyer, to divorce his second wife. Codependent?

  5. zimzoomit says:

    DUPED_IN_SOCAL says:

    Re “The best thing YOU can do for YOURSELF is clean up your internet tracks”

    There are none to “clean up” .. and as for removing profiles on him, to expose him..I will not do that. He deserves exposure and plenty of it.

    Re “Are you still with this ‘person’? Is this person still in your life?”

    I have remained NC for years now, though I suspect he still “stalks” me by having 3rd party “marketing” emails sent to my email addy, but I’ll not change it to suit his needs, not when my NEW friends use it. Nasty emails, too..ads for viagra/cialis, “penis enlargement” .. if only I had a way to prove he’s doing this (no one else I know is that depraved) so that his next honey after me would KNOW, finally, he is the fraud and sick person I unmasked and his first wife unmasked.

  6. DUPED_IN_SOCAL says:

    Good Morning My Spath Eliminators:

    Zimzoomit: That’s great you have no internet tracks.
    As far as your profiles to expose him: that is a personal choice and I respect you for your courage and endeavors! I am not as brave as you, I am afraid. I had thought about posting warnings in different places about him, online, but then I didn’t want to leave myself open for any slander charges, etc. So I backed off. I will just deal with this another way and it’s coming. Trust me, it is SOOOO COMING.

    I am glad to hear you have been NC for years now! Zeesh.
    My x sp has been stalking and hounding and manipulating me for just about 9 years now. It will be 9 years this coming November. I have begged and pleaded and threatened and screamed: GO AWAY & LEAVE ME ALONE! But “IT” always finds a way back in to me. Especially while the divorce was going on. Me and the x wife became friends and IT actually thought I would do all it’s dirty work for it, while at the same time, taking it’s degradation and disrespect. No; like I told “IT”: use the piece of ass you have right now take care of your dirty work for you because I am finished being used. So what did “IT” do? It had all the other women in it’s web phoning the wife! Then accuses ME of ruining the marriage???! hahahahahahahahahahah what a complete moron.

    No, it deserves whatever it gets. I am sure the same with you zimzoomit: it deserves every single thing that happens to it. It wasn’t US who made them the way they are. It was them and their choices. Oh yes, stalking…yep, I know what that is all about, Dear. I have had it in DROVES and still do on occasion! It was 3 months NC yesterday and so far so good. Not a peep. And, by God, it had better stay that way too. But it won’t. I know better. It’s alright – I am ready.

    Me and IT”s x wife both know what we are dealing with here, now. Let all the OW’s have it. The one that has it now is devouring “IT” alive. Truly and seriously. I mean that in the very literal sense. Truly. THAT IS WHAT IT DESERVES. IT CHOSE THAT. I almost had IT’s marriage worked out for it, being the nice person I AM. I almost had the x wife talked into seeing IT and speaking with IT and trying to work things out with IT. Then “IT” started sending all his OW from the internet to his wife: calling; threatening; stalking; harassing…IT WAS IT; not me at all. It was all about IT.

    No, I am finished with this and trying to piece my life back together. It took so much from me and my life. It almost snuffed me out and I am fighting for my sanity and survival over here. It is sneaky and charming like “Hannibal”. Smiling, petting your hair and face, while kissing you and telling you IT loves you, at the same time, reaching into your soul and trying to extract it through your heart. Trying to take your life from you. Oh yes, it used my affections for it to the max and when it had no other purpose for me (ie: I gave up trying to patch it up with the x mrs.) when I wouldn’t do that for IT any longer, IT said “I understand; its okay” but it wasn’t…it was angry that I didn’t continue doing it’s bidding and tried to murder me and that thing IT is with, which I call IT#2 is every bit as bad as it is.

    Hope you are doing well today zimzoomit: I think of you always and send blessings and prayers to you.

    DUPED NO MORE

  7. souljourner says:

    Since I keep reading various references to homosexuality, I thought this was very interesting. It’s from Sociopathworld, an incredibly aggravating but insightful website with material from THEM. Anyway, here’s the article:

    Sociopathy is a personality disorder. We are unusually impressionable, very flexible with our sense of self, and with our defining characteristics. Because we don’t have a rigid self-image or worldview, we don’t observe social norms, we don’t have a moral compass, and we have a fluid definition of right and wrong. We can also be shapeshifters, smooth-talking, and charming. We can become your ideal mate, in a way described here and here. We do not have an established default position on anything. This extends, at least in some degree, to our sexuality.

    The original diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM), released in 1952, listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. The connection between the two was subsequently removed due to protests from the gay community that homosexuality was being equated with sociopathy. Many have commented since that sociopaths seem to have no particular sexual identity, that even the term bisexual is misleading as it implies some sort of a preference, albeit a shared one, and that “equal opportunity” is a more apt label. In fact, the sociopath seems to be the bonobo of the human world — frequent, casual, utilitarian sex. As one person reasoned, “such an individual, in their quest for dominance and power would not feel the need to discriminate according to gender.”

    We see fictional examples of the sociopathic “bisexual” with the talented Mr. Ripley, Joker from Batman (depending on who writes him), and real life examples with Leopold and Loeb and others listed here. If I had to speculate about current celebrities, I would also include Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Lindsay Lohan, although narcissism could apply equally well for some of those.

    I was thinking about all of this while reading an article on Sir Laurence Olivier’s sexual predilections. Although married three times, he apparently also had many male interests, one of whom explained it as follows:

    “He’s like a blank page and he’ll be whatever you want him to be. He’ll wait for you to give him a cue, and then he’ll try to be that sort of person.”
    Maybe larry wasn’t a sociopath, maybe he was, but he shared with sociopaths the common characteristic of a weak sense of self, and he illustrates well how that might play out with one’s sexual identity. In any case, the lesson learned here is not only does being a sociopath potentially make you a great thespian, it also gives new meaning to the old consolation, “there are plenty more fish in the sea.”

    Bizarre, to say the least. But it does help me keep one thing in perspective. There is a living, breathing organism somewhere inside that being. I don’t like them, I know none of you like them, but I figure if I can use them to get myself further educated, I’m willing to go that extra mile. But, I do reiterate that it is really triggering to read the material there so fair warning.

  8. Joanie123 says:

    Souljourner: The boys from Sociopathic World read LF all the time. They don’t like us because we expose all the “spaths”
    trade secrets! LOL!!!

  9. skylar says:

    Soul,
    thanks for that tidbit.
    It is accurate, yet “politically correct” in it’s description of an emotionally arrested individual. They are describing an infant: someone with no identity, not even a sexual identity.

    The way they describe it though, leaves out the part about being immature. My spath told me: “I never wanted to grow up.” Another time he said, “people change, but I haven’t, I’m still the same.” and another time, “People should just give me money so I can play and not have to work.”

    If only someone had told me what a sociopath was, I would have recognized the tells.

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