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Scammed by a Holiday Romance?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 28 Feb 2019 | comments*Discuss
Scam Holiday Romance Money Marriage

It’s one of those things all single people probably think of when going on holiday – the ubiquitous holiday romance. But in some cases, a fun filled fortnight can lead to a fraught return home. Don’t be scammed into believing that one of the locals has fallen head over heels when in some cases he or she might just love what you can do for them...

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Groups of girls abroad, middle aged women looking for love, lonely divorcees looking for a bit of a fling. All these people are ripe for a little bit of scam action by locals, well aware that their jaded tourist visitors are open to suggestion if they bat their dark handsome lashes seductively and hand out a few trusty compliments.

It’s hard to advise without being thought prejudiced but some of the African and Middle Eastern countries are well known for their holiday romance scams. Take a trip to morocco, Gambia, or Egypt alone as a female and you’ll find that you’re suddenly the most attractive woman on the resort, even if you’ve failed to get a date back home in months. They can flatter you and may well genuinely think you are amazing but be on your guard.Most men in these countries are trustworthy; it’s just the few that prey on gullible tourists that are to blame for the scams we hear about.

What to look Out For

In many countries, sex before marriage is frowned upon, and men are expected to marry a virgin. The attraction of a European visitor with less demanding morals is like honey to a bee and they can promise all sorts of things if you’ll just sleep with them. Although this isn’t a scam, exactly, and could just as easily happen in the local night club, don’t be taken in by declarations of love. The local girls won’t have sex with them – you will.

Many men in foreign countries seem to think that all tourists are wealthy, and therefore target foreigners to try and scam money from them. Be very wary of the gorgeous young tour guide who just needs to borrow some money to get him through university; the waiter who needs money to help him set up his own business or buy a car to get into the city for work. It’s probably a well-practised line and if you are in a relationship of sorts, the word ‘wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ can often mean, ‘personal banker’. Any mention of money when you’ve been ‘dating’ a man on holiday for three days must be treated with extreme caution!

In some cases it’s not your money they want it’s a passport out of whichever country they are living in. These men are even more likely to go down the ‘will you marry me’ route and try to make an honest woman out of you so that they can scam you into moving them over to the UK and out of their own country.

It’s Not Just Women that Get Scammed

It isn’t just women who are lured into love and romance by conmen in foreign climes – men too can be victims of scams that cost them a great deal of cash as well as their pride. The prime spots for men are South Asian countries (the typical places are Thailand with the girlie bars and sex tourism trade) and eastern European countries where unsuspecting and often desperate men hook up with willing sexual partners, often for money and convince themselves that their protestations of love are genuine.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

Keep your ego under wraps. It’s not nice to have to be so suspicious and of course genuine holiday romances can and do happen – even marriages. The trouble is, in many cases people suspend judgement while abroad and do things with people that they would never consider at home. If your holiday crush mentions money, marriage or how much he/she would love to move to England in the first few hours, walk away.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, I work for a women's magazine weekly and we are trying to raise awareness during the time of travel so no more women fall as victims to these frauds. If something like this happened to you, and you have been scammed by a man on holiday over money or visa contact me, so we can tell your story and help other women who may have ended up in a similar situation. x
WomenHelpingWomen - 5-Jul-18 @ 3:50 PM
The following is not a romance scam but a scam that was done to me in person last year in Europe when I came across an Australian man in Florence, Italy.Goran Markovic showed up at the hostel I was staying at and targeted me once he knew I had money.He started telling me he was a helicopter pilot butalso did work for ASIO (Australian Secret Service) and Interpol as an investigator.He told me he had all his documents stolen and was waiting on a replacement passport, credit card etc.He then involved me in a very elaborate and sadistic scam that lasted 7 months in which he convinced me that dangerous criminals and the American Secret Service were pursuing us.We lived as fugitives travelling between different countries in Europe.He stole $120,000 from my family and I as well as my UK car (a dark blue Honda CRV: license plate YB52 HZN).He abused my sexually, physically and mentally and I lived in fear of my life.He is a very convincing pathological liar who will do anything to steal money.He has been travelling around Europe for at least 10 years.Other scams include selling fake Qantas tickets and Australian visas, and pretending to be a builder.He may also give you a sob story about his partner and daughter.His partner Nicola Penny (from Hounslowe, UK) is in on the scams too.Other aliases include Guy Matthews, Scott Billinger, Adrian Albert Basile etc.He has fake passports.He is wanted by the Australian Federal Police and has warrants out for his arrest in Australia and Europe.Call the police if you come across him and ask them to call the Australian Federal Police.(He is about 5 feet 9, very thin, blue eyes, very short grey hair, angular face with pointy nose, rotten teeth).Be careful as he is considered dangerous.
AustralianTraveller - 14-Dec-15 @ 5:18 AM
I met a guy in negril 2013 by the name of Damion whyte alias Ticka, he made me think I was so special. Well it turned out all he was after was money. Every week begging to send Western union, either for bike lawyer or teeth, and hunger. Ladies beware this is a pro scammer and beach gigolo. He will take take take. Even take you to his home and tell you your the only one how has been around his family. Lies lies lies. Please don't fall you have been warned
Ticka - 29-Jun-15 @ 6:29 PM
I had a 6 year relationship with a gigalo in Negril Jamaica . He said his name was Christopher Wallace , but it turned out to be Paul Brown.I lost money to him little by little and finally he got ahold of my pin number and removed a few thousand from my bank account. All the details are not important but what is important is that it was a classic con and he had numerous victims at the same time. He is quite skilled , and although I had him arrested he never did see justice and is currently robbing a few women simultaneously that come from abroad. If we get there names on the internet at least if they are googled ,they can be outed.
Annie - 3-Mar-14 @ 3:28 PM
Sammy Sanj used to be my friend on facebook. Is this the same person?He is balding and thin built. He told me he was practicing medicine in Portsmouth. He said he had to go to Germany as he has been offered employment there in a hospital. So far, I have been helping him financially so it is all a bit too much for me to accept his excuses. I have not seen him since giving him some money!
waleslady - 8-Feb-13 @ 10:41 AM
Looks like my friend was not the only one taken on a ride by sammy sanj. She too lost several thousands of pounds ( uk sterling ) by the same man. He pretends to be lonely without a family and claims to be a student and a highly spiritual man. He soft talked my friend and used his spiritualism as a way of getting into her life until he smooth talked her out of parting with a lot of money for his poor sick family in pakistan and expenses.He has done this to others. Any woman reading this site please be aware of this man as he will make out as though you are wonderful and the only special person in his life when this is not true. He has accounts on twitter, face book, myspace and other social dating sites and goes by other names such as sanju khemani, sanj kumar, sanjoo kheemany and other similar names. Do not part with your money for him.As this website will tell you, he like many others out there will not show any feelings back so do not take pity or try and win their love.This is sadly a business for men like him.Please go carefully.
Vee. - 23-Aug-12 @ 9:01 AM
We have to be very careful with who we meet in cyberspace. I met some men who were ok and one or two very dodgy after you get to know them for a few months or even a year! You can tell from the genuine men by noticing how regularly he will be around when he need money. Yes mine too invented pitiful stories and so I gave money to help out. Unfortunately mine came from Pakistan and the other one from Sri Lanka. I am not sure how those people manage to enter europe and migrate here.
manisfanrahman - 19-Aug-12 @ 12:29 PM
I happen to have the most unfortunate experience in meeting a Facebook con artist going by this name: Sammy Sanj. He claimed to be a professional and a graduate of the London School of Economics. I lost roughly more than 12,000 British pounds (to help his rent arrears, fees and other things after a robbery story he probably made up and his sick family in Pakistan) on this conman who keep lying and making one feel so good about themselves at first. This is one experience I hoped other women won't fall gullible like I did at first.
vivaldi - 10-Aug-12 @ 8:51 AM
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