There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.
The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.
In some cases, online dating services are themselves engaged in misrepresentation, displaying profiles which have been fabricated, which use personal information from users who have not agreed to be depicted on the site social accounts, classified sites and even forums to groom new victims.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country.
The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.
And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …
Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.
This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.