Thai Girlfriend Marriage, Business, and Land Scams
When a man becomes a victim of a marriage scam, or some business investment or land purchase scam with a Thai girlfriend, his losses are not just the amount of money he's handed over and spent, it's also all the time and effort and emotion he has put into the relationship and assets, and the embarrassment he may experience.
Many, many times, we have gotten a case where a man said the Thai lady didn't ask for money for a very long time, so he trusted her more, and became much more generous than he would have if she had actually asked for money. However, in the end, a Thai girlfriend has run off with huge assets and/or money and just cut off the guy at some point for no good reason otherwise.
Many Thai girlfriends are sincere and not looking to scam a man. It can be unhealthy in a relationship for a man to be too paranoid. However, it's also important to know some of the warning signs, and not let all the good feelings and wishful thinking make you overlook, deny, or downplay some potential red flags without considering various possibilities. You can decide whether any particular things are probably okay or maybe not. In many cases, a private investigator can discreetly research or analyze things to help a man assess his situation and make decisions.
One of the most common phrases I hear at the start of an investigation is "But she's different...". However, upon hearing details of the story, the lady in many cases has not seemed substantially different from countless cases I've heard before, many of which were scam cases. Men often go too much on gut feelings and their perceptions (just like in politics, each to their own...), and really should listen to a third party's analysis of their particular case and opinion based on a lot of experience. I've been living here in Thailand since 1994 and been doing private investigations most of that time, in addition to having my own relationships and having many friends and associates with Thai girlfriends and wives. Most of these have not been scammers, but many have been, much moreso in our private investigations.
I read a lot of things on the internet such as public forums, and hear a lot from other people, but I disagree with a lot of what I read and hear. Much of it is too cynical or from jaded people with attitude. I have lived nearly all my life in Thailand in the suburbs, not the tourist areas, except very early on. I've seen a wide variety of the good, the bad, and the ugly. My own personal experiences, and those of my friends and associates, have weighed heavily on the sincere, quite in contrast to what I often read on the internet. My private investigations have a disproportionate percent of men come to me because they see red flags themselves.
Many Thai girlfriends have not asked for money for a long time. As a result, the man has believed that the relationship is sincere and she's not mainly just out for his money, just on the basis that she had not asked for any money up to that time, after which the man became more generous and took much bigger risks in asset purchases such as a car, buying gifts, investing in a business for or with her, and lots of odds and ends. Many times, from men who were cheated or scammed, I have heard "[She didn't ask me for money so I trusted her and ...]" However, from many of those stories I heard, I saw red flags which could have been warning signs in advance of his generosity.
Some ladies are professional scammers. They know how to say the right things, convey nice feelings, and manipulate men. Many of these already have a lot of money or assets from previous scams, but may have cover stories for how they got what they have. They know that if they ask for relatively small amounts of money, then the man may trust them less, and is more likely to realize that she just wants his money, and thereby be less likely to take big risks. They are holding on waiting for the big money investments. It's similar to businesses which go by a so-called 90-10 rule -- 90% of their profit comes from 10% of their clients or investments.
Many of the biggest scam losses I have encountered have been of this type -- whereby the Thai girlfriend did not ask for money for a very long time before the boyfriend started spending a lot more money than he would have otherwise.
Some ladies seem to just enjoy the game of dating and scamming, much like people like playing online games, except internet dating has payouts and real rewards, in addition to the pleasure of titillation, and they are naturally skilled at the game of dating and getting big investments. They may even really like communicating with and being with the man. Many have proudly bragged with friends about how good they are at their game. I've even heard of some bragging how they split up a man's marriage and family with children, like that's how great they are! They also tend to have a lot of free time on their hands.
Many young people today grew up with internet and became accustomed to taking on aliases and alternative identities online. It's not much of a change to use their real names but still a different persona. Financial gain is not always the only motivator. Some people are just bored or enjoy living in a fantasy world or playing games with others, with titillation. Internet dating is often seen as a "safe" online activity as compared to real life face-to-face physical meetings, which is fine, but sometimes it can go further into fantasy, deception, and a game of taking advantage of somebody to reap rewards.
Two categories of scammers are those who use their real name vs. those who use a proxy or alias. Most use their real names, but many have used a proxy, i.e., we've had some cases where the person in photos and videos and live calls did not match the face of the person whose identity/name was on financial transactions such as the bank account and/or other documents. However, in most cases the scammers are simply using their real name. They just aren't doing anything they think will put them in jail, and they may believe they can get away with things with the victim, or they just don't care and are not thinking about the consequences of their behaviors. When people have used a proxy, it is often very difficult to find the proxy, even if you want to serve court papers to them.
Sometimes a deceiver doesn't actually try to scam, but is just somebody who is in a bad marriage or some other bad situation, or bored, and looking for an escape online. However, most deceivers we have encountered are also trying to get some kind of financial benefits.
Many scammers end the relationship before marriage, but some do go to marriage, sometimes with a big dowry payoff, and additional assets bought. Some time after that, the man might then need to negotiate for divorce, which may require an additional payout and the lady keep roughly half of the assets acquired after marriage. That's in addition to assets before marriage. For many cases there was no marriage and the man had no legal recourse to any of the assets.
Of course, you can face similar things in girlfriend relationships and marriages with any lady anywhere in the world, with gold diggers. It's better to do research and analysis before you get in too deep.
It's best to do research discreetly in many cases, without the lady knowing you may have your doubts. This is not just smoother for a harmonious relationship, it can also make a significant difference in the investigation. If a tricky scammer thinks you might be researching her, she might start hiding things, get more sophisticated in building cover stories and false leads and references, mislead, and withhold some kinds of information which she may otherwise divulge if she thinks the guy is stupid and gullible. It can be counterproductive for a boyfriend to egotistically try to show that he's not stupid or gullible, if the lady really is a scammer.
It is better to start sooner than later, in many cases, before you have invested a lot of time, effort, and money. Even if you're already heavily invested, it may still be better sooner than later before you go further.
With many boyfriends, the more they invest, the less willing they have been to consider the possibility of an unstable relationship, like they feel they are already too heavily invested to back out now, and/or they try to avoid the potential pain or ego hit of considering they might be cheated or scammed, and may be unwilling to accept "limiting their losses". Even when the lady may fail to fulfill some of their promises, or things might not go as well as planned, or some red flags may be noticed, the man may just keep trying to make things work out because he's already heavily invested in time and money and he doesn't want to stop and accept all his losses. The costs can add up. Some relationships have started out with small investments, but enough to make the man more likely to continue when additional and sometimes larger demands are made with various stories, and reluctant to quit after he starts noticing some red flags. Many scamming ladies know that the more time and money a guy invests, the more likely he will continue even when some issues arise.
In many cases, there has been a Thai boyfriend in the picture all along, as if it's a "family business", making money off of foreigners. We've also had cases where a foreign man was involved behind the scenes, possibly as a coach and beneficiary.
Investment in a business can be a very slippery slope. The feelings of romance can make a man feel good and happy about the engagement so he may be much more inclined to see a business investment as favorable, compared to a hypothetical situation if some businessman he recently met had come with the same business preposition. If the business goes bad and the partner gets greedy, what legal recourse does he really have? Romance can be a way of luring a man beyond normal judgment in how to make a business investment, or in taking expedient steps which may put him into a disadvantageous situation.
Sometimes the lady had no job and the business investment was intended to be a way for the man to give her a good livelihood, and try to keep her busy and out of circulation with other men, perhaps also with dreams of making a profit and in some cases perhaps living happily ever after with income from this business.
However, in some other situations, the lady already had money yet no other job, and a cover story of where that money came from ... and wanted to go into a new business together ... maybe even with the goal of getting the man the ability to stay in Thailand longer with an nonimmigrant business visa ...
From my long time experience in a wide variety of situations, I can in many cases see fairly quickly whether a relationship appears to fit a pattern of being sincere vs. being a significant risk of a scam. When it looks like it could be a scam, I and my investigators can look for any evidence of trickiness or deception or a bad history. Many men won't let go of a relationship and cut their losses without evidence.
A Thai girlfriend not asking for money for a long time can be a good sign, but we don't just look at that, we look at many other things, too, and don't put a lot of weight on long delayed requests, directly or obliquely, for money or to start a business or to acquire some asset such as a car for the both of them in Thailand but in her name ...
Better to analyze sooner than later, whether or not a relationship is probably sincere, or whether there are some serious red flags.
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