Narratives used to extract money from the victims of romantic scams include the following: Some romance scammers seek out a niche of various fetishes where they will find an obscure fetish and they will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer's plane ticket, they will get to live out a sexual fantasy of theirs by having the scammer come to them to have sex.
Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious.
Funds sent by Western Union and Money Gram do not have to be claimed by anyone showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response, and can be picked up anywhere in the world.
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 may be invited to travel to the scammer's country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gift money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, and then they are beaten and robbed or murdered.
A rapidly growing technique scammers are using is to impersonate American military personnel.
Unlike a gold digger, who marries for money, a pro-dater is not necessarily single or available in real life.
Another variation is that the scammer insists they need to marry in order to inherit millions of dollars of gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather.
They tell their victims that they are lonely, supporting an orphanage with their own money, needing financial assistance because they can't access their own money in a combat zone, etc.
The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer.
Some scammers may also use Bitcoin as an alternative payment method.