By | March 5, 2015 5 Comments

Online dating scams – who pulls them off and how

D. L. “Diana” Garren deals with private investigators all the time she advises them on how to market their businesses. Yet Diana herself lost money in an online dating scam.

She ended up interviewing the man who scammed her and other scammers. Then she wrote a book called Who is the Real Man Behind the Screen? 

Diana tells the whole story to Francie Koehler on the online interview show, PI’s Declassified.

Protecting Yourself From Online Dating Scams, on

Link provided by a Lovefraud reader.


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My review

It was hard to listen to DL “Diana” Garren. She giggled so much, and she sounded so smug. But she did provide some insights into how these conmen scam their victims.

Bottom line: To these scammers, it’s a “sales” game. Their victims are not perceived as human, they are merely sources to be scammed for Money. These scammers use pre-written scripts. They have a recipe. They probe to find the person’s vulnerability and then use the corresponding script to create a bond with their victim. They are working 3-40 other people at the same time, putting more time into “whales” that bit the bait, as long as the whale is paying, they milk them for more and more money.

Francie sounded like a decent person. Diana sounded like a disordered narcissist. She was creepy.

I found it interesting that no dating contact was ever made in DL’s case, yet she responded to the offender’s plea for financial assistance none-the-less, and did so out of caring.

Scam artists grab your heart and gouge you for all they can get through it. They prey on your desire to be loved, and the brain chemistry that makes you feel connected to them.


What I heard was that these particular scam artists are taught to probe for vulnerabilities. That it’s done the same way that pedophiles do it. Once they know the person’s vulnerability, they know what buttons to push to control the person.

In DL’s case, her vulnerability is that she likes to feel important. It’s VERY obvious in the interview, she is very ego centric. That scammer didn’t have to make dating contact. She didn’t need that, nor would respond to it. She responded to his appeals to her ego. She cared about feeling important, not about being loved. And she shares that there was no love connection, thus when he asked for more money, she blew him off.



Connecticut… abounds in gifts of beauty rich and rare, though “The Hills of Connecticut” [the official State Song} is conspicuously not among them. […] Can a state song be repealed?

Can a phrase be repealed? I have in mind Y’know. The prevalence of Y’know is one of the most far-reaching and depressing developments of our time, disfiguring conversation wherever you go. I attend meetings at NBC and elsewhere in which people of high rank and station, with salaries to match, say almost nothing else. For a while I thought it clever to ask people who were spattering me with Y’knows why, if I knew, they were telling me? After having lunch alone with some regularity, I dropped the question. In Britain, a National Society for the Suppression of Y’know, Y’know, Y’know in the Diction of Broadcasters was organized in 1969. It put out a list of the broadcasters who were the worst offenders. Reporters then interviewed the offenders and quoted all the Y’knows in their answers when they were asked whether they really said Y’know that often. Nothing changed.

Once it takes its grip, Y’know is hard to throw off. Some people collapse into Y’know after giving up trying to say what they mean. Others scatter it broadside, these, I suspect, being for some reason embarrassed by a silence of any duration during which they might be suspected of thinking about what they were going to say next. It is not uncommon to hear Y’know used a dozen times in a minute. […]

Those who wanted to show that they were down to earth, and so not above using Y’know, or—much the same thing—telling you that somebody is like six feet tall, have been particularly influential. They include makers of television commercials who begin the sales pitch with Y’know, and so gain the confidence of the viewer, who realizes at once that the person doing the commercial is down to earth, regular, not stuck-up, and therefore to be trusted.

It also included, on May 1, 1970, the day after he announced the American and South Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, President Nixon. To a gathering of employes at the Pentagon, he made these remarks about antiwar students at universities: “You see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses. Listen, the boys that are on the college campuses today are the luckiest people in the world, going to the greatest universities, and here they are burning up the books, storming around about this issue. You name it. Get rid of the war and there will be another one.” The White House Watergate transcripts show Mr. Nixon to be fairly devoted to Y’know…

The technique might be extended to other fields. perhaps to make Shakespeare more popular in the schools.

HAMLET: To be or not to be, that is the question Y’know?

Or: I pledge, y’know, allegiance to the flag, and to the y’know, republic for which it stands. One nation indivisible, like I mean with liberty and justice for all. Y’know?

– From Edwin Newman, Strictly Speaking: Will America Be the Death of English? [1974]

My wife and I never forgot a long-ago colleague of ours who once succeeded in using all four of these pestilential phrases at one and the same time. Right in the middle of a sentence this guy broke off, muttering “Like… I mean… y’know… sort of…” before going on with the rest of his sentence. It was a memorable performance.

Obviously the late great Edwin Newman would be disappointed to see, forty years later, that nothing has changed. Not if Diana Garren is anything to go by. I lost count of the number of times she said “Y’know” in her broadcast, long after I started to find it irritating.

I do have other and more serious (and more relevant) comments on Diana’s broadcast, but I don’t have time to make them right now. All I can do for now is to summarize by saying (1) it was a very informative broadcast—in one respect especially—but (2) in spite of that, Diana pissed me off in the end, for a reason that had nothing to do with her annoying habit of saying “Y’know.” I did find jm_short’s and especially NWHSoM’s remarks interesting, and I’m chewing over how they might square with my own impressions of “narcissism” versus “healthy self-caring.” More later, I hope.

Brigitte Knowles

Very interesting show. This show gave information that can save a woman from love fraud so the Y’Know mattered little to me.

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