Francoise Shaibend is a fetching young French woman who is looking for love on Google Plus, the Internet giant’s answer to Facebook and other social media sites. Who could resist her desire for marriage and children? And that’s exactly the point of her Google scam.
She’s looking for a “lonely heart” on the Internet who will send her money for one reason or another with no intention of every meeting much less marrying.
Second in a Series
Francoise is one of four women who were the subject of an IM special investigation into “lonely heart” scams on Google’s social media site. It’s become the new hunting ground for organized groups, mostly out of Europe and Africa, who are taking advantage of Google’s lax oversight.
They promise their bodies and undying love, but their goal is to fleece love-lorn men of as much money as possible, before evaporating into the ether.
The scam typically begins with a fake Google Plus page, sometimes using a stolen identity.
— Google Hangouts a Haven for Scams, Possible Conduit for Islamic State
— Francoise Shaibend: Anatomy of Sex, Money, Marriage Scam on Google Plus
— Google Sex Scam Queen: ‘Devil in Flesh of a Fairy’ Preys on Lonely Heart Men
They search the site for potential victims and send out a request to talk in a Google hangout, which is the site’s private chat app. In some cases, the conversation moves to Skype.
The scam moves from casual conversation to talk about love and marriage. Before long, the scammer is professing her love and a desire to meet. The conversation is punctuated with increasingly risque photos. Or in some cases, the woman may actually strip on cam.
The conversation can go on for days, even weeks, but the end is always the same–a plea for money. It could be for a plane ticket, to help with financial difficulty, or to fund a business deal.
Once the talk turns to money, the pressure increases to make the transaction, usually by a wire transfer over Western Union.
Francoise’s scam followed that pattern to a tee. What follows is a verbatim account of her pitch, recorded over Google Chat. Because the conversation took place in French, the translation has been edited to take account for differences in syntax and phrasing.
Some of the routine pleasantries and banal conversation also has been edited because of length. Otherwise, all dialogue was recorded as it happened.
As usual, it starts casually with an introduction that serves to set up the scam.
Breaking the Ice: Setting up Scam on Google Plus
[Editor’s note: Francoise sent two photos with her initial chat introduction. The first appears above. The second to the right]
Françoise: Hi Hello, you are well I hope. My name is Françoise I live in Brest in Brittany. I am divorced and I have not had children during my couple life but I like children. I work in a super market. I love walks with friends, travel, music, bricolage, resto and cinema. I’m here to make acquainted with a nice, serious, honest man for sincere friendship and affinity. I thank you for having me accept among your contacts and I’d be delighted to know you. Take care of you and see you very soon. Feb 2, 10:39 AM
IM: You have a warm heart and beautiful soul Mar. 3.
Françoise: Here are two pictures of me for you. I would like to tell me your connection on hangouts.
IM: I love to meet beautiful people like you who are sexy, free and uninhibited to enjoy each others company. Mar 7, 1:26 PM
Françoise: Me too I would like to meet you and spend some good time with you. Tell me in which country are you? I am in Brittany in France. Good day my friend. Mar 8, 3:49 AM
IM: I live in New York City in the United States. I hope that we can talk more. I like your openness, beauty and spirit. Mar 8, 8:17 AM
Françoise: Hi. Me too I would like to talk with you and give me the benefit of your time and connection on hangouts Mar 8, 3:00 PM
IM: At any time of course… If I am on [chat], feel free to talk to me, or we can Skype.
Françoise: I do not have Skype my dear friend, I have Google to speak.
IM: Google Talk is fine…
Françoise: OK then we can talk quietly here
IM: What are you looking for exactly. You sent me two sexy photos, thank you! Do you have a cam with your computer? Mar 8, 3:28 PM
Françoise: No I am not from camera. [But] I look forward to talking with you. You want to know what? My name is Françoise. I am Franco-Israelienne.I live in Brittany. You know the France?
IM: Yes a little. I’ve been to Paris, Cannes, Nice, Cote d’Azur, mainly South of the France.
Françoise: Yes it’s cool. Can I see a photo of yourself
IM: OK.. I’ll try to send one… not as pretty as yours though
Françoise: It’s not the beauty that attracts me but the heart full of love and tenderness
IM: Yes, you seem very passionate.
Françoise: Thank you. Okay, I’ll relax because tomorrow I have a job. I’m shopping of cosmetic product my dear friend. I hope that we are talking again… it’s a shame that there is a lag between us. But I find enough time to talk to you. Good evening and tomorrow my dear friend. Big kisses I leave.
IM: You are in my thoughts. Mar 8, 4:01 PM