Social workers were stunned to find Cary Dolego, 53, sitting on a city street last Wednesday, behaving strangely and suffering from pneumonia.Dolego, who ran for Arizona governor just last year, had traveled to Ukraine this spring to do research for an engineering project and look for a wife.The scammers also like to entice victims to perform sexual acts on webcam.They then record their victims, play back the recorded images or videos to them and then extort money to prevent them from sending the recordings to friends, family, employers, often discovered via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
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.He says he met a woman named Yulia online and, hoping to marry her, went to her hometown of Chernivtsi. With nowhere to go and no money left, Dolego spent days roaming the streets of Chernivtsi along with other homeless men until he was picked up by social workers and taken to a shelter.He spoke to The Associated Press by phone Wednesday from a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.As the pro-dater is eager to date again, the next date is immediately set up with the next wealthy foreigner.Unlike a gold digger, who marries for money, a pro-dater is not necessarily single or available in real life.Everything is pre-arranged so that the wealthy foreigner pays high amounts of money for accommodation, is taken not to an ordinary public café but to the most costly restaurant (usually some out-of-the-way place priced far above what locals would ever be willing to pay), and is manipulated into making various expensive purchases, including gifts such as electronics and fur coats. The victim leaves just as alone but poorer at the end of the trip.The merchandise is returned to the vendors, the pro-dater and the various accomplices take in their respective cut of the take.But Dolego, a twice divorced father of three, also had another goal — finding love with a beautiful East European woman.After finding no support for his project in various Ukrainian cities and being evicted from a room he was renting, he said he boarded a train to Chernivtsi, hoping finally to meet his Yulia and settle down. bank account frozen and no means of supporting himself, he said, he became a homeless man.Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.