romance scam










did some research and found some sources and I think I came up with a theory.

I remembered Catfish Dev once talking about how the catfish “mirrors” it victims to manipulated them and create an instant sense of intimacy. The catfish in question was targeting a Louisiana soldier in Afghanistan and she’d stolen FB photos from a New Orleans girl with a brother in the Army, so she had all of these pics of a cute blonde in Saints jerseys and Army shirts posing all over New Orleans on her fake accounts. Dev said that that built an instant rapport with her victim. It reminded him of home and made it look like they had all this stuff in common and were soulmates and stuff. That reminded me of Meg’s IG and all the bracelet and hat crap. 

So I started to wonder if this was all a scam.

Now, when I started doing research I expected the Harkle romance to have some of the aspects of a classic romance scam, but I was bowled over when I realized that Harkle followed the exact same steps.

It wasn’t just “kinda like” a scam. It was exactly like a scam. 

Here are my sources.   [color=#0e6c70][/color]


How Harry Fell in Love with a Con Artist 

Harry fits the victim profile: good-natured, non-confrontational, prior abuse, lonely. Extroverts are more vulnerable to these scams as are persons with “agreeable” personality profiles. Romantics and individuals who are thrill or sensation seekers (both of which fit Harry to a “t”) are also very vulnerable. In general the victim is “extremely motivated” to find love. This has been a running theme through Harry;s profiles. NYC also said that he’d broken up with a long-term girlfriend in March/April. So that would also fit. 

Men who suffer from mental illness are particularly vulnerable, and Harry has been pretty open about his PTSD issues. So he was pretty much a perfect victim.

You’d think someone like Harry would be protected from this kind of thing but apparently not.  

Stage 1 of the scam is building the profile to attract the victim.

Meghan didn’t build a fake profile but she adjusted her own and put up the Trudeau and Africa stuff, plus London with his friends (Misha, Markus, Violet), plus the hat and bracelets, and the Africa phone case and his mom’s watch. This stage can be as short as a month! That’s bizarre. In her case it was all through the summer. 

So he’s in Africa, alone, working on his African Parks stuff and she’s texting and posting stuff about elephants, posing all over Europe with his friends in his hat and bracelet, and generally reeling him him. It’s worth noting that she was posting a LOT during the summer like twice or thrice her usual rate of posting. (ETA: This is where I think she got the bracelet. It’s the same clasp and the shop owner takes custom orders in Etsy.

This technique is called “mirroring.” Basically you imitate your victim (clothes, mannerism, way of speaking) to establish a bond. 

One of the many things I found confusing in this affair was how Meg’s clothes changed. Her prior style was very polished and ladylike, very much like Rachel Zane’s. Once she started dating Harry, however, her style changed form skirts and dresses to raggedy jeans, blue men’s shirts, beanies, baseball caps and even puffy jackets. Does that sound like anyone we know? 

Yep, she was mirroring. Even the tabs noticed. 

She even changed the way she “spoke,” using words like “darling” in all her posts. Remember that interview where she said that she loved how Brit men called women “darling”? Yep, more mirroring. 

The article says that it only takes a couple of weeks and several victims speak of how the scammer sent them love poems and crap. Guess what Megs posted in August along with the hat, bracelet, his mom’s watch and the Africa phone case?  Love poems. 

Stage 2 is “grooming.”

She “falls in love” in September, very intense with lots of going back and forth. This apparently happens within a week or a couple of weeks so that fits.

This is where the victim is pumped for info. This part of the relationship is described as “very therapeutic.” The victim feels understood. He probably told her everything about his family and insecurities and whatnot during this period. This is described as a “hyperpersonal relationship.”

It’s like the Matrix and feels more real than a normal relationship, namely because, as in Catfish, the person doesn’t really exist. You’re in love with a construct so it’s more “perfect” than any real relationship could be.

The report says that “the victims often stated that they felt closer to the fictitious relationship than any other previous relationship.” This is a running theme through Meg’s PR “they feel like they’ve known each other a long time,” “it feels natural,” etc… That’s the manipulation right there.

The Witting paper says:

 The victims in both studies claimed during this stage, to have self-disclosed very intimate details about their life history, often telling the scammer more about themselves than they have disclosed to any other. 

I was surprised to hear that the grooming can be so effective that victims start considering marriage at this stage.

Witting says:  It is during this stage that the scammer claims to love the victim and hopes for a committed, permanent relationship. The victim also often claimed to have fallen in love with the criminal or was very committed to the possibility of spending the rest of their lives with them (often making declarations of their love and commitment to family and friends). 

His friends must have thought he’d gone nuts. It’s hard to believe that someone would be willing to make a lifelong commitment based on a bunch of IG posts and some texting, but this is apparently quite common.  

Stage 3 is the “sting.” There’s a small “ask” for money to test the waters.

This is where the victim commits to the scam.  In this case, that would be the plane ticket NYC says he bought in September. That was the first “dirty weekend” mentioned by we103. They stayed in and ordered food and she didn’t ask for much more. This meet doesn’t even show up on her IG. She gives no sign that she’s in London. She’s establishing trust at this point. 

This is called the “foot-in-the-door” technique. I can’t believe this is so common that it actually has a name. Bizarre. 

This is a big step because once the victim fulfills the ask, they are, so to speak, “in the bag.” Apparently, we all have a psychological need to see ourselves as “consistent” so once the victim gives even a small amount he or she is conditioned to give more. That’s why the ask is usually small. It’s just the first step. 

Witting says  In our victims’ cases there is more than consistency that is the pull, but also the desire to maintain their relationships. Moreover, compliance with the first request (an investment in the relationship) could be understood to signify a greater commitment to the relationship, making it more difficult to say no to further requests.  

When I NYC first said that he bought her a ticket I literally laughed out loud because Harry is a famous cheapskate. Heck, Cressie supposedly broke up with him because he would pay her ticket for Pelly’s wedding. Now here he is paying for a girl he’s shagged once?  But it fits the romance scam pattern and, I think, is indicative of how successful Meg’s social media courtship was.

At the same time Meg’s in London she’s also leaking the relationship through Markus and Violet. They are just rumors at this point, but she put up Violet’s pics on her Insta in June and Misha’s pics in July and August so the reporters know she has contacts and the rumors may be legit. 

Then she comes back to Toronto (more pics with Trudeau!) and there’s more texting and another “bigger” ask. The scammer is constantly trying to escalate and the money asks get bigger as they try to gauge how susceptible is the victim. In this case, however, she’s not looking for financial capital. She wants fame and social capital so she asks to be taken to places so she can meet people.

That’s October. He takes her around and introduces her to his friends. At this stage she’s already leaked the relationship and the outings give her an opportunity to prove to the reporters that the rumors are real. She puts up Arthur’s dog’s pic on Insta for further “proof.” When she gets word that the relationship is going to leak to returns to Toronto and puts up the “how to be both” post and some Rwanda pics. Later she gets impatient and puts up the bracelet pic. When the Tominey article finally breaks she puts up the bananas and the teapot. Then pap walk, promo, blah, blah, blah… 

Stage 4 is the “crisis.” That’s when the scammer makes up an emergency (sick kid, kidnapping, accident, whatever) and asks the victim for help, usually it’s a large amount of money but in his case it was the social validation.

This is where she calls KP in a panic and lies about the reporters breaking into her home and the nightly legal battles. So she gets the statement and St. Lucia and whatnot.  

The crisis is carefully crafted to appeal to the victim (sick child if the victim has kids, elderly parent if the victim is a caretaker, immigration emergency if the victim is an immigrant, etc…) This “crisis” was designed for Harry who was raised to fear and loathe reporters and probably blames them for his mother’s death. Note the fact that the KP statement mentions that her mom was harassed in her car. That wasn’t by accident.

Note that she caused all of the panic by posting the spooning bananas pic and the puzzle pic and spreading rumors that Harry was at her house. There would’ve been no paparazzi frenzy around her place if she hadn’t spread those rumors through a Toronto reporter’s tweet (remember, Jess’s husband is a Toronto gossip journalist). She caused the “crisis” herself.

There’s lots of discussion in the articles about how the scammers use “secondary characters” like lawyers and police to build up the scam. She did the same thing with the Toronto police, the reporters, and the Roth lawyers. They were real but she exaggerated them. Her PR people were probably used in this way too. She also used bodyguards as props in her first pap walk. More theatre. 

They keep playing up this stage and getting more and more. I can see her doing that “they don’t believe me I need…” “They’re still bullying me I need…"The victim is so committed at this point that they keep giving and giving.

Usually they don’t get everything they ask for and they modify the request. That’s apparently the “door-in-face-technique.” According to NYC that’s what happened with Sandringham. She didn’t get to meet the Queen obviously but she got a London trip as a “modified” ask.  These were the fights during the Caribbean tour. Finally he gives in and hands her St. Lucia, the tree-trimming story, theater pap walk, probably the Soho pap walk, a promised vacation…she got tons of stuff.  

Stage 5 is sexual abuse. This part surprised me.  

Apparently, victims are sometimes asked to take naked pics or to put themselves in compromising positions so they can be blackmailed later. I guess that’s what happened here. Hard to believe he was that stupid but apparently it’s a tried and true technique.   

Although it may not be sex at all. According to NYC she took pictures of Nottingham Cottage and KP during her December trip and he found out and freaked. That may be compromising enough and would fit the “romance scam” pattern. But given that the article mentions nude pics, that makes me wonder about those “Nott Cott” pics that supposedly caused the breakup. Maybe there’s more than furniture and drapes in those pics. Nude pics would also explain why the BRF have been so careful in handling her.  

Stage 6 is the revelation which can be very traumatic. This was the Xmas fight and explains how he looked at the engagement. It’s apparently devastating and akin to losing a loved one (the person who never existed). The symptoms are similar to sexual abuse. That explains why he looks so awful. 

According to the article, the “scam gradually comes to an end when the victim focuses less on rewarding aspects of the message and visceral cues and more on external cognitive cues (provided by law enforcement and loved ones).” That would be his family freaking out about what he’d done and showing him the file they’d gathered on Megs. Also, the topless photos came out on the day of the Queen’s lunch. That probably helped bring him back to reality. I know she told everyone they weren’t of her, but Harry knows what she looks like naked. Just sayin’.

I think it’s interesting that once she was in London with him, the first thing they did was cut off her social media access. NYC even hinted that they may have hacked her IG account. Harry’s blocking her after NYE is also food for thought.  Most of her manipulation was through social media. I think they cut off her influence when they took that away from her. 

Sometimes they’re in denial and vulnerable to a second wave of the scam. I think that’s what NYC is afraid of. I also think that’s why she remained in London, pretending to live in KP and putting out articles about India and Norway and Barbour and wellies. She was doing some more mirroring, hoping to reestablish a connection. Hopefully that didn’t work and she finally gave up and returned to Toronto. 

Conclusion So there it is. I’m still fairly attached to my #bananaspandexsuitorgyblackmail theory, but I do find this very persuasive.  I have links for most of this stuff. I didn’t put them in because that would make this even longer, but if you have any questions, I’d be happy to provide supporting documentation.  

Last Edited By: aspidistra3 hours ago. Edited 3 times

This is amazing  how this was put together, blows my mind away, we are dealing with a potentially dangerous person, they have given us fair warning, the game is afoot.

She has the capability of trying them all. But succeeding is another thing. People can see right through her. So the SYMPATHY CARD won’t work.

This is really good work from anon, please read


Reblog, this can be applied to any Narc situation 

reblog, to all who haven’t seen this and to the person who saying LOL

reblog, anon request

reblogging for the 7th time, please read it know it

8th time, lol it’s good 

the romance scam for twitter 


About jerseydeanne

British Royal watcher since 1981. An admirer of beautiful things, and people. Retired to Florida. Opinionated, Empathic. Former Restaurant/Bar manager and Insurance agent. Learning Social Media for the over 50 crowds. Everyone is welcome

View all posts by jerseydeanne