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Online Dating Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them,RESOURCES:

 · Here are 6 common signs of an online dating scammer: Their profile is too good to be true. The scammer often has an attractive photo and claims to be overseas for business or  · A typical strategy online dating scammers will use is saying they have an emergency and need you to send them money. It could be that their mom just found out she  · Common things online dating scammers do that you should look out for: 1. Asks you to communicate outside of the dating app or social site you’re on. Good evening Lovely  · Romance scammers conned victims out of $ million worth of cryptocurrency last year, according to a February report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Crypto ... read more

This gives you the ability to really pay attention to their facial expressions and responses, thus giving you the ability to judge their responses and determine whether or not they may be using a script. Video chatting can give you the opportunity to ask hard questions, which can make a scammer slip up due to the script failing to have a proper response. Scammers know this, which means in almost all cases, they will avoid it at all cost.

Simply asking for a video chat and being denied multiple times is a dead give away that you are chatting with a scammer. Anonymity and security is something all online dating scammers love to have, and this is something they cannot get on most online dating websites. Usually within a day or so, they will request that you both move over to email or another platform, such as Google Hangouts , to continue chatting.

Beware, though — this only gives the scammer a much less of a chance of being banned on the dating website and gives him a bit more privacy. If someone asks you to move onto another platform to continue the conversation where it left off, this should immediately raise a red flag.

However, if asked to move to Snapchat or Instagram, this may not necessarily be a scam; but this is where proper judgment should be used.

We find that it is extremely common for online dating scammers to quickly fall in love with their victims. These individuals try their best to fast forward things as quickly as possible so that they can take money from you sooner, rather than later. Sadly enough, victims do not usually notice this, as most victims of romance scams are already vulnerable, although definitely not all.

If you are told by someone on an online dating website or even social media that this person loves you and it has only been a week, this should undoubtedly be cause for suspicion.

This is by far the most known scam and is a very popular method used by those looking for new victims. This will initially begin with an individual being contacted by the scammer, who will then explain how he is deployed overseas, for example. This is used because Americans tend to trust their Military — for good reason. However, when you are contacted with someone claiming to be in the Military right off the bat, this should raise a red flag for most, although like with others, some good judgement is required.

After all, there are millions of service members. Almost all online dating scams involve money in one way or another. Sometimes they may ask very quickly within a week, for example.

However, sometimes they may wait for months to ask for money in order to gain your trust; especially if they plan on asking for a more substantial amount of money. The most common scammers will typically ask for smaller amounts at first, but will suddenly begin asking for much bigger amounts. These online scammers have numerous amounts of scams that they use and sometimes they can be extremely creative when making them. A large weak point that is very typical of online dating scammers is their social media.

More often than not, they forget to both build structure such as lack of friends, page likes, posts and photos.

Sometimes, they even have a personal social media account that has their real name and photo. Most online dating scammers like to use stolen photos taken from other social media accounts; and may even use a stock photo.

Typically, if more than one name is connected to that photo, then it is stolen. Anonymity is something almost all online dating scammers want, which means in almost every circumstance, they avoid video chats at all cost.

If you suspect that you may potentially be falling victim to a romance scam, request to initiate a video call with this person. If they deny this and make excuses, especially more than twice, then this is a huge red flag; and you should take extra precautions.

Online dating scammers are not located within the same country as the victim in most cases, which means that they will likely have an accent. The scammers know this, so they will almost certainly not accept a phone call from their victim. Not only could this possibly expose the scammer as not being a local, it would also give the victim a chance to ask hard questions, which means the script that the scammer uses may not be nearly as effective. If you are denied a phone call, especially more than twice, then that should be considered suspicious.

This should go without saying, but if you suspect someone may be trying to scam you, ask hard questions. You might be wondering what those are. Doing so allows you the opportunity of letting them slip up and make an answer that is completely incorrect. On almost every occasion, scammers will inevitably ask you for money. Sometimes this can start small, and usually happens within the first few weeks, although it can happen after months have passed.

However, if you are asked to send money for any reason, this should immediately raise a red flag. Never send money to anyone online, especially those who you have never met in real life. Personal information should be kept exactly what it is called: personal. Online dating scammers may not directly ask for money from you, but instead ask for personal information and take it themselves; and may even steal your identity.

Never give anyone on an online dating website your social security number, banking details or your home address. Doing so could lead to huge legal issues such as bankruptcy, identity theft and, in some extreme cases, jail time.

Most of the scripts that are used by online dating scammers include certain keywords to use when they are grooming their victims. These keywords are used to try and drag you into a romance trance, which will lower your guard, making you much more vulnerable to his request.

It is important that you perform a quick background check on who you are actually speaking to on the internet you can do that here. The common questions that spring to mind are:. Scammers can use details shared on dating websites or social media to better understand and target you.

Asking more questions can help you to get to know someone on a deeper level. Google Images: Simply go to Google Images and click the camera icon to upload and search the picture. Having reliable anti-virus software installed on your devices will keep you safer. And you can use a VPN to protect your online life by hiding your real IP and location. If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop communicating with the person immediately.

Then report it to the related agencies:. Hopefully this post helped. If you have any other questions or suggestions, feel free to leave us a comment below. Lily is a writer at supereasy. com, who specialized in coupons, lifestyle, games, etc. She enjoys searching for deals and coupons to save money and share with readers. Outside of writing, Lily spends her time reading novels and playing games.

Skip to content Links on Super Easy may earn us a commission. Scope Out Your Online Date 1 Enter Name. Image Credit: ftc. Incorrect phone number. Is She Really Trustworthy? Share this article:. By Lily Qiu Lily is a writer at supereasy.

Millions of people around the world use online dating sites and apps. And there are many success stories of people finding love and companionship online.

But as well as the successes, there are also online dating scams — and these are on the rise. Online dating scams — also known as romance scams or romance fraud — take place when someone believes they have made a connection or match through an online dating site or app — but the person they are talking to is, in fact, a scammer using a fake profile. The scammer manipulates or grooms the other person to gain their trust over time — ultimately so they can either ask them for money or obtain enough personal information about them to steal their identity.

This type of crime is on the rise. In , the US Federal Trade Commission received 11, complaints about dating and romance scams. By , that figure had risen to 52, In the UK, the equivalent figure was £68 million. The coronavirus pandemic — which prevented in-person meetings and led to people spending more time online — provided conditions that romance scammers could exploit.

While anyone can fall victim to romance scams, older people often suffer a heavier financial loss. Scammers target older people because they are more likely to have assets such as retirement funds or homes, which they can steal. It is believed that around two-thirds of romance fraud victims are women , with an average age of This overview explains common online dating scams, the signs of a romance scammer, how to report a dating scammer, and how to protect yourself from online dating fraudsters.

Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers may create fake profiles which look as appealing as possible and wait for victims to reach out and begin the conversation. Or they may contact victims themselves, perhaps claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection. Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are some of the most well-known variations:. With military romance scams, fraudsters may use the name and likeness of an actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile.

They send out legitimate-seeming messages, perhaps introducing themselves as near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances.

The messages are riddled with military jargon, titles, and base locations, which sound impressive. They start to build a strong emotional connection, but before physical introductions can occur, the "soldier" is deployed. Then come requests for money — perhaps to set up a reliable internet connection, pay for flights home or supplement supposed limitations on military medical coverage or retirement planning.

In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. Military romance scams can drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. Military romance scams are so common that the US Army has produced a detailed fact sheet on spotting romance scammers posing as American soldiers posted abroad, which you can read here.

After an intense courtship period, the scammer asks the victim to connect with them via webcam so they can chat. The scammer then reveals their true identity. They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online unless the victim sends money.

Once the victim complies, the cycle begins — demands increase until the victim finally refuses. A slightly different proposition to regular scam websites , scam dating sites are dating services that claim to offer legitimate meetups but are either severely underpopulated or awash with scammers. A popular scam involves sites that ask you to create a profile specifically to mine your information.

answers to common security questions. You may receive an offer for a free premium membership or some other exclusive perk in exchange for completing a survey that contains similar questions to those used for banking. You should never reveal any information that can be used to access private or financial details, no matter what incentives you are being offered.

This is one of the common Tinder scams. It involves an email or text asking you to verify your Tinder account. The message may claim that Tinder is updating its records and asking you to verify your account.

In other iterations of the scam, an online Tinder match may ask you to verify before engaging in any future communication. In these examples, the scammer encourages you to click on a third-party link to verify your account. Once you click through, you'll be asked for personal data like your name, address, phone number, email, Social Security number, birth date, and even your bank account or credit card details.

Tinder does include verified accounts, but this is done in-house at Tinder. To get the blue check-mark next to their profile name, users are directed by the app to take a series of selfies, which are then compared to the photos on their profile to check they match. Malware is a common threat online, including on dating sites.

On Tinder, for example, a match may have several exchanges with you and then offer you further information on their personal web page or even fake Facebook or Instagram profiles. These pages aren't legitimate, however. Instead, you're being directed to a web page that contains malware and spam that can allow scammers to steal your personal data, leading to identity theft and financial fraud. Generally, whenever anyone on an online dating site is keen to direct you to another site, it should be considered a potential red flag.

This is where the scammer encourages the victim to send their contact details in exchange for intimate photos of the scammer. A young woman contacts the victim to say she cannot remove the gold from her country since she cannot pay the duty or marriage taxes. Needless to say, the scammer never arrives. Scammers are skilled at playing on emotions and grooming their victims over time.

Narratives that often appear in online dating scams include:. You often hear the terms catfishing or catfish scams in relation to romance fraud. Catfishing refers to someone creating a fictional persona or identity on a social media or dating site to target a specific victim. Besides financial gain, catfishing motivations can sometimes be simply to cause distress or harm or possibly enable the perpetrator to carry out a fantasy or wish fulfilment.

The term derives from a MTV documentary called Catfish. Regardless of platform or app — Facebook catfish scams, Instagram dating scams, Plenty of Fish scams, Snapchat meetup scams, and so on — warning signs of online dating scams include:. They try to move you off the dating app or site quickly:. This is because online dating apps often have customer care teams who monitor strange behavior.

If they notice a user sending the same message to numerous users, or other unusual activity, they may flag it as suspicious. To avoid this, scammers try to move you to another platform such as WhatsApp or similar.

The discussion turns romantic very quickly. A common trend in catfish scams is for the imposter to get very serious very quickly. They may bombard you with extravagant compliments and claim to be falling in love with you. Victims usually report that this shift occurs early on. The scammer asks you a lot of questions about yourself. This is because the more they know about you, the easier you will be to manipulate.

The scammer will spin a tale about him or herself as well and may invite you to start talking over the phone.

This stage can last for weeks, even months. If someone is telling untruths, it can be easy to forget what they have said before. Also, scammers sometimes operate in teams, with different people hiding behind one identity. Catfish scams use attractive profile pictures to keep the victim hooked. Often, these are pictures of actors or models or perhaps even a stock image.

A reverse image search will show if their profile picture has been used anywhere else on the internet. To check, you can run suspicious text through an online search to see if any matches come up. People who are scammed generally report that the other person made constant excuses to avoid going on camera.

The obvious reason is that they don't look like the person in their profile picture. They also want to avoid being identified to prevent being tracked down afterwards. A common theme in catfish scams is for the imposters to create elaborate stories involving illness, family tragedies, or major accidents that generate sympathy and help to postpone a face-to-face meeting.

If your potential date has a life story that seems unbelievable, it could be a scam. Fraudsters try to cultivate long-distance relationships because it means they have an excuse not to meet their target. This gives them time to groom their victim and obtain their trust. The stories they tell will include a reason that makes it challenging to meet in person. Or else they arrange to meet up with their target, only to cancel at the last moment.

All the grooming and manipulation — which may take weeks or months — is leading up to a request for money. They may give various reasons but, needless to say, your answer should be no. Romance fraud is often under-reported since victims can be too ashamed or embarrassed to tell people once they realize they've been fooled. Different jurisdictions around the world will have different agencies to which you can report a romance scam — for example:.

If you have lost money, you should also contact your bank as soon as possible to explain what has happened. In general, an important way to stay safe online is by using a comprehensive antivirus solution, such as Kaspersky Total Security , which protects you against hackers, viruses, and malware.

Online dating scams often prey on vulnerable users. However, by understanding common catfishing scams and how to avoid fraudsters, you can bypass romance fraud and forge genuine connections instead. Romance scams are on the rise. We use cookies to make your experience of our websites better. By using and further navigating this website you accept this. Detailed information about the use of cookies on this website is available by clicking on more information.

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Online dating scams and how to avoid them,A Word From The Editor

 · A typical strategy online dating scammers will use is saying they have an emergency and need you to send them money. It could be that their mom just found out she  · Common things online dating scammers do that you should look out for: 1. Asks you to communicate outside of the dating app or social site you’re on. Good evening Lovely  · Romance scammers conned victims out of $ million worth of cryptocurrency last year, according to a February report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Crypto  · Here are 6 common signs of an online dating scammer: Their profile is too good to be true. The scammer often has an attractive photo and claims to be overseas for business or ... read more

Often, these are pictures of actors or models or perhaps even a stock image. Some may even explain that they need a minimum bank account balance, so when asked to send money for this reason, block and report them right away. If you do agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going and meet in a public place. A reverse image search will show if their profile picture has been used anywhere else on the internet. The stories they tell will include a reason that makes it challenging to meet in person. Their story is inconsistent.

Scammers target older people because they are more likely to have assets such as retirement funds or homes, which they can steal. In other iterations of the scam, an online Tinder match may ask you to verify before engaging in any future communication, online dating spam. Romance fraud is often under-reported since victims can be too ashamed or embarrassed to tell people once they realize they've been fooled. Often, these are pictures of actors or models or perhaps even a stock online dating spam. com, who specialized in coupons, lifestyle, games, etc.

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