How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer and Report Online Dating Scams

Navigating the world of Internet dating can be an exciting and fun way to meet potential partners. However, you might quickly discover that some things are not what they seem on certain sites and profiles. Though it is one of the fastest-growing ways for singles to meet each other and form lasting relationships, there are definitely those who use the sites for dishonest purposes. These red flags may refer to clues that the person on the other end of a profile might be untrustworthy, or that the website itself might not be truthful about its intended purpose. All dating websites will ask for a certain amount of information in order to match you successfully with people who will hold your interest. However, this information will generally be limited to personality details and interests rather than financial information or anything that might be useful to someone wishing to steal your identity.

Watch Out for Romance Scams

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Helpful Tips to Avoid Scammers and Bots on Dating Profiles · They Ask You for Money · They Won’t Meet in Person · They Avoid Phone Calls.

Earlier this year, 10 people located around the United States were arrested and charged in an organized money laundering scheme as they were attempting to wash the cash that they illegally obtained. What was strange about the scheme is how the money was obtained in the first place. It wasn’t through the trading or trafficking of illegal goods or drugs, but rather cash that was sent by unsuspecting women who thought they were building relationships with the scammers.

This type of thing happens more often than you might think. These types of schemes are known as romance scams, and while there is no shortage of scams online, few are more devastating. That makes it all the more painful when the rug is pulled out from under them and the scammers make off with their income or savings. Many of these schemes to swindle vulnerable people looking for love originate in Nigeria, where there is a bustling underground economy of scammers who set up profiles on online dating sites and sweet talk unsuspecting victims out of their savings.

Social Catfish , an online dating investigation service, shared an actual playbook provided by a member of a Nigerian dating scam ring and provided insight into how these scammers operate and what to watch out for. According to Social Catfish marketing manager Johnny Santiago explained that most romance scams originate on dating states like Match. Romance scams have originated on other popular apps with communication tools like Words With Friends, for example. They rarely stay on these platforms for long, though.

Santiago said, “These scammers then try to get their victims off dating and social media sites to messaging apps like WhatsApp or Google Hangouts, so their accounts won’t get deleted.

Online, Is Dream Date a Scam?

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Scammers have been known to create fake profiles on dating sites and Once the victim provides the money or information — poof — the scammer often.

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years. Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them.

This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money. These requests may be for gas money, bus or airplane tickets to visit the victim, medical or education expenses. There is usually the promise the scammer will one day join the victim in the victim’s home.

The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money. Criminal networks defraud lonely people around the world with false promises of love and romance. Some romance scammers seek out a victim with an obscure fetish and will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer’s plane ticket, they will get to live out their sexual fantasy with the scammer. Other scammers like to entice victims to perform sexual acts on webcam.

5 Ways to spot an online-dating scammer

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A lawsuit filed by the FTC alleges that used scammers’ profiles to encourage its users to subscribe to the dating service or upgrade.

Sh’reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few weeks before she realized that something was seriously wrong with the man who had been actively pursuing her by text message and email. They’d hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz. But meeting in person was always a problem.

First, he was traveling through India with his daughter. Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized. When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home — and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport — a new crisis struck. By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer.

The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams. Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card. If the victim doesn’t figure out the con after the first request for cash, the crook will keep milking the relationship for as much as he or she can get.

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Last Updated: April 24, References Tested. This article was co-authored by Maya Diamond, MA. She has 11 years of experience helping singles stuck in frustrating dating patterns find internal security, heal their past, and create healthy, loving, and lasting partnerships. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article’s instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 1,, times. This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites.

Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.

Many Americans are turning to the internet in order to search for love. Online dating and dating apps are the new wave of the future for both younger generations and older generations alike. And sadly the surge in online dating has also created a potential for scammers to target people looking for love. When using dating apps, it is extremely easy to create fake identities using stolen images that a scammer can hide behind.

This scam can affect men and women of all ages because the scammer attempts to connect with their victims in a more personal way. Common scams these thieves use to exploit victims include asking for money for a family member with medical bills, claiming to be the victim of a robbery, or needing funds in order to meet or visit their significant other.

Can you see the 10 lies on these dating profiles?

A failed relationship could give you a broken heart, but it shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage. The catfishing from the original documentary started on Facebook , but you can also be catfished on dating apps like Tinder, in chatrooms or even through fake video chats on Skype.

If you come across a fake profile you should report it to the dating site or social network wherever possible. Where catfishing can become illegal is if the scammer uses the fake profile to trick you into sending them money.

Around 10% of online dating profiles are fakes — catfishers and scammers who want to trick you into giving them money, goods, or sex.

Online dating scams continue to rise, costing unsuspecting victims millions of dollars each year. Rather than simply sending phishing emails, cybercriminals are playing the long game to cheat people out of their money. If you are using an online dating platform, make sure to look out for these signs that the person you’re talking to is actually a scammerand how to avoid online dating scams in general.

Scammers target people across different demographics on every dating platform possible. This means that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, or preferred platform; no one is off-bounds to a scammer. However, they tend to target older people more often. Meanwhile, the biggest targets for long-term catfishing scams are people who are vulnerable or isolated. Plenty of Fish POF scams are particularly prevalent due to the large nature of the network.

How to spot a scammer

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Online dating investigation site Social Catfish helps break down how economy of scammers who set up profiles on online dating sites and.

How much money are you willing to part with when it comes to looking for love? Reaching out to potential mates through online dating sites may be the norm, but when a possible love match asks for money, all bets are off. If a photo looks less like a regular photo and more like a model, if a potential mate wants to leave the dating website and talk through email or texts and then inundates you with said texts, calls and emails, or if a person never shows up to meet you in person despite promises that it will happen, all are scam signs, per AARP.

Eric Resnick, an online dating profile writer and owner of ProfileHelper. He offered the following tips:. Too many first dates can also open one to more possibilities of scammers. Resnick added that once the foundation for your online dating profile and strategy is there, keep in mind that there is never a reason to send someone you’ve met online money.

How romance scammers break your heart – and your bank account

Being stood up is bad, but being stood up by a scammer who stole your money and left you broken-hearted is a real downer. Related story: Romance scams were the most ‘devastating’ of But scammers are also using apps like Google Hangouts, Words with Friends and Scrabble to meet and hoodwink their victims.

The FBI Warns of Criminals Using Online Dating Sites to Target Victims and A contact’s social media profiles may reveal signs that they are a scammer.

People are increasingly switching to more convenient means to find a connection, like dating apps and websites such as Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge or Bumble. That, unfortunately, may make them targets for dating scammers , who prey on their eagerness to find love. Scammers tend to use stock images of models, who may be styled to sell a specific product. Photos of them posing with beverages and electronics may feel staged and unnatural because indeed they are.

Alternatively, they have been known to steal pictures of real people, to make themselves seem more believable. If you feel something is off about their photos, usually stick with your gut feeling you may be right. In both cases, you can perform a quick check by reverse searching the photos on Google images. Go to the Google images website , click on the camera icon and either drag and drop the photos URL there or the photo itself.

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