How to avoid dating scams

In a surprising number of cases, the scams continue for prolonged periods for the simple fact that the victim is too embarrassed to admit to friends, family, and law enforcement that they have fallen prey to a scammer. Even more surprising, in some cases, victims know that they are being scammed but are still in love with the scammer and continue to send money anyway.

This goes to show two things: Scammers are very clever and prey on vulnerable people. Even so, there are often tell-tale signs that a potential love prospect is not being up front. Here are some of the signs to look out for:. Online dating scams typically involve someone creating a fake profile, be it on a dating site or a social media platform. Many will claim to be from a Western country but currently working overseas. Scammers will often create multiple profiles using the same stolen images. Steve G Jones has had his identity stolen for this purpose multiple times.

Scammers use his videos and images to create fake online profiles. Some also use his real name and personal information. His images have been used so many times, he decided to create a PSA to let everyone know and warn them of the dangers of befriending strangers on social media. Scamalytics scans many of the most popular dating websites to find out what the most common scam profiles consist of.

A typical male profile would be in his late forties, be a widower, and have a high-paid job. A typical female would also be well-paid, but be in her late twenties and never married. Additionally, certain Facebook groups dedicated to raising awareness flag scam profiles. Some people suggest trying to arrange a meeting as early as possible, although this seems risky. A better option might be to try to arrange a video call early on and see how they react. Scammers often work in groups posing as a single person. Romance scamming is such a big business that people even profit off of writing scripts for criminals to follow.

One UK woman was jailed for two years for writing such scripts. Not all scammers will bother paying for original content and things like poetry and romantic verses can easily be lifted from the internet. When it comes to online public profiles, you should be very cautious about the pieces of information you divulge. For people conducting these scams, this is often their full-time job. A British Columbia man was in an online relationship for just six weeks before he started handing over money to his suitor. One romance scam victim described the feeling as similar to being brainwashed.

This can start out very innocently. But it can quickly ramp up. A common request for money can involve the scammer coming to visit the victim. They might say they need money for flights or other expenses.

Online dating and romance scams: How to spot and avoid them

These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details. While these scams originated in Nigeria, they now come from all over the world. Skip to Content Skip to Sitemap. Enter a search term. Home Types of scams Listen. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed?

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More information Related news From the web. Identity theft Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits. Inheritance scams These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details. Don't friend a scammer this Valentine's Day. Making a Western Union refund claim. Victims scammed via Western Union may get refunds.

Don't give your heart to a scammer this Valentine's Day. The terrifying Tinder scam catching out countless Australians. Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Romance scams — anyone can fall victim. Tony Walter fake facebook profile. It's bad enough that he or she has asked you without giving space for elaborate and ultimately false reasons for needing it. The more elaborate the story, the faster you should run. A simple "no" should suffice; if it's meant to be, the budding relationship will survive your firm response! Watch out for emails or messages that sound desperate, pleading and persistent in response to your unwillingness to send money.

This isn't love, it's money hunger. Just stay away if there are any signs of scams. Even if you manage to identify a scammer earlier rather than later, never confront them.

Even if you're baiting them for fun, however tempting it may be to expose them and ridicule them for being so unconvincing, all they will do is change their email account, their photos, and their profiles, and carry on as before, possibly with more success. Just cease communicating with them, block their emails, and don't take their phone calls, just as you would a threatening or abusive ex-partner. Share what information you have on a scammer, including photos used, email addresses, aliases, telephone numbers and text used in correspondence on websites exposing scammers.

You may find the text has been used before, with a few changes, while photos of that person you thought you met on the dating site may have 'scammer' or 'stolen' superimposed. Part 1 Quiz Which of the following indicates that a person isn't who he or she claims? The person writes in broken English. He or she asks you for money. The person's profile photo shows a younger person than what he or she claims as their age. All of the above. Really listen to the questions they ask of you. What kind of questions are you being asked?

This is a common mistake made by so many but in reality, what does it matter what kind of money you earn or the value of your house? Of course, many scam artists will not be so obvious, but it can happen and does on a regular basis so if the conversation starts to steer towards finances, it might be time to close the account! Be wary if the person you've just cyber-met asks probing questions to do with your finances, your personal life and the people you know.


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Tell the person you're uncomfortable giving away any such information to something you've yet to meet. Scam artists commonly try to shift the relationship into intimacy really quickly, because they want things to get moving namely, your money and assets. Unfortunately, this can be complicated.

There are also scam artists who are quite willing to put in a long time cultivating a fake relationship with you until they feel they've gained your trust.

Dating & romance | Scamwatch

Keep personal data to yourself. Until you meet this person for real, keep things superficial and pleasant. There is no need to passing on intimate details of your life and there is no way in the world this person you've yet to meet needs your social security or bank account numbers. Also, be aware that the more you reveal about yourself, the more leverage you give a scam artist to pinpoint a weak spot that they may try to manipulate you with.

Be aware that some scam artists use the "intimate" information to get back at you. They cajole, wheedle and stroke your ego to get the information, then they threaten you with revealing personal secrets unless you send money. You don't even have reassurance that they won't reveal what you've said even if you do pay!

Bear this in mind before you let down your guard. Part 2 Quiz True or false: Consider keeping your online dating local. It is much easier to be scammed when the person lives thousands of miles from you or is oceans away. Local people are more likely to be genuinely looking for connection and it'll be easier to verify their intent than with someone who lives far away.

How to Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites

Moreover, scam artists like to hide behind distance. No matter how much you think you have in common with the potential partner you are talking to, remember that it is very easy to be a completely different person online than in real life. If you agree to meet up, do so during the day in a public place and if you are talking to a person from another country and they ask you to pay for their travel ticket or Visa — ask yourself why!

Ask to speak on the phone before meeting up. It is very easy to sound authentic when typing in words unemotionally but it's another thing to have to speak on the phone.


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  • Use your gut instincts when listening to them over the phone——your level of comfort is an important indicator. If you communicate on Skype, make sure you get to see the person using video chat, and be wary of excuses about not having a webcam. In some cases scammers have actually used video footage of cam models, who are either silent or just say pleasantries like 'hello, how are you? If the person sounds really enthusiastic about meeting you but pulls out every time you suggest that it happen, consider the relationship at an end. This person is playing you, whether it's for their own amusement, for scamming or whatever, and you deserve much better.

    There is a local meetup scam. Just before the first date the scammer will get 'cold feet' and ask that you verify who you are with a 'dating ID' site. Signup involves inputting your name, address and Part 3 Quiz How can other forms of communication phone, Skype help you weed out scammers? You can determine a person is a scammer based on their phone number.

    A person willing to video chat with you is genuine.

    The common scam pattern

    Your instinct can tell you a lot about whether the person is genuine. If someone asks for me to get verified on a site that is asking for my details, is it a scam? It mostly depends on the site, however, so doing some research on that website would be a good idea. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Is someone who is sending me free stuff but is not asking for money a scammer? If they are asking you to forward the stuff to another person, that is suspicious.

    They might also be trying to earn your trust before asking you for something. Not Helpful 2 Helpful I like to ask them about local landmarks. If they're dodging the questions and giving generic responses, you know they're fake.