What is a romance scam?
In romance scams, someone starts an online dating relationship with someone they’ve never met in person. They spend time with you, often at your place, and fall in love with you.
Scammers look for ways to introduce their victim to their family. For example, you could be invited to a wedding in another country, where the scammer will tell you that you’re going to meet relatives of yours for the first time and that they want you to meet them. These family members are, of course, fake. Once they get you to meet the family, you’ll often be asked to give the scammer money. The scammer wants the funds to help with travel expenses and other expenses. They also ask you for bank account numbers and passwords.
All these things point to a scam.
How do they work?
A scammer tricks the victim into thinking they have fallen in love. To boost the grandiose nature of the scam, the attacker feigns caring for their supposed “ex.” They also drop other common scams that are utilized by a fraudulent lover. The crook will attempt to gain the victim’s trust by saying they have fallen ill or are being evicted or that they need money for transportation or to pay for medical bills. Then, they begin the most common technique: a huge financial amount is requested immediately.
Examples of romance scams include:
the corporate romance scam
the real estate fraud
the travel romance scam
The victim will often be asked to transfer money in large sums without due diligence. Sometimes the victim is offered a job to stay in the relationship with the scammer.
How to avoid getting scammed
To avoid becoming a victim, be extra careful about picking up people on dating websites, apps, and forums. Don’t be vulnerable to stress or getting pressured for a commitment by a new friend. Look out for red flags like requiring that you reveal financial information that can lead to identity theft.
If you feel like you have been duped or deceived, don’t hesitate to report the crime to the authorities. Do not fall for romance scams as they take years to return the money that was stolen.
How to catch the scammer
To report someone who has targeted you, most cases of romance fraud can be traced back to the scammers using fake profiles. Additionally, there are many scams that target foreigners as they are less likely to report the crime.
Online dating safety tips for women
Use a dating website that’s verified. For instance, http://www.match.com has reputable dating sites, like POF. It is similar to OK Cupid, but has a stronger background of dating service dating company. Ask questions of the person before you exchange phone numbers or even meet. Take the person’s request as a request for your help and take it seriously. Make sure you are aware of your rights when dating online.
Always use a strong password and be careful when exchanging credit card details, as you don’t know whether the money will be stolen if you are attacked by scammers. Remember that a person’s full name, email address, and credit card number are still traceable online, even if the actual account has been suspended. When in doubt, check the company or person out directly.
Use protection when meeting online
Most of the online dating scams involve meeting strangers for the first time and having a short online relationship. This is usually conducted over the Internet in chatrooms, or on dating sites like Match.com. There are thousands of women and men from all over the world who were scammed by Internet dating schemes. Scammers often use manipulative language and they focus on building a rapport with the victim so that they can eventually ask for money. There are hundreds of romance scams going on in the online dating world. You have to be very careful.
When making a match, use common sense. Ask questions to make sure the person is really who they say they are. If you meet someone on the internet, meet in a public place. Don’t divulge personal information about yourself.
Don’t give out personal information on the internet
As soon as you sign up for an online dating site, the scammer immediately takes over, claiming that he/she needs access to your profile information to match with other customers. The scammer says that he/she is an avid supporter of the site and needs to make sure that you meet your match in the best way. This is called “covering the bases”.
The scammer also often claims that the site does not allow any customer to speak with other customers directly. As such, there must be an e-mail address associated with the customer account. The scammer also says that you must give the scammer an e-mail address to send you a promotional email. The scammer then asks you to link your credit card or debit card to the online dating site to keep the relationship going.
Spend time to assess your needs. Listen to your intuition if it’s telling you something. If you get a sense that something isn’t right, it’s probably a scam. You have the right to be aware of scammers in the dating space because you may be putting your safety in jeopardy. When in doubt, never give out any information online and contact the police immediately if you have any doubts.