online dating scam and fraud
Be careful of online dating site scams and fraud. They are loaded with false profiles that are meant to deceive you and take your money. They cast a large net to catch their victims. Dating scammers place fake profiles on scores of dating sites at once so they can play this game with many people at once.
How can you tell which profiles are fake? There are a few things you should be suspicious of:
- 1) The profile picture looks like a centerfold. If the profile picture looks like a model, be suspicious. Of course there are very beautiful REAL people out there on the dating sites, but be aware that scammers steal these types of pictures and use them to suck people in.
- 2) The person says they are on a business trip in Nigeria. Most of the date scammers (certainly not all) are from this country. Its unfortunate, but in this case profiling is very necessary. Be suspicious!
- 3) Free account. Since scammers are on several sites it would not be cost effective for them to pay for any memberships on the numerous dating sites they are on, the scammers will only use the free standard membership that most dating sites offer.
How they get close.
Once you take the “profile bait” and send them a message, they don’t waste anytime getting close to you. They’ll immediately go after your personal email address. If you have gotten this far, more than likely you will give them what they want. That is were the real deception begins.
Tell tale signs that you are in contact with a dating scammer:
- 1) I love you too quick. They will waste little time with building a relationship or finding out more about you. Before you’ve told the story of you, they will say things that are unusually affectionate for someone you just met.
- 2) Bad Grammar. Many of the online dating scammers have an elementary school level grasp of English grammar. They will have little or no regard for the rules of writing English.
They will tell you a story of who they are, where they come from in hopes of getting your interest. Then they’ll ask about you. They want to know who you are, what you do, where you are.
The photo set
They will typically seal the deal with a set of photos of the same beautiful person you saw on the profile:
Ask for money.
Once the online dating scammer feels they have you, they will begin the second phase of their deception. They will give you some reason that they need money. Reasons I have seen are:
-They need money for a ticket to come see you
-Their mother, child, grandparent is dying and needs your help
-They fell upon hard times and need a few dollars to get them through
At this point you should be terminating all communications with this person. They will not be satisfied with you purchasing the plane ticket yourself and sending the link, they will want you to wire money directly to them via Western Union using a MTCN, Money Tranfer Control Number.
With the popularity of online dating, scams and fraud are an epidemic. While I would not disagree that these people are the lowest forms of life, I would say that we (the victims) are at least partially responsible. The reason that they are able to do this over and over is that we are not giving them the same level of scrutiny we would with strangers we’ve just met in offline life. We are so absorbed in our own hopes and dreams of some perfect mate that we eat their BS right up. We are funding their ability to continue to scam people all over the world. It must stop. Do NOT give these people money.
If you are looking for real relationships online, here are some good resources on how to make it happen!