Online Dating | Consumer Information
Many people develop relationships online only to find out they're connecting with a scammer. Consumer Reports explains how to reduce the. Share these tips: About online dating scams Signs of an online dating scam Online dating scams by Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer. This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. Online dating scammers tend to target people.
If you fall into this category, be especially wary of people that you meet through dating websites. The AARP also says that seniors are a common target of these scams. Again, both men and women can and have fallen victim to online dating scammers, but women tend to be targeted more aggressively. Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.
Profile Warning Signs The profiles of online dating scammers can exhibit some clear signs that something is off—you just need to know what to look for. Scammers also often list themselves as widowed especially with a childself-employed, or working overseas. The photos used by scammers can also clue you in that something is off.
Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Dating Sites - Consumer Reports
The reverse search engine that usually gets most of the clicks is TinEye. If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. Read Morebut it could also be a scammer.
If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary. For example, scammers will often ask you to communicate with them outside of the dating site—via email, through Facebook, or even on Skype. Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.
Think about if you would find it strange for someone to be acting like this if you just met in real life. If there's a single mantra to keep in mind, it's this -- the number one defense against phishing is awareness. Read More or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say.
How to Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites
This is difficult for non-native speakers. Obviously, there are plenty of non-native speakers out there who are sincerely looking for a relationship, and they could very well be from heritage speaking communities in the United State or Britain.
Not Being Able to Meet While the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs.
They might even set up a time to meet and then say they were held up by something else. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency.
For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.
Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love. Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear.