Online dating scams are particularly evil as the victims are often already feeling hurt and down before they get fleeced. Sure, there are top quality, professional people using these sites, however, the victims are generally sucked in because of their vulnerability.
So, what is an online dating scam?
This is where a highly organised scammer (male or female) makes contact through an online dating agency or even one of the myriad of chatrooms available across the internet. Seeming to good to be true (because thats exactly how they want you thinking), the scammer will go about deceiving you by appearing as everything you ever wanted in a partner. Conversations about them will be limited, with little information being given. However, they will be very attentive (flattering isn’t it?!), garnering details about you to aid them in their act.
But when they make the revelation that you are their soul mate, the one they have been looking for all their lives, are they telling the truth?
It’s not your heart, mind and soul they want… it’s your CASH.
Most online dating agencies and chat rooms either allow anonymous sign-up or have little in place to verify a member’s details. This gives scammers the perfect opportunity to make off with your money and remain untraceable. By now I’m sure you’re wondering what the scam is?
Well, after getting to know you and molding themsleves into the person of your dreams, the scammer will suddenly have a financial problem (you’d guessed that was coming already hadn’t you huh?).
It could be a sick relative, a medical emergency, the cost of coming to visit you, etc. If they have wrapped you up in their imaginary world well enough then you’re gonna do anything for them right?
What then should you be wary of with online dating?
- Model looks – a scammer isn’t going to use their own photo and a model is highly likely to attract your initial interest.
- Phone number – whilst not having a landline may not mean anything, someone who only has a mobile phone and never answers it should arouse some suspicion.
- Someone asking for money – would you approach someone on an online dating site before friends or family? No? So why then is your “perfect partner” asking you?
- Ask probing questions – if they are evasive then ask yourself what they have to hide.
I don’t doubt that online dating is great for those that try it, just be careful and don’t be blinded by “love”!