Online Dating Scams and How to Avoid Them

Despite the fact that love is considered to be blind, falling for an online romance scammer can result in you having a broken heart and an empty wallet.

Adults of all ages are searching for love and companionship on the internet. According to a survey conducted by data company Statista in 2021, 1 in 5 persons aged 45 to 54 and 1 in 7 people aged 55 to 64 have used a dating website or app. However, there is a huge drawback to looking for love online: Scammers are proliferating in cyberspace, eager to prey on lonely hearts. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 56,000 complaints about romantic scams, more than tripling the number received in 2017, and claimed monetary damages from such scams increased sixfold to $547 million.

When a person is duped into believing they’re in a love relationship with someone they met online, it’s known as a romance scam or an online dating scam. In truth, their other half is a cybercriminal who uses a false identity to acquire the trust of their victim in order to demand — or blackmail — money.

The deception usually goes like this: you upload a dating profile, and a prospective match appears – good-looking, intelligent, witty, and friendly. According to the FTC, more than a third of respondents who lost money to a romance scam in 2021 said that it started on Facebook or Instagram. This potential mate claims to live in a different area of the country or to be on a business or military deployment overseas. However, he or she appears enamored and eager to learn more about you and advises that you take your relationship to a private channel such as email or a chat app.

You can sense yourself getting closer over the course of weeks or months. You arrange plans to meet in person, but something always comes up with your new love. Then you receive a last-minute request. There’s an emergency (maybe a medical issue or a business disaster), and your online companion needs money sent quickly, usually via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, cryptocurrency, or a bank or wire transfer.

They’ll say they’ll pay it back, but it won’t happen. Instead, they’ll keep begging for more until you figure out what they’re up to and cut them off. Other types of fraud can overlap with or emerge from romance scams. International criminal organizations, for example, utilize dating services to recruit unknowing “money mules” to help them launder ill-gotten gains through their bank accounts or other ways. Con artists are increasingly luring fictitious sweethearts into bogus bitcoin investments.

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The greater the financial cost, the older the target. According to the FTC, the median individual loss from a romance scam for those aged 70 and over was $9,000 in 2021, compared to $2,400 for all age groups.

Catfishing is a type of romantic fraud in which you pass off someone else’s information (such as images and personal information) as your own. Catfish scams typically entail the creation of phony internet profiles and the targeting of specific victims. Catfishing might be motivated by vengeance, personal fulfillment, or simple pleasure. Catfishing differs from other sorts of romance frauds in that catfishers aren’t usually motivated by money, whereas other romance scammers are.

The relationship progresses quickly, which is another classic symptom of romance fraud. Scammers seek to swiftly establish an emotional connection with you so they can take advantage of you and move on. After only a few talks, a common dating scam involves expressing love and making promises about marriage or moving in together.

Another strategy is “love bombing,” which involves showering you with compliments and attention. Scammers frequently use pre-written scripts to entice you to fall in love with them. You might be conversing with an imposter if someone says things like “you’re the best person I’ve ever met” or “meeting you felt meant to be” after a short time.

An online romance scam can target anyone, so you should be aware of the warning signs to prevent common dating scams.

Here are five professional guidelines for avoiding romance scammers so you can securely date online:

Keep the dialogue going in the same direction. Wait until you’re ready or have met in person before leaving a dating site or app.

 To avoid winding up on a harmful website, stick to trusted, well-known services.

Don’t take the person’s safety for granted. To entice victims, romance scammers frequently create phony accounts on dating websites and apps.

Look them up on the internet. Check out their web profiles by doing a simple Google search on their name to see what comes up.

Carry out an image search. Use Google to conduct a reverse image google search of their profile picture and images to see if they appear anywhere else with different information.

Keep your guard up. Be wary of texts that are excessively flattering. Test them through a search engine to see whether they appear as recognized scripts on any romantic fraud sites.

Please take your time. Ask a lot of questions and look for answers that aren’t consistent. You may be dealing with a scammer if someone wants to commit right away or moves too rapidly.

By Admin

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