Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable. This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer.
What’s the nature of your enquiry?
Someone asks for money or your help moving money. The FTC explains that romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating.
The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge. They can be motivated by the desire to live vicariously through a fake persona, to extort money from a victim, to make mischief or any number of other intentions.
Other sinister cases can involve sexual predators or stalkers who use this online anonymity to get close to their victims. There are several truly bizarre examples out there, like the girl who was catfished twice by another girl who posed as two different men. Your date looks like a supermodel Online dating scams usually start with an attractive person initiating contact through social media or dating sites. A common theme is that catfishers use picture of models, actors or a member of the beautiful people club.
Most catfish scams will use an attractive profile picture to keep the victim hooked and to make them want the fictional person to be real. Self-confidence is one thing but alarm bells should go off if a model suddenly contacts you to ask for a date. However, imposters often claim to have shared interests to ensure that they have a topic of conversation. They can either pick a personality type that they think will appeal to their mark or choose to mirror the person they are trying to ensnare.
Maybe your new online date does is just as obsessed as you are with snooker, s manga, French poetry and freestyle climbing.
Sasha-Ann Simons. According to the FBI, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other internet crimes. The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke. Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission FTC.
In , nearly 40 D. And the criminal acts go beyond city and state borders, involving networks of accomplices overseas.
Online dating scams usually start with an attractive person initiating contact Common ruses involve asking for money to visit the target of the scam, giving.
Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. If you’re online dating, read these tips so you know how to spot a catfish. If you’ve been scammed out of your money by someone who wasn’t who they said they were, there is help and support available.
Get support. One way to do this is to look them up on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or to search their name in a search engine. Of course not everyone has social media, but if someone’s on a dating app or website, they’re more likely to have some other form of social media. Be wary of people you don’t know sending you messages through your social media accounts.
They might be flirty to try and trick you, so it’s best to stick to meeting people online through dating websites. If you’ve been chatting away to someone for a while and everything seems great, but then they ask you for money, think about it for a while before you send them any. Is it very early in your relationship? Is it appropriate for them to be asking someone they’ve only known for a short time and may never have met in real life for money?
It’s common for catfish to ask you for money that appears to be for your benefit.
Internet romance scammers know what their victims are longing to hear, expert says
These kinds of scams involve scammers exploiting a victim’s emotions to gain trust and make off with their money. The warning came out on the same day developers for online dating apps said they noticed an increase in users. The day was called “Dating Sunday. So, what is the difference between online romance scams and other kinds of scams?
Exclusive: Online romance scammer reveals how he hooks his victims Asking me and assuring me that I would get my money back.”.
Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery. The U. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas — using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes.
See examples of fake documents used by scammers. There are a variety of words and phrases used by scammers to hook unsuspecting men and women into relationships. Here are some examples:. Scammers tend to use similar stories to convince men and women that they have a legitimate need. Here are common answers to those questions:. Never send money. Be extremely suspicious if you are asked for money for transportation costs, communication fees or marriage processing and medical fees via Western Union.
Americans lost $201 million in online romance scams last year. Here’s how to avoid the con artists
I frequently get requests from friends and readers to help them save a loved one from a romance scam. Lots of money. The closer the date appears to be getting to the victim, the more unexpected calamities appear. The scammers seem to delight in torturing their victims and seeing just how outrageous they can make the stories be and still get paid.
Many victims lose substantial sums of money, often their entire lifesavings. Some wealthy victims have lost millions of dollars.
In recent scams we have seen, con artists go as far as proposing to victims on the internet, and then asking them to send money to help with setting up a home.
Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Keep it that way with a few simple precautions. Skype and Internet Calls Use the Internet to make calls safely. Social Networking Sites A great way to stay in touch. Make sure it’s safe and secure. Chatrooms Chatting online is fun, but do you know who you’re actually talking to?
Scammers recruiting money mules on dating sites is on the rise, says FBI
Based on the number of victims, this type of fraud was the seventh most commonly reported scam last year. Money-wise, it was the second costliest scam in terms of losses reported by those victims. There are scads of similar stories.
Online dating sites are popular ways to meet someone new. trust, they make up stories about how they urgently need money and ask you to wire it to them.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging.
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.