We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men-six from Nigeria and one from South Africa-had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher. As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about.
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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.
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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.
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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 think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you.
Perhaps another reason these women easily become victims is that many are less tech-savvy but at the same quite affluent. Once the victim is sufficiently groomed, they are tested. Initial tests are simple. They can, for instance, involve the victim to send money, say, to help the would-be suitor fix their car. When things get a little bit more seriousthe scammer may ask the victim to send them things that could later be used against the victim.
This can be some compromising videos or photo leading to potential identity theft. The scammer will later use these to threaten the victim, especially when the victim is in some long-term relationship or marriage and wants to hide the relationship. Sometimes, message histories can serve this purpose.
Jan 18, Examples of What Online Dating Scammers Say to Trick You. January 18, by Megan Murray. Online Dating Advice. 0 0 0 0. that as the popularity of social networking and dating sites has grown so has the number of reported romance and online dating scams. If you've never heard of a romance scam, it's a type of deception where scammers. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. In , the last year for which data is available, consumers lost.
As the online relationship gets deeper, the victim is eventually asked to send money in large sums. Surprisingly, in some cases, even when the victim realizes they are being conned, the scam continues because the victim is too embarrassed to tell family and friends or report to law enforcement agencies.
So they continue to send money. This shows the manipulative powers online dating scammers can have and the vulnerability of some of the victims they target. However, this is far from the truth. Usually, online dating involves individuals creating profiles which are often fake on a dating website or some social media sites.
This is called catfishing.
Examples of fake documents used by scammers. US Army Criminal Investigation Command According to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), hundreds of victims a month are contacted by people posing as military men claiming to be serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. Dec 19, Romance scams are the leading cause of lost money due to scams, and somewhere around 12 percent of people who use online dating have reported running into a scammer. X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nofatgirlnmotion.comofit organization dedicated to 93%(30). In , people reported losing $ million to romance scams. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC. Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with.
Some of the most common guises include medical professionals, aid workers, and military personnel because victims are more likely to trust individuals in these professions. In most cases, romance scammers will create several profiles on different sites using stolen images.
Meet the scammers breaking hearts and stealing billions online - Four Corners
Fortunately, today, there are various online tools that can help you in case you are suspicious. You can, for instance, you can use a very useful service called BeenVerified.
BeenVerified run total checks about anyone on the net and prove if they are real or not with a whole heap of real information. You can visit the website here or read more about BeenVerified further down this article. This is especially the case if they are purporting to be university educated or from some Western country.
If you have doubts, consider testing on knowledge of the area the person is claiming to come from. Note also that many scammers work in groups but pose as a single person. So changes in such things like grammar, use of emoticons, and tone can also be a red flag that you are potentially talking to a scammer.
Scammers know how to start a conversation with you and spark a friendship. From your religion, hobbies, a line of work, etc. It does not take long before unsuspecting victims start divulging more information which the scammer uses to further the friendship or romantic relationship.
In fact, some scammers will even adjust their profiles, so they are the perfect person you have been looking for. Online dating and romance scam has become such a lucrative business that some people now write scripts for scammers for money. A UK woman was recently jailed for writing such scamming scripts.
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Fortunately, you can easily check such content online to find out whether or not they are used elsewhere. Scamming is often a full-time job for most of these fraudsters. And because they are usually trying to scam multiple people at a time, they are always rushing things.
They will, therefore, ramp up the relationship quickly so that they can get to where they are now actually able to profit. It is very common for scammers to shower their victims with affection and love. They will message and even call constantly. This is called love bombing.
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It is such a serious behavior that victims sometimes feel like they had been brainwashed. It is advisable to keep your conversation on the dating website because most of them look out for suspect activity.
This often starts very innocently. As noted earlier, romance scammers will start asking for small amounts of money to fix their car, buy an elderly relative some food, etc. It then quickly ramps up.
A common way of asking for money involves the perpetrator asking to visit the victim. They will then say they need some money for the flight and other expenses. In some cases, when the victim gets comfortable, the romance scammer can even ask for a large sum of money to start a business most of the time asked to be sent via Western Union.
Dec 21, Online dating scams typically involve someone creating a fake profile, be it on a dating site or a social media platform. This is often known as 'catfishing.' Military personnel, aid workers, and medical professionals are common guises, as people are more likely to trust people in these professions. Many will claim to be from a Western Author: Aimee O'driscoll. Almost all online dating scams follow the same pattern. They all begin with some hook. Often, the scammer (the would-be suitor) will make contact and use something in common or a common interest, for instance, religion or profession, to spark a romantic relationship. The relationship usually ramps up very quickly afterwards. Real scam victims have shared their experiences to help warn others about scams. In these stories we ask you to find the signs that it was a scam, and consider how similar scams could be avoided.
Notify the website or app where you met the scammer, too. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. Search form Search. Share this page Facebook Twitter Linked-In. Tagged with: online datingscam.