Tips for Detecting and Avoiding Online Dating Scams
It’s great to meet someone, but unfortunately online dating is a popular place for scams. Striker Pierce LLC is here to warn those who use online dating services to be aware and alert regarding online dating scams and fake profiles.
How the Scam Works:
You sign up for an online dating website and receive a message from someone. He or she lives far away (a typical excuse used by scammers is claiming to be working overseas or in the military). But you want to give it a chance, so you reply.
The love interest gets you “hooked” as you and he or she exchanged messages through the dating site. So then, you start emailing or chatting through a different service. Soon, you exchange photos and messages more frequently. You may even talk on the phone or through a webcam.
Now your relationship is getting serious, and your new love interest wants to visit. There’s just one problem. He or she doesn’t have money for the trip and asks for cash for airfare. But after you send the money, you find your new sweetheart has suddenly stopped communicating!
Unfortunately, online dating scams have been around for as long as the Internet has been around. Some scammers are even using social media, creating fake Facebook accounts and fake webcam footage. Some scammers will ask for money multiple times as the relationship progresses, continually upping the amount requested. Others will ask you to move money for them, which may make you an unwitting accomplice in another scam.
To Avoid Being Scammed Look for These Telling Signs:
Always has an excuse to postpone meeting: Someone really interested in a relationship will want to see you in person. Be wary of someone who is constantly “traveling” or always overseas.
Has a photo that doesn’t match his/her profile: Although many people fib in their dating profile, perhaps adding an inch of height or subtracting 10 pounds, scammers will go beyond this. But be on the lookout for big discrepancies. For example, a scammer may describe their fake persona as blonde but uses a photo of a brunette.
Claims to be from this country but is currently traveling, living or working abroad: Scammers frequently pretend to be temporarily working or stationed overseas.
Has a suspicious social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.): Scammers often use the names and photos of real people to create fake online social media profiles. Their profiles tend to have few friends and be rife with grammatical errors. Also check to see when they joined. Recent pages are another red flag.
Asks you for money or credit card information: In some cases the scammer will claim an emergency like a sick relative or stolen wallet and will ask you to wire money. The first wire transfer is small but the requests keep coming and growing.
If you believe that you are a victim of an online dating scam, feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our main office at (571)-451-4833 with any questions and to explore other options. At Striker Pierce LLC, our Case Specialists can help you customize your online dating background investigation to meet your needs and work within your budget and ours. Because you deserve to know.
If you wish to learn more about online dating scams, check out our other articles at www.strikerpierce.com.
(citation: 8/21/2015 – Reanna Smith-Hamblin)