The world of online dating can be an exciting way to meet potential partners. However, you will quickly discover that things are not what they seem on many sites and profiles. Though it is one of the fastest-growing ways for singles to meet each other and form relationships, there are definitely those who use the sites for dishonest purposes.
Some of the more common online dating scams also referred to as “romance scams” discovered in recent years are mentioned below. These dating scams refer to clues that the person on the other end of a profile is untrustworthy, or that the website itself is the scam. We hope that this list will keep you well-informed enough to continue dating online safely. Their end goal is to get you to trust them and send them money or disclose information that enables them to steal your identity or money.
These dating scams will gain your trust by using information from your social media and deploy what is called a “long game” scam.
Facebook & WhatsApp
You might get a direct message from someone that you do not remember, they will probably start by saying that you went to the same school or college and that you were in the same circle of friends. Then they will start a general chat and this could go on for several weeks, in order to build trust and create familiarity with shared hobbies, interests and travel experiences.
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Then they will start to ask for money with the most inventive reasons but somehow convince you that this is the right thing to do and certainly use the emotional connection they have created to manipulate you and lower your resistance. The scammers will say they want to visit you and can you perhaps pay for their travel expenses, visa, and other official travel documents and that they will pay you back during their visit with you. Another common ploy is that they need to have surgery or other medical expenses or for a parent basically, any request for money should be an immediate red flag and make you aware that you are being scammed.
In recent years there has been a significant increase in large data breaches which have lead to millions of peoples private data being released into the public domain and sold on the dark web. Some of the biggest companies in the world have been breached most notably British Airways, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, eBay, Google+, Marriott International, Quora, Saks, T-Mobile and Yahoo. Resulting in private customer data being used to conduct online banking fraud.
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Below we take a deeper look at some of the most common types of scams. You should be aware that this is not an extensive list, and scammers are constantly developing new techniques.
Dating Websites Require In-Depth Personal Information
All dating websites will ask for a certain amount of information in order to match you with people who will have similar interests. However, this information should be limited to personality details and interests rather than financial information or anything that might be useful to someone wishing to steal your identity.
The Online Dating Profile Has Only Professional Photos
Though it’s possible that an actual model with a portfolio was matched with you on a dating site, it’s much more likely that the profile is fake. Fake profiles are generally used to mine information from unsuspecting singles, or to convince you to download malware (generally disguised as a photo file) that will steal your private data.
The Person Gets Very Emotional Too Soon
Have you received a long email or message detailing how much someone you’ve just been matched with has been “waiting for someone like you forever”? This is a typical situation to worry about, and best to avoid people that are overly emotional before meeting them in person. The emotional approach is another way the scammers try to gain sympathy and start asking for money.