People spend most of their free time on the Internet, visiting all kinds of dating sites. Some want to pass the time with interesting conversations, others are quite serious about finding a serious relationship. Often you get messages with compliments and offers to get to know strangers. Of course, it’s possible to find nice and nice people, or to fall for a romantic scam.
How do love scammers choose their victims?
Any kind of fraud is sneaky, but romantic fraudsters are a special kind of crook. They skillfully waste their victims’ time and their money by entering into trust, promising love for the ages. Proven and reliable dating sites will not be insurance against the villains for whom they are a “gold mine”.
Which category of users do scammers prey on first?
- People aged 45+.
- Widows, divorced, abandoned.
- Single moms looking for a father for their children.
- Men dreaming of beauty and divine love.
Today social networks, apps and dating sites are popular with millions of people. They communicate, find new friends and a soul mate. Fortunately, not everyone falls for the “hook” of con artists. The main rule – do not put feelings above logical thinking and do not lose vigilance.
Three basic steps of love scammers to your heart and wallet
Romance scammers follow a single pattern.
- Attract a potential victim
The first sign is a fake profile to help maintain anonymity. Pay attention to the amount of filled in information and photos. Attackers are attracted by the high status of a man – a serviceman, a rich man, an employee of a foreign mission, a humanitarian organization.
Love scammers gain trust by copying the victim’s hobbies and interests. Too many coincidences? Think about it. It is expensive to believe in such coincidences. Try to interest the wealth from the first communication: flaunt expensive accessories, cars, houses and other elements of luxury.
It is also possible to fall for a romantic scam outside of dating sites. Such scammers send an SMS to a mobile number, then claim to be the wrong subscriber, luring them into dating and conversation.
- Relationship/communication without meeting in person
When the perpetrators have reached a person’s interest, they try to start a serious relationship. The actions are quite persistent: hundreds of compliments, begin to tell about intimate things and feelings, send gifts (sometimes).
The first bell of “scam” is a declaration of love in the first days/weeks of communication. But scammers can also write romantic messages for months, promising to come.
Of course, there are real situations of falling in love and mutual sympathy. But, it is almost impossible to distinguish falsity from the truth. The key sign of deception is the scammer’s refusal to meet in person.
- Asking to lend/transfer money, citing a life situation
When the victim’s heart is conquered, the next stage of the hunt begins – financial. The scammer’s problems come to a head:
- Relatives fall ill, expensive treatment is needed;
- There is no opportunity to buy a ticket to the beloved, and dreams of a meeting keep him awake at night;
- They are offered a profitable investment, but the money is not enough.
Romantic scammers are very inventive and the reasons for needing a loan are completely different. The victim in love does not leave the lover in a difficult financial situation and seeks to help. This is a huge mistake, especially if there was no personal meeting with the person.
Life examples – a reason to think!
Unfortunately, there are many unpleasant situations that have emptied the accounts of naive dating site users. Below are some of them.
Example #1. A long-distance love affair with a serviceman
She met a young military man on one of the resources, and from the first minutes a fascinating conversation ensued. The guy talked about everyday army life, was gallant and attentive. Over time, communication moved to WhatsApp and there for the first time there were words about love.
The man assured he would visit his beloved after he finished his military service. There was a three-month wait, but thoughts of not having enough money for a ticket kept him going. He wrote to the girl in love and wanting to see her sooner, so she sent the necessary amount. The man disappeared from the messenger, along with promises and money.
Example #2. False investment in a common family future
A stranger writes to the user, introducing himself as the CEO of a well-known company, an entrepreneur, or other wealthy person. He begins to rub one’s confidence, demonstrating the “charms” of his luxurious rich life, talking about unique methods of enrichment, plans for business development, etc.
Later, there are offers to invest in a “profitable” business, allegedly a way to increase income tested on “his own skin”. Naturally, such fake “business opportunities” are an opportunity for fraudsters to get their hands on someone else’s money.
How to protect yourself from romantic scams?
To avoid becoming a victim of a fake online affair, check out the tips below.
- Lack of specificity and incorrectness in what is written. Pay attention to the literacy of what is written. An entrepreneur cannot write with grammatical and spelling mistakes. Remember what the interlocutor says about himself. It is not uncommon for scammers to be confused about what they said, if they conceal the identity of several potential victims. The person categorically refuses to meet in real life, to communicate via video communication, constantly coming up with various excuses;
- A declaration of love after a short time is a good reason to think about it;
- Checking the reality of photos. Romantic scammers often use photos of other people. You can check their authenticity by using services TinEye, Ukrainian Passport or Google, which help to understand who owns the images. Enter in the search engine the field of activity and the full name of the person with the keywords: “online dating scams”, “romance scams”, “scammer”;
- Money Transfer. Without meeting in real life, do not send finances to the person.
Caught in the “hook” of swindlers? We recommend that you do the following:
- Block bank cards by contacting the support service. Such action is necessary if the scammer knows personal data. Periodically change your passwords. This way you will keep your bank accounts safe;
- File a complaint to the police, providing correspondence and other tangible evidence;
- Exposing the cheater publicly in a social network, application, dating site where the acquaintance took place. In this way you can protect and warn others from being cheated.
The percentage of repayment is minimal, but soothing your soul and pride will allow you to catch a criminal who did a mean thing to another person’s feelings.
Ukrainian Passport – a guarantee of safety of your hearts and money accounts.
For 13 years our company has built up a team of experienced specialists dealing with Russian or Ukrainian passport background checks. Avoiding a romantic scam is quite realistic by turning to qualified professionals for help.