Phony Valentines: Online Dating Scams And How To Spot Them

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Younger people who are new to the works of online dating are also at risk for romance scams, as they may not know what to look for. In 2021, more than a third of those who reported financial losses due to online romance scams indicated the fraud started on Facebook or Instagram. Reports also show that scammers who convince you to share explicit photos will then threaten to share them with your social media contacts. It’s called sextortion, and these reports have increased more than eightfold since 2019. People aged were over six times as likely to report sextortion than people 30 and over. About 58% of 2022 sextortion reports identified social media as the contact method, with Instagram and Snapchat topping the list.

Read through these nine tips about what scammers tell you, so you’ll know how to protect yourself from their lies and schemes. Use a site that has video services built in, like Badoo and MeetMe, and use it. Or ask for a video call as soon as you’re interested. FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and IPhone are good choices.

Often, scammers will also pressure the victim to make quick decisions. The testimonials included those from victims who were approached on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or on dating sites, including Tinder, Ashley Madison and OkCupid. Using data analysis software, they created a romance fraud victim database using testimonials as a basis for analysis.

If you lost money or gave up sensitive information, you can file a police report and report the identity theft to the FTC at Sellers won’t meet in person — When shopping on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, always try to meet in person and view the product. There are tons of scams that rely on shipping products.

How common are online dating scams?

If you encounter this situation, do not give your email address, social media accounts, or other means of contact information. You don’t want to give them any information that they could use to scam you. Another type of Russian scam on dating sites is when they ask you to help them out with their travel expenses so they can visit you in your country. It might be tempting at first, but it is not a great idea to invest your money in.

Anyone can be targeted by an online romance scam, so you should know what to look out for to avoid common dating scams. The biggest red flag is asking you for money before you’ve met them. Scamming money online is how cybercriminals make their living, so no romance scam is complete without a plea for financial help.

The photos will most likely be square, screenshots from Instagram, which turns every photo square. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 117,947 times. Never click links directing you off of Tinder unless you are absolutely sure they are safe. When a situation appears too good to be true, chances are it is. One way to test for bots is to send a nonsense message. Type a bunch of random letters like “agdsgdgdf.” Bots will respond to it as if it is a normal message.

Once they have your trust, online dating scammers quickly claim they’ve had an emergency and you’re the only person who can help them. They never have the money to help themselves, and the stories often sound dramatic. Most of the scripts that are used by online dating scammers include certain keywords to use when they are grooming their victims. Keywords such as “fate” or “destiny” should immediately cause you to be suspicious, especially if you have both only been chatting for a week. These keywords are used to try and drag you into a romance trance, which will lower your guard, making you much more vulnerable to his request.

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Romance scammers often claim to have jobs that conveniently keep them abroad for long periods. Army romance scams or oil rig scammers are pervasive, so if your potential love interest claims they are in the military or on an oil rig, proceed with caution. In dating app scams, the favor the scammer asks of you usually has to do with money. They will usually ask you to send them money in the form of gift cards or cryptocurrency like bitcoin.

Even best friends don’t ask for financial help lightly. If someone has a genuine emergency and wants money from strangers, they’d be better off starting a GoFundMe page. Check to see if they’ve linked their social media accounts to the page. Real profiles tend to plug their Instagram or Snapchat in their bios. Each social media site has different policies regarding fake accounts, but most give you the option to report them.

Heartbreaking Valentine’s Day scams

For example, you could say that you’re going to throw your phone in the washer — something else no sane human would do. Bots will ignore the weird details of your message and struggle to respond properly. But it’s probably best to avoid this technique unless you’re almost certain you’re talking to a bot. If you’ve spotted some warning signs but still aren’t sure if you’re talking to a real person or a bot, use these bot-outing techniques.

These types of websites attempt to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account details, passwords and credit card numbers. Even if you think the text might be real, it’s safer not to click on any links, and to log into your account by typing your bank’s URL directly go to this site into the address bar. The address bar appears at the top of your web browser, and the numbers and letters that make up the URL are the directions to the website or webpage. Romance scammers will often say they’re in the military, working on an oil rig, or working internationally.