Every year, thousands of men hoping for love are left with nothing but a shattered heart and an empty wallet as a result of online dating scams.
While online dating sites have become more popular means for finding love and companionship, they have also become popular tools for romance scammers. These scam artists build fake profiles in order to entice victims, form personal connections, and finally extort money.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, solely American users of online dating services lost over $547 million to online romance fraudsters in 2021. This sort of fraud is more common among older people, and most do not recognize they are a victim until it is too late.
Romance fraudsters are social manipulation masters who may seem incredibly convincing. Many of the warning signals of a romance scammer are subtle and sneaky since the scammer is attempting to gain your confidence before exploiting you.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU ARE TALKING TO A SCAMMER?
1. She prefers that you continue the conversation outside of the dating site.
A typical approach used by dating scammers is to invite you to communicate through email, text, or Whatsapp in case the dating site becomes aware of their scheme. This may not appear to be a red flag at first. When you’re getting to know someone, you’ll naturally want to go beyond the dating site. When a lady requests your phone number or email address, proceed with caution. This facilitates a scammer’s access to your personal information.
Set up an additional email account or use an instant messaging program that isn’t linked to personal information like your primary email and phone number if you wish to speak outside of the dating site.
2. She asks you to join a third-party resource or another dating service.
It is critical to remember that you have already paid for your dating site subscription in order to meet these lovely ladies. Why do you need to sign up for another service in order to communicate with your new friend? Any suggestion to relocate the communication process to another dating site or to create a new profile at any other translation/travel/language study website should be considered a red flag.
3. Her letters can be sent to any man, not just you.
Scammers often do not want to waste time by confining themselves to only a few potential victims. Typically, such females strive to meet a large number of men right away. Scammer girls’ letters contain no indication that she has read your profile. All of the information in her message will of a general nature. Receiving a slew of un-personalized texts from one of the ladies should raise a red flag.
4. Her profile is too good to be true.
Does the woman you’re talking to look like a model? Request that she email you some home photos in which she is wearing minimal makeup. If a female on a dating site resembles a beauty queen, it’s natural to wonder why she’s still single. What is the point of her joining an international dating service and looking for a foreign partner? Do not dismiss the profiles of such beautiful women. The vast majority of them have their own reasons for joining a dating site. However, by asking the right questions, you can determine whether this woman is real or a con artist.
5. She is ignoring your invitation to video chat.
It’s conceivable that the lady you’re chatting to online isn’t who she claims to be if she refuses to talk on the phone or meet up in video chat.
6. She refuses to show you additional photos.
Because the majority of fraudsters use stolen images, if a girl reacts to your request for a few more photos with silence, consider this a red flag.
7. It gets serious, too soon.
Often, the first sign of online dating fraud is when a lady begins showing strong emotions right at the beginning of your online meeting. She may even claim to be in love with you, but this is only a ruse to persuade you to provide personal information or send her financial support.
Keep your personal information safe, and be alert if a new love interest requests personal information shortly after making contact.
8. She claims to need money for emergency expenses, hospital bills, or travel.
Any lady who asks you for money, no matter how desperate her situation appears to be, should be treated with suspicion. If you come across one of these narratives when online chatting with a new love interest, there’s a strong likelihood she’s a con artist:
- “I need money to help a sick relative.”
- “I need money to buy a new phone/tablet/laptop because the one I am using right now belongs to a friend.”
- “I need money to pay a translation service so I can keep communicating with you.”
- “I need money to obtain a travel passport/visa/tickets/hotel reservation.”
9. It doesn’t add up.
It’s a bad sign if a woman can’t keep her story straight or doesn’t understand what you’re talking about when you bring up something you’ve told her or she’s told you. Scammers don’t usually operate alone, and it’s possible that if they’ve forgotten previous discussions, it was a team effort.
10. She makes arrangements to visit, but she constantly has to cancel because of an “emergency.”
You should be highly dubious if a girl you met on a dating site makes plans to visit but then cancels at the last minute owing to a terrible occurrence, family concerns, or job challenges. Keep an eye out for anyone who says something to the effect of, “I’d love to visit you, but I can’t afford a plane ticket right now. Please provide me with the funds needed to purchase a ticket. It’s all I want to do right now is be with you.”
11. She’s going through a difficult time.
It may sound cynical, but scammers frequently claim to have recently lost a loved one or that they or someone close to them is critically ill in order to make you feel sorry for them. It’s a red flag that scam victims frequently mention in their stories.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT A SCAMMER HAS CONTACTED YOU?
Don’t send her money under any circumstances.
You should never send money to someone you’ve never met in person. Scammers are known to hire actors to meet you, so even if you’ve met once or twice, you might be fooled.
Request assistance from a dating site’s administrator.
If you’ve been communicating with a female on a dating site for a while and suddenly started to doubt that she’s real, contact the dating site’s administrator right away. Most dating services use modern algorithms to screen members before they post on the site. A second, more thorough examination can help you figure out whether you have reason to doubt your new acquaintance’s honesty.
Do some investigation.
- Perform a reverse image search on her profile photo using the Google Image search tool.
- Look for her social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, etc.). If you’re lucky, you’ll gain access to her photos, list of friends, locations she’s been, and other information. Keep in mind that not having any social media profiles is not an indicator of fraud. You should be concerned only if you see significant disparities between her CuteOnly and social network pages (different names, for example).
- If she has already given you her e-mail or phone number, don’t be afraid to look it up. E-mail addresses that have been blacklisted are publicly visible.
Feel free to discontinue contact with women who, for whatever reason, appear suspect to you; even if you lack concrete evidence, this is not a cause to prolong your conversation.