A dating scam is predominantly found on the internet where you are looking to meet people and possibly develop a relationship.
The internet has become a very popular way to meet people due to the cost effectiveness of being able to reach so many people from around the country or around the world. Sadly however, there is a dark side to online dating.
If you place a personal advertisement on the internet you are a potential victim for professional con artists and internet predators who entice unsuspecting hearts into a web of deception.
The internet offers you the opportunity to be anonymous when looking to meet people, however that also offers online predators the opportunity to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing! They can use any photo they wish in their profile, and use all the appropriate words to come across as a wonderful catch.
Their goal is your money, but by the time they get that, they have your heart also, so the loss is not just financial – it is usually heartbreak as well!
How Does a Dating Scam Work?
A person registers on an online dating site and then creates a profile and may also include a photo. A scammer contacts the person and expresses an interest in getting to know them better.
The victim and scammer correspond and usually the scammer encourages the victim to move off the dating site contact system and continue via email so that the dating site can’t monitor the scammer.
The scammer builds up trust with the victim and photos are exchanged. The scammer will have stolen photos from other internet sites or modelling sites so the photos the victims sees are not that of the scammer.
Once the relationship has been progressing a few weeks [usually 2-6 weeks] the scammer will ‘fall in love’ with the victim and shortly after that the scammer will ask for money for a variety of reasons: passport, visa, air tickets and travel insurance, or emergency medical expenses for her or her family due to illness or accidents or perhaps for Internet cafe expenses and a cell phone.
If the victim sends money, the scammer will continue to invent reasons for more money until the victim has no more money, or realizes what is going on and stops communicating. The scammer then deletes the email address used with the victim and continues with their other victims they are stringing along at the same time.
A variation to the internet dating scams occurs when the scammer sets up a profile and waits for the victims to contact them. They usually use a photo of a very attractive young woman as it is guaranteed to get hundreds of replies from men!
The scammers also stalk chat rooms and begin a conversation there.
What to do for a Dating Scam
Once the scammer has asked for money, stop further communications with them and report them to the dating site. Remember no matter how trustworthy they may seem, DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY.
If you have sent them money, your chances of getting it back are really zero, but you should report it to the Police.