Online Dating comes with its fair share of anxieties, and one thing you don’t want to worry about is your safety. Unfortunately, online dating scams, or romantic scams, and other dangers are common. Unfortunately, it seems that people over the age of 40 are the most frequent targets and victims of this nefarious behavior.
Scammers are constantly looking for new ways to get your money or assets, but there are common signs that you can look out to stay both in-the-Know and confident that the person you are chatting with is genuinely interested in you.
About online dating scams
Dating online scammers often target older or more vulnerable populations-people they believe are more susceptible to declarations of love and flattery. They see these people as people who desire love and who would give up earthly goods to preserve them.
Older adults, in particular, may not be particularly knowledgeable in areas ranging from the common dangers of the internet and scam awareness to regulations on government documents. For example, scammers can falsify a passport to prove their identity to the victim, but the passport contains defects that the victim may not be able to detect.
In the above passport, victims can ignore obvious signs of deception, such as the photo that is not regulatory size, and in which the pose of the woman is not approved by the regulation, and therefore would never be allowed on a passport.
According to Norton, online dating scams have claimed:
- About a billion dollars from Americans and Canadians put together
- More than $ 211 million in 2017 alone
And you knew? About one in ten online dating profiles are fake.
Some common goals of scammers include not only stealing your money. They can also request access to the following documents::
- Explicit photos or videos
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
- Email Account
- Fraudulent actions on the part of the victim: in extreme cases, scammers will convince the victim to violate the law to get what the scammer asks for, whether it is forgery of passports or citizenship or other.
Be especially careful when sending explicit photos or videos, or when you are explicit in video chats. A growing scam is to get explicit photos or videos of a person and then request payment. The blackmailer often claims to have the contact details of his friends and family, which may or may not happen. They’ll threaten to send him photos or videos if you don’t pay.
That’s captured a lot of people, including celebrities, so don’t fall for it.
Online Dating Scams: Signs to Look Out
If you’re new to online dating or afraid to become a victim, there are some signs to look out for. Often, scammers will use several variants of the same request or excuse to extort what they want from their victims. Attention:
- Requests for money
Scammers often argue that they need financial assistance for an urgent financial issue, such as hospital bills, university or educational debt management, assisting a beloved family member, buying a plane ticket to escape a request for false abuse, paying for phone or internet bills to continue communicating with the victim.
If the scammer claims to be based in a foreign country, it is common for the scammer to ask for money to obtain a passport.
- Excuses to avoid face-to-face meetings or video calls
Scammers do not want to show their faces, for the most part. And the scammer probably doesn’t look anything like the photos they have on their profile or the photos they send to the victim. They often claim a broken webcam or busy program to avoid interaction. They can also pretend to be ” shy ” and use the promise of a video call as an incentive for the victim to send them money.
- Impersonation of military personnel
To gain the trust of the victim, scammers will pretend to be members of the army. This also makes it easy for them to avoid meeting in person or video calls.
Online Dating: Important Safety Tips
Even if you do not think that the person you are chatting with online is trying to scam you, it is better to err on the side of caution and keep good practices for your protection. You should.:
- Take it easy.
- Never send money to someone you’ve never met in person.
- Never reveal personal identifying information such as your SSN or address.
- Google their name and reverse their profile photos.
- Check the subject.
These are just some of the precautions you can take. For more information on how to stay safe when dating online, see our practical guide.
More Online Dating Scams: Spotting Spam and Bots
The downside of online dating is the lack of face-to-face interaction, at least when you start talking to someone for the first time. This leaves users vulnerable to chat bots, or computer programs made to trick real users into thinking that they are interacting with a real person. These programs often attempt to steal credit cards or other personal information from real people.
One sign that you can chat with a bot is that they continually invite you to buy goods and services. Robots are computer programs, which means you should also keep an eye out for odd answers or an unnatural formulation. While people make occasional typos, robots often express things strangely. Regardless of whether you think the person you’re talking to is real, never give your credit card details; it’s not worth having your identity or stolen money.
If you’re not sure if you’re chatting with a robot, try being sarcastic; robots don’t understand that kind of humor or ask them to repeat a specific word or phrase like “say the word banana”. Finally, if you think you can talk to a robot, ask to meet in person. If they constantly cite the reasons why they can not meet you, there is a good chance that you are not talking to a real person, or a scam artist.
Online Dating Dangers: Sex Offenders and Other Predators
There’s little stopping sex offenders from using online dating sites to find a new partner or victim. About 10% of sex offenders create an online dating profile-but it’s not just convicted criminals that you should look out for.
Online dating makes it easier for potential criminals to find the next victim. Although this is a small percentage of people, it is even better to have basic security measures when meeting with someone new.