Spotting an online dating scammer is pretty hard work and you might even take days, months or weeks to identify one. The problem is that most people get scammed before they realize it and most of them lose a lot of money in the process. In this article, you will learn how to spot them by using our FAQ.
Can you easily identify an online dating scammer from a “real” dater?
It used to be easy but the answer is no. An online dating scammer creates a normal looking profile with beautiful images and nice descriptions. Fraud is just another part of the business here and to them, there are lots of targets. You can identify one by watching the lines of communication very closely. If you are being pressured to communicate via personal email, you might be a target. You could also view their images and make sure it is not cropped or taken at strange angles.
Is there something on your profile that makes you a target?
Online dating scammers typically play the odds in their quest for money. They always target people that seem gullible or very vulnerable. The people that are mostly targeted are those who are religiously inclined, older women and anyone else who seems vulnerable, generous or faithful. These types of individuals are the ideal targets for a scammer because they know they can get something out of the person. If you are worried that your profile might seem to desperate, you can always ask a friend to review it for you.
Can you be sure your online relationship is authentic?
You cannot be completely sure about it. Some fake relationships can last for months or even years on end and without the victim realizing it. They will search for money each time they can. These people can literally scam thousands of people.
What should you do if you suspect an online dating scammer?
You can always try to get a video call going. It is the simplest way to verify their identity and have a nice talk while you’re at it. If they look differently from their profile picture, you might as well just bail out. You can also look at their Facebook page and if things seem different or strange, just forget about this person. Do not waste your time pushing for answers if you can just have a look yourself. Use search engines, social media, phone calls and video call to verify this person’s identity.
Is your partner an online dating scammer if you receive a lot of gifts?
Scammers bide their time to soften up their targets before they try to score big. It may take months or even years but that really does not concern them. You might receive a lot of gifts and letters while the scammer is targeting you but that is because they expect a bigger payout at the end. If you suspect you might have fallen into a trap, try to verify the person’s identity as mentioned above.
What should you look for?
Anything that seems suspicious or weird can be a potential clue that this person is illegitimate. If you see any photos that are strangely cropped or taken at unusual angles, it could be that someone else was in that photo or it was taken from somewhere. If someone is a bit too pushy such as proclaiming strong feelings in a short time or forcing you to use emails, it might be that the person is using you.
What do you do if you think you are being scammed?
Report to your local police and ask for the cyber crimes unit. Prosecutions are extremely rare but in some cases they can be caught quite easily, especially if the suspect is in the same country. Some online dating services do have report links that will automatically file your report and their staff or police will investigate your claims. The main problem with any cyber crime is jurisdiction due to the country the perpetrator is in. It is extremely hard for one country to arrest criminals in another due to international law.
What is the worst thing that could happen?
There are quite a few thing that could go wrong such as meeting someone completely different from their profile, getting stood up on your first date and many more. You could be asked to travel to another country to meet this person and although it may seem romantic, there are quite a few risks. If you really must travel somewhere, it is always better to have a friend with you in case anything happens.