Online dating is a proven way to meet other people that have similar interests.Unfortunately, online dating has also been a successful place for scam artists to take advantage of trusting souls who are looking for love or companionship.Like other scams, internet dating scams are based on trust.
Online Dating Scams are Real You might think that “It could never happen to me,” but internet dating scams do happen to thousands of unsuspecting people every year.Online dating imposters are so prevalent that they’ve earned the urban slang term “catfish.” The name comes from the 2010 American documentary, frequently issues consumer safety alerts for the public to watch for warning signs of online dating scams.According to the FTC, warning signs of internet dating fraud include “any request for money for any reason, and any mention of wiring money.”The FBI warns that criminals use online dating sites to “turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.” Here’s how one of the internet dating scams works: You are contacted online by someone who is interested in you.Their profile seems like a perfect match, too good to be true, and it “But ultimately, it’s going to happen—your new-found “friend” is going to ask you for money,” says FBI spokesperson Darrell Foxworth in a press release.Because the bogus requests are urgent – for medical emergencies, crime victimization, etc.
– many victims send money, usually overseas, and then are repeatedly asked for more money.
Sadly, many good-hearted people fall for these sorts of internet dating scams.
A different sort of online dating scam goes like this: You are asked to go to a different website to correspond with your new “friend.” At the new website or sexting platform, you share compromising photos, videos or conversations.
Later the scammer blackmails you by threatening to expose you by sending emails and links to the photos to your friends, family or employers.
Many have been victimized by this type of extortion.
Six Warning Signs of Online Dating Scams: The FBI has collected a list of red flag behaviors.