What You Need to Know About Dating Romance Scams
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone.
But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money.
Read about the stories romance scammers makeup and learn the #1 tip for avoiding a romance scam.
In 2019, people reported losing $201 million to romance scams. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money.
The Lies Romance Scammers Tell
They’ll often say they’re living or traveling outside of the United States. We’ve heard about scammers who say they are:
- working on an oil rig
- in the military
- a doctor with an international organization
We’ve heard about romance scammers asking their targets for money to:
- pay for a plane ticket or other travel expenses
- pay for surgery or other medical expenses
- pay customs fees to retrieve something
- pay off gambling debts
- pay for a visa or other official travel documents
Scammers ask people to pay:
- by wiring money
- with reload-cards like MoneyPak or gift cards from vendors like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Steam
Right now the best way to meet men is on a dating site.
Good men are on there but Scammers are as well.
In fact, recently, I heard yet another story of a woman connecting with a scammer on a legitimate dating site.
These men are con artists who will find a way to touch your heart and your pocketbook without a second thought.
I don’t want to scare you and cause you to stop going online because there are good men on there for you to date.
But there are certain clues you need to be aware of that will tip you off to potential scammers.
Read through these 9 tips about what scammers tell you, so you’ll know how to protect yourself from their lies and schemes.
1. Scammers Feed Off Specific Clues You Put In Your Profile
Don’t mention your income or where you work.
You can say you’re a nurse or an executive but don’t mention where or how much you make.
Be aware of sounding needy and lonely in your profile.
It makes you perfect prey for scammers looking to hook you into their scams.
2. He Usually Lives Outside The US
He might tell you that he lives in a metropolitan city in the US but his work takes him elsewhere in the world.
He says he’ll be coming back soon… and, of course, to wait for him because he can’t wait to meet you.
3. Scamming Women Is His Job
Most of these men live in poorer countries around the world where jobs that pay well are scarce.
He’s learned that by working a couple of hours each day, he can easily communicate with women in the US, find their weak spots, and make a fortune.
He’ll probably speak with a British accent that sounds so romantic especially to American women.
He knows this and uses it to his advantage to hook you.
4. What He’ll Tell You About Himself
He’ll have a romantic name like Valentino or Antonio.
His picture online is usually drop-dead gorgeous in a romantic sort of way.
And he uses pictures of great looking men.
Men knowing you’ll feel special being contacted by someone this handsome.
Look closely at those pictures on his profile.
They are often shots found on the internet of handsome models in ads selling items like hats or sunglasses.
Or he’s holding a product in his hand like beer or wine.
Or he might be standing in front of an unusual looking building or an expensive car.
When you ask for more pictures, he’ll send family pictures of children or grandchildren.
The big tip-off: he’s not in these family pictures because he can’t find any more pics of the models’ image he’s used.
5. He Uses Romance to Lure You In
Women love romance and these men know this has been missing in your life for a long time.
So he steals poems off the internet and sends them to you as if they were his own.
Your heart just melts and you bond with him which makes you even more vulnerable to his scheme.
6. He’ll Always Have An Excuse For Why He Can’t See You
He’ll tell you that he can’t wait to see you and that he’s making arrangements to travel in a month or two when he can get away from his business.
Right before you’re supposed to meet, he has to cancel the trip for some reason.
This happens over and over again and is another HUGE TIP OFF you’re dealing with a scammer.
7. You Can’t Find Anything Concrete About Who This Man Is
Try searching on Google for your Valentino or Antonio.
More than likely nothing will show up.
8. How the scam works
He’ll take the time to chat with you every day for hours.
His male attentiveness feels amazing because he knows its probably been a while since a man has been this devoted to you.
But beware…. what he’s really doing is he is looking for your weak spots.
If you’ve lost a close member of your family, don’t be surprised if he tells you he has too.
He uses these holes in your heart to get you to trust him knowing it will be easy for you to bond with someone who has experienced the same loss as you.
As you’re bonding, he’s telling you things like; I love you, baby, I can’t wait to see you, baby.
Now he’s ready to reign you in for the scam.
He shares the news with you about a HUGE business deal he’s about to close and once it’s done, he’ll come to see you.
He just needs a little more money to finish it or he’ll lose everything.
He might tell you that family members have invested as well but the bank won’t be able to give him the last bit he needs so he’s going to lose the deal and all the money he and his family have invested.
This is when he asks you for your help.
He’s done the work needed to capture your heart.
You’re in love with him and you don’t want to see him suffer.
You want to help him so you wire the money he needs to his bank account.
And you never hear from him again.
9. Action Plan for Protecting Yourself From A Scammer
Thousands of intelligent women get caught up in these scams every year.
Here’s what you can do to stay safe dating online . . .
Date men closer to home.
Keep emails short and sweet.
Maximum of 5-10 at the most.
Spend no more than a couple of hours on 1 or 2 phone calls max.
Meet a man within 2-3 weeks of initial contact.
If a man tells you he’ll be out of the country for a month or two, tell him to give you a call when he gets back.
Lastly, upload his profile picture to Google Images. You’ll be able to see if the image matches who he says he is or if he has stolen it from someone else.
And use these 9 tips to stay safe dating online.
Dating Scams Romance
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
How Dating Scams work
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact. They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. These scams are also known as ‘catfishing’.
Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to lure you in. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.
Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but traveling or working overseas.
Scammers will go to great lengths to gain your interest and trust, such as showering you with loving words, sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come.
Once they have gained your trust and your defenses are down, they will ask you (either subtly or directly) for money, gifts or your banking/credit card details. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature.
Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively, they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.
Warning – the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offense. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.
Sometimes the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money or gold they need to transfer out of their country and offer you a share of it. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.
Dating and romance scammers can also pose a risk to your personal safety as they are often part of international criminal networks. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.
Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.