The number of victims of fraudsters in the field of Internet dating is growing, and each year the total amount of cash loss is estimated in millions of dollars. Deception schemes are also being improved, and now, instead of simply sending fishing emails, plotters are increasingly implementing long-term scenarios.
The Target Audience of Dating Scams
Plotters usually target people belonging to different demographic groups and on all possible platforms. Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, preferred site, etc. No one is safe from this type of fraud. However, there is a tendency that retirees fall for the bait more often, as well as those who are prone to increased susceptibility or rarely come out.
Signs of Online Dating Fraud
There are some special signs that can alert you and help you figure out a fraudster.
- Specific Profile
When studying the profile of your interlocutor, there are several signs that you should pay special attention to:
- very few photos or there are photos with glamorous or model appearance;
- the interlocutor is looking for dating in your region, but lives in another country;
- many scammers claim to be in the military service in another country.
When using apps, fraudsters and bots add very little information to the profile and only one or two photos. Also, the profile is usually not linked to Instagram and other social media accounts.
- Attempt to Transfer Communication to Another Place
A scammer in the field of online dating will quickly offer to transfer communication outside the site where you met. Fraudsters often prefer to communicate by text message via Skype or Facebook. However, the option is possible via SMS or a messenger like WhatsApp. Be especially careful with people you aren’t familiar with in real life, who want to communicate on a different platform.
- Quick Expression of Feelings
Scammers tend to move quickly to an emotional conversation. After a short period, you may be declared in love or deep affection. This trick is part of the manipulation of emotions that is often used by hackers while dating on the Internet, and this is why receptive people who lead a secluded lifestyle are particularly desirable targets because they are hungry for new connections. You should pay attention to interlocutors who begin to show their feelings at the very beginning of communication when you haven’t met in real life yet.
- Request for Financial Assistance
Since the ultimate goal of most scammers is money, you will inevitably receive requests to do so. These scenarios can be different: unforeseen family circumstances, health problems, or difficulties during travel. Particularly inventive plotters may want to send you a parcel and tell you that you need to pay money for customs fees. Usually, fraudsters don’t work alone, and, accordingly, one of the accomplices may call or send documents simulating a payment request.