The number of online dating scams has increased, and the total amount of money lost each year is in the millions of dollars.
Online dating scams are becoming more common, and the total amount of money lost each year is thought to be millions of dollars. Deception methods are also improving, and attackers are now developing long-term scenarios rather than merely sending out phishing emails.
If you use online dating scams, make services frequently, and your interlocutor begins to fulfill one or more of the characteristics outlined later in this article, you should be cautious. We’ll also discuss ways to prevent becoming a victim of a con in general.
Scammers who prey on those looking for love online have a specific target population in mind.
Typically, attackers target people from various demographic categories and use a variety of venues to do so. Regardless of men and women, sexual orientation, frequency of return, preferred site, and other factors. This type of deception can affect anyone.
Retirees and those who are prone to heightened vulnerability or who are rarely in public are more likely to fall for the trap.
Because of its enormous popularity, Plenty of Fish is particularly popular with scammers. However, cybercriminals also use other platforms.
Furthermore, as mobile dating apps become more popular, the number of possible targets increases, and many steps of the enticing process is automated using bots.
Scam Warning Signs When Dating Online
A unique profile
When reviewing your interlocutor’s profile, there are a few indicators that you should pay special attention to:
There are either relatively few images or photographs that look to be glamorous or model-like.
The interlocutor, who lives in another nation, is looking for acquaintances in your region.
Many of the attackers claim to be serving in the military of another country.
Cybercriminals and bots use programs to create profiles with very minimal information and only one and two photos. In most cases, the shape is not linked to Instagram or other social media accounts.
An attempt to move the communication to a different location
An online dating fraudster will offer to transfer your interactions to a site other than the one where you met.
Typically, attackers prefer to connect via text messages sent over Skype and Facebook. However, sending an SMS or using a messaging software like Whatsapp is an alternative.
Keep an eye out for characters you don’t know who want to converse through a different medium in real life.
Feelings are expressed quickly.
Scammers have a habit of jumping right into emotional chats. As a result, you admitted to loving or intense affection after a short period.
This tactic is part of the emotion manipulation attackers use while dating online, which is why solitary people are desirable targets because they seek new connections.
You should pay attention to interlocutors who express their emotions right at the start of a discussion, even if you haven’t met in person.
Constant situations that prevent the meeting from taking place
When an attacker wants to meet with you, but unforeseen reasons prevent the meeting, this is the most usual technique.
The fraudster does not want to meet in person since he is not who he claims to be. As a result, many assailants claim to be working in another country and undergoing military training, as this provides an ironclad excuse. Additionally, many con artists include images of themselves in military outfits on their accounts.
Interfering with the meeting may be a reason to ask for money from you first, such as to purchase a ticket.
Reluctance to interact through video chat
According to BBB reports, Nigeria is home to most online dating scams. As a result, if you’re speaking with an invader, such as a foreigner from Nigeria, Ghana, or Malaysia, your interlocutor will avoid phone conversations or voice chats in applications like Skype because the accent will reveal who you’re dealing with right away.
Even though attackers can imitate the country’s accent listed in the profile, they will never engage in video chat because the profile contains bogus images. Pay special attention to those who refuse to interact via video communication because the camera is “broken.”
Most recent smartphones feature a built-in selfie camera, making video chats quite simple to organize. Unfortunately, some people avoid videos because they are bashful. Still, if the other person proclaims his love for you but refuses to contact you via video after several weeks of dating, you are most certainly dealing with a scammer.
Financial aid request
Because most scammers’ ultimate purpose is to make money, you will almost certainly receive acceptable requests. Unexpected family situations, health issues, or travel obstacles are all possible divorce scenarios.
Cunning attackers may send you a package and claim that you owe money for customs taxes. Scammers seldom work alone, so one of the accomplices can phone or provide documents that look like a payment request.
You approached for financial aid or an investment in a fictional company.
Request for financial transaction support
One of the newest online dating scams involves money laundering rather than requesting financial assistance.
For example, the attacker delivers money to the victim and requests an Amazon gift card or another gift certificate in exchange. Another possibility is that you sent money and asked to transfer the funds to another account.
You are prompted to open a bank account on occasion.
If the interlocutor tries to include you in money transactions or mutual exchanges, the fraudster is most likely attempting to make you a co-conspirator in criminal fraud.
Sending links to another service and website
Some cybercriminals avoid traditional divorce, favoring more effective ways, particularly useful in online dating apps where bots’ profiles are prevalent.
The interlocutor provides you with a link to a “trial” version of an application, game, service, or website to force you to provide financial information and download malware. It is a frequent tactic in dating applications like Tinder.
How Can You Avoid Getting Duped?
There are other preventative actions you may take, and be cautious to avoid falling prey to scammers.
To start, use picture searches and applications like social catfish to ensure you’re talking to the right person. Then, make sure the same photo does not show in multiple profiles with different names.
New sorts of fraud should also keep in mind, particularly in the platforms you use. For example, not all attackers can play for an extended period. Furthermore, fraud trends in apps may differ from those seen on websites.
Never give out too much personal information. Particularly with those you have never met in person. The attacker will decide whether you are a soft target based on the data collected (for example, your financial condition).
If you receive too many flattering emails and messages during the early stages of dating, simply ignore them. Likewise, do not communicate with persons whose pages appear dubious to you in mobile applications.
Furthermore, never email private or intimate images to new contacts. The photographs received can be used for blackmail and extortion by the attackers.
Furthermore, you should be concerned about the security of your data in general, as this will enable you to protect yourself from online dating fraudsters and other criminal elements.
Typical Sorts Of Deception
The majority of online dating scams begin simply. First, the fraudster contacts the victim via social media or email, claiming to share common interests or claiming to know the victim somehow – for example, they met at a wedding or other busy event.
In other circumstances, con artists construct phony profiles as enticing as possible and then wait for individuals to contact them.
The fraudster’s options are limitless once the victim has been “hooked,” but there are a few popular techniques that we’ll go over below.
Get to know the military.
People are frequently given acquaintances with soldiers or other military members through fraudulent schemes; nevertheless, it is difficult to spot such deception. Fraudsters can use the name of a genuine person as an example, or they can build an entirely fabricated profile. They send out letters that appear to be unambiguous, in which they announce their impending retirement; usually “have grown children,” and it is expected that they “lost a wife in sad circumstances.” Military jargon, military grades, and military base names abound in the texts, all of which are impressive and may entice the victim.
The soldier, however, “receives an order to redeploy” before making personal contact. Following that, requests for money to send to pay for the Internet, purchase tickets home, pay for medical care or pay for retirement benefits began. In many situations, the fraudster collaborates with accomplices who pose as doctors and lawyers to maintain a steady flow of money from the “client.” Such “military” fraud frequently lasts months, if not years, before the victim suspects anything.
Potential “fans” from Eastern Europe or even Southeast Asia were brought into contact with the victim in this deceptive scam. They’ve been added as pals on several social media platforms. The fraudster encourages the victim to communicate on a webcam after an extensive wooing phase. The fraudster’s camera is “accidentally” broken while he lavishes praises on the victim and, through seduction and persistence, persuades her to undress or conduct other sexual behaviors partially.
The fraudster then discloses his genuine name, claims to have recorded the chat on video, and threatens to share it with mutual acquaintances on social media or post it on the Internet. The only way for the victim to prevent this is to buy off. When the victim agrees, the required quantities gradually climb until the victim refuses to send the money.
Fake dating sites
Ashley Madison’s recent hack is a fantastic example of how things are in the world of bogus dating services. They ostensibly offer reputable dating on such internet services, but they have a small number of registered individuals or a high number of scammers. If the registration application only asks for a few pieces of personal information, but there are many inquiries regarding private money, you should be wary.
If your profile receives a lot of attention soon after you build it, you should be cautious. For example, suppose your profile has only a few lines of text, no photo, and no preferences selected, and you start receiving messages from potential fans one after another. In that case, the odds are you’ve landed on a bogus dating site.
How Can You Defend Yourself From Shady Admirers?
No one is immune to problems, even on reputable dating sites. So here are some warning signs to look out for:
Problems with spelling
Examine the profile of the potential interlocutor before contacting them on a dating site or through social media. Pay attention to how literate someone is if they write in their home language. Although understandably, not everyone studied for A’s in school, you should be cautious if the spelling is abysmal, the sentences are poorly connected.
The document is overburdened with personal information. Emails are the same way. If a person’s native language is English, their writing style and mannerisms are unique, which is tough to imitate. So it makes sense to be cautious if something in the language looks weird to you.
Taking someone else’s text and making it your own
Be on the lookout if your posts and profile descriptions are too slick. Scammers frequently don’t bother producing fresh content, instead plagiarising it from other websites or dating site profiles. It makes it reasonable to use a search engine to seek questionable text. You should not respond to a scammer if the text is accessed elsewhere.
Links to favorite groups travel places, and regular users frequently insert hobbies. On the other hand, scammers often include links to low-quality spam sites in their profiles, attempting to sell you something or promising to show you how to get rich quickly. There are also links to pornographic websites, which is another clue that the profile is fake.
Thank you for reading!