· Educating yourself on the warning signs and common tactics of catphishers can help protect yourself and your personal data from the pitfalls of the online dating world. With the · Fraudsters are prowling online dating sites in their search for people to scam, according to the FBI. More than 18, people complained to the FBI’s Internet Crime · Learn more about how to protect yourself on dating sites and apps via the resources below. Communities Proud and Secure Online – Access Now. Safer Online Dating 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Online Dating Scams Keep Personal/Financial Information Private. The first way to protect yourself from being scammed online is to keep Avoid AdCompare Top 10 Online Dating Sites - Try the Best Dating Sites Today!Whether its instant messaging, video chat, dating games, offline events, or online Zoosk - Best Dating Site - $/month · Match - Best for romance - $/month ... read more
Would you send money to your friends and family if they were in need? More than likely, yes. Scammers can be very persuasive and even sexy at times to entice you into giving them what they want.
Whenever a potential date wants to take the conversation offline, you should be careful. If anything happens during communication on the site, it will be easier for the online dating site to offer you assistance. The online dating site is, at that point, not responsible for what someone said or did to you. So give yourself all of the help and assistance you can get and keep chatting on the site.
Believe us, you will thank yourself later. Check out these 3 Online Dating Sites You Can Trust. Moving onto the next point, we want you to remember to pace yourself online.
Jumping too quickly into an online dating experience may leave you single and broke. Take your time. Get to know them. Generally speaking, a scammer wants you to make fast moves, not calculated ones. So tread carefully and slowly while you get to know online daters.
Another helpful tip on avoiding scams is to research. You are the most qualified person to look out for your best interest. Google this person and check any social media platforms available to you. We have so much information available to us online, yet, we are more vulnerable than ever when it comes to online dating scams.
The more you know, the more you can protect yourself. The next way to protect yourself is to arm yourself with your camera. If you are ever skeptical of whether or not you are talking to a real person online, just do a video chat. Either way, you will know the truth and that is the most important thing.
Video chat is a great way to verify identification online. Avoiding Scams While Online Dating. Did you know that there is a free tool where you can search where photos have appeared online?
The Google Image Search tool is a fantastic way to research pictures. If you see the same picture listed online with a million different sources, the picture is being used dishonestly.
One quick and free way to do it yourself is through a Google Reverse Image search. Go to images. Then past or upload the photo into the image search box. You can also add a Google Image extension to your web browser and do a reverse image search directly from the extension. Go slow and ask questions. Take a look at their social profiles on facebook and LinkedIn. Google their name. Make sure their story matches their profile regarding where they live, what they do for work, family status, vacations, pictures, etc Scammers know how to manipulate our sympathies.
Beware of Long Distance and Overseas Relationships. Long distance relationships do happen, but if you're actually looking for an offline relationship, the long distance online relationship is unlikely to turn into a real life local one. Scammers love to intimate that they are not available to meet because they live or work abroad.
Rarely do online scammers want to show their real identity. Don't fall for the sympathetic story like they're dying to see, but they need a loan to buy a plane ticket or money to get a travel visa. Again, be wary of any long distance relationship. Chances are they won't work anyways, even if real. If someone always promises to meet in person but repeatedly cancels, that's a red flag.
Give a final chance and move on. No matter the circumstance it's odd for someone you recently met to ask you for money. They may not do it right away. In fact, some wait for weeks or months after developing an intense relationship with you to ask for money. Most of the time there's a reason it has to be given right away, like a medical emergency or legal issue - and of course you're the only solution. That's right, online fraudsters would be more than happy to give you money, but there's a catch, you have to give them your name and bank account number so they can transfer the funds to you.
Easy way to clean you out. Do not use your real name as your username. Never add you name, email, phone number, address, employer or volunteer organization in any of your online dating profiles. Use a unique picture for your online dating profiles, so the fraudster can't do a reverse image and associate your picture with your Facebook or LinkedIn profile pic.
Some scammers will simply threaten you with blackmail if you don't give them money in return for not showing pictures, videos or even messages of yours online. So remember, if you share a sexual picture of yourself, make sure there is nothing identifiable about it i. face or tattoos, same with live video which can be recorded.
You don't have to be naive, ignorant, or stupid to fall for an online romance scam. These scammers and fraudsters can be very good at what they do. Tens of thousands of smart and successful people have gotten fooled just like everyone else. We want you to approach online dating with enthusiasm , but also with a healthy dose of skepticism. A few simple rules can keep you safe from online scammers.
First, never share personally identifiable information before you meet in person, in a public place of course. Second, never send money, ever.
Discover how experts are combatting inflation with Gold TAX FREE with this free report. When Candace first met Eric on an online dating site , he seemed like a dream come true. After a rough divorce the year before, she was thrilled to meet a man who shared her religion, interests, and love of children and animals.
Then one day Eric called in a panic, saying his passport had been stolen. Candace wired him the small sum without hesitation — but when he contacted her a few weeks later saying he needed a much bigger sum to pay legal bills, she realized she was being scammed. Her whole relationship with Eric was a scheme to get money out of her. This story is fictional, but the scenario is all too real.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI , online romance or confidence scams are a fast-growing type of Internet crime. More than 14, Americans fell victim to this kind of scam in , up from fewer than 6, in And that number may only represent a fraction of the real total. Some catfishers use these fake identities to annoy or harass others online, or just to flirt without commitment.
They lure their victims into an online relationship and use it to get money out of them — sometimes thousands of dollars. Romance scammers work by setting up fake profiles on dating sites and social media.
They usually claim to have jobs that keep them outside the country for long periods of time, such as working on an oil rig, serving in the military, or working for a nonprofit. Next, they seek out victims — usually people who are lonely and vulnerable — and work to build up relationships with them. They can spend months winning over their victims with regular conversations, long e-mails, poetry, gifts, and declarations of love — everything except face-to-face meetings.
Often, they rely on pre-written scripts that tell them exactly what to say at what point in the relationship. Next, the scammers start asking for money. Once they know the victim is hooked, they pretend to go through some kind of crisis that requires a large amount of cash to fix, such as a robbery, a medical or legal problem, a frozen bank account, or a business opportunity.
Often, they work with accomplices who pose as friends, doctors, lawyers, or other people who can back up their story. The victims are often happy to pay because they think helping out their love interest will make it easier for them to finally meet in person. Instead, the scammer continues to string the victim along with more requests for money, sometimes keeping up the fraud for years.
When the victim finally wises up — or runs out of money — the scammer disappears. In a few cases, the scam continues even after the victim catches on.
Then they use their emotional hold over the victim to lure them into helping them with their crimes — sometimes even turning them into accomplices in other scams. Many romance scammers operate outside the United States. According to HuffPost, most of them are located in Ghana and Nigeria, but an increasing number originate in communities of West African immigrants in Canada, Malaysia, and Britain.
Some of them are career criminals, but many are college students with low incomes looking for extra cash.
To make this kind of money, romance scammers often have multiple victims on the hook at once. HuffPost cites a case in which a single person was working 25 online romance scams at once, posing as both men and women.
Some of the most successful scammers have extracted tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars from a single victim. Romance scams can affect anyone. Barb Sluppik, who runs the watchdog site RomanceScams. However, some people are more likely to be targeted than others. Scammers can also cause a lot of trouble for the people — usually men — whose images they steal to create their fake identities.
soldiers are particularly likely to be targeted, since being deployed overseas gives scammers a good excuse for not being able to meet their love interests in person. Also, the image of a strong soldier protecting his country tends to appeal to women seeking love online.
HuffPost reports that General John F. Campbell had his image used in more than fake profiles in the space of six months after assuming control of the U. military forces in Afghanistan. Another target, Dr. Steve G. Jones, had not only his image but his entire identity stolen by scammers. Jones now runs an entire Facebook group dedicated to exposing scammers who have used his image to defraud women.
However, because so many of these crimes go unreported, this is probably only a fraction of the real total. HuffPost reports that one notorious Nigerian scammer, Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola, drove at least three women into bankruptcy and cost several more their jobs and their homes. These devastating financial losses are far from the only dangers romance scams pose to their victims. Other hazards include:. However, for people who know what to look for, there are often red flags that reveal something is amiss.
Here are some warning signs that your online flame could be a scammer:. None of this means that finding love online is impossible; however, it pays to be careful. Steve Jones, the New York man who had his image stolen for hundreds of fraudulent profiles, has posted a public service announcement on YouTube about how to protect yourself from this form of identity theft.
Check out their profiles to see how many friends they have, and especially how many friends they have in common with you. Another way to protect yourself is to run periodic reverse-image searches for your own photos.
Search online to find instructions for doing this on different dating and social media sites. However, there are a few things you can do to improve the odds of recovering your cash, catching the criminal, and protecting yourself in the future:.
The more you learn about them, the easier it is to suspect that anyone who expresses an interest in you online is just after your money. After a while, you may be tempted to delete all your online dating profiles, refuse any new friend requests, and stop trying to connect with new people online at all. Romance scams are a fact of life — but so is true love. Skip to content Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which MoneyCrashers.
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FEATURED PROMOTION. Jump to. Disorder, Inflation, and Gold Get Your Free Report. Sign Up Now. Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn Email. Stay financially healthy with our weekly newsletter. Amy Livingston. Amy Livingston is a freelance writer who can actually answer yes to the question, "And from that you make a living? com, ShopSmart. com, and the Dollar Stretcher newsletter. She also maintains a personal blog, Ecofrugal Living , on ways to save money and live green at the same time.
Discover More. Scams 12 Elder Fraud Scams That Target Senior Citizens - How to Stay Protected. Scams The 11 Principles Series: Avoid Scams and Financial Predators. See more questions. Scams See the full answer ».
· Fraudsters are prowling online dating sites in their search for people to scam, according to the FBI. More than 18, people complained to the FBI’s Internet Crime 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Online Dating Scams Keep Personal/Financial Information Private. The first way to protect yourself from being scammed online is to keep Avoid AdCompare Top 10 Online Dating Sites - Try the Best Dating Sites Today!Whether its instant messaging, video chat, dating games, offline events, or online Zoosk - Best Dating Site - $/month · Match - Best for romance - $/month · Learn more about how to protect yourself on dating sites and apps via the resources below. Communities Proud and Secure Online – Access Now. Safer Online Dating · Educating yourself on the warning signs and common tactics of catphishers can help protect yourself and your personal data from the pitfalls of the online dating world. With the ... read more
To potentially learn more about what they do for work, you can give them a search on LinkedIn. A telltale sign of a catphisher at work is if you make plans to meet up face to face, and they cancel at the last minute. Always do a little research. A few simple rules can keep you safe from online scammers. Some catphishers stuff their accounts with bots or fake followers as a way to appear more legitimate.Know the Signs: How to Spot Catphishing Dealing with strangers online will always have its risks, but plenty of people have had success with online dating and found love. It can take months. Blog Categories attachment styles breaking up with grace communication skills in dating dating a dangerous man dating a narcissist dating after divorce dating in midlife first date success flirting infidelity losing a parent love after 40 protect yourself online dating online dating after 40 red flags in relationships self-esteem in dating sex after 40 single women over 40 understanding men over Everyone has heard horror stories of online relationships gone wrong. Consider it carefully first what you want to share online, protect yourself online dating.