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Posted on February 9, 2017 by in Identity & Privacy, Personal

There are hundreds and maybe thousands of both men and women responsible for the large number of online dating scams that take place every day.

Just last month a good friend contacted me regarding his mom being scammed. His dad died a year ago and his mom has been lonely and, over the summer, she signed up for an online dating site. When he found out, he expressed his concerns and she simultaneously acknowledged his concerns and brushed him off as she felt she was too smart to fall for an online dating scam.

Then she met a man claiming to be a Sergeant in the US military stationed in Afghanistan and they became close. During their long distance romance he happened upon a trunk of cash and needed her help getting the money back in the states. Long story short, she wired $242,000 to him between August and October.

OUCH.

In this scenario, loneliness trumped common sense. The money is gone and so is the scammer.

There are many people like this who will prey on lonely people seeking romance; another such man is from New Hampshire. Fortunately, this low-life scammer was caught—after he bilked five women he dated out of over $350,000.

Soon after meeting his victims via social media, he tricked them into giving up their personal information under the guise that he needed it to make them authorized users of his credit cards.

Instead he opened new lines of credit in their names and added himself as an authorized user. He now faces multiple charges.

How to Prevent Being Scammed

  • Be highly suspicious of people who try to impress you with poetic or cliché statements.
  • Women can also be scammers.
  • Run for the hills if Mr. Fabulous keeps showering you with compliments early in the relationship – he’s trying to hook you under his spell.
  • If you met on a dating site but he insists early in the game on using conventional means for correspondence, your alarm bells should start ringing.
  • If your new romantic partner reports a sudden family circumstance and asks you to send him money – RUN and don’t look back.
  • Don’t ever pay for their travel expenses to meet you. This request should be a deal breaker.
  • Keep your wealth, if you have it, a secret. See if the scammer runs for the hills when you tell them that you’re on a tight budget.

Who Are These Scammers?

The men and women responsible for online dating scams may be working alone or as part of a larger operation. They will often claim to be in an exotic or prestigious line of work (which, by no coincidence, has the potential to put them in a situation where they then claim they need a lot of money to get out – your money).

If they claim to have an ordinary job, they can still be a scammer. Requests for money could also be in the name of a faked injury or illness.

Although most of this may seem like common sense, as previously stated, common sense often goes out the window when emotions like loneliness come into play. And while you may not fall prey to a scam like this, someone you know and love might. So it’s important that you “investigate” those in your life, ask questions and find out if anyone close to you may be involved in such a scam.

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