In life, most people want to find someone that they can run off and get married and have happily ever after. However, this decade has proven that most people have become antisocial when it comes to chatting with potentials in public places. Hence, they turn to the convenience of online dating and listed common interests to find their true love.
People with bad intentions know about this and take advantage of people who want to find their other half. They get to know their victim and make that person fall so madly in love with them, that the person would do anything for them. That’s when they ask for sexually exploitative photographs and videos, money, or something else worth value to take advantage of someone who thought the world of them.
These people are called scammers, and they would do anything to make an extra buck, including breaking innocent people’s hearts. In 2019, it was reported that $201 million was given to scammers by people who thought they were helping out their significant other.
They create fake Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Hangouts, and Tinder accounts using attractive people’s photos to lure their victims in, and form a phony relationship with them to get what they want. This is also called ‘catfishing’. So how can you tell if you’re a part of an online dating scam?
Here are some red flags that you need to pay attention to when online dating:
They Lie About What They Do for a Living
Usually, scammers tell their victims that they are overseas for a job opportunity, and therefore they need their victims to help them wire money somewhere in the United States. In other cases, they’ll say they have this lavish career, like a doctor, to impress their victims and trick them into staying. Once they agree to stay, they ask for things like money or nude images of their victims.
Also, if you ask about their career and they give you responses like “Why can’t you trust me?” or “You need to trust me because I love you”, then they are probably lying about what they do for a living. If someone cared about you, they wouldn’t guilt trip you into If their career seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
They Ask for Money
If someone pressures you into giving them money for something, then they are not the one for you. Sometimes, scammers will give their victims a fake check and state that they need them to cash the check and wire the money to these scammers to play their employers. Other times, they will claim they are in financial trouble, and either need gift cards or money wired to them to help with bills or other emergencies.
Most of the time in online dating scams, the people asking for money don’t live in the United States and live in third world countries, like Nigeria. They do these kinds of scams because, to them, the American dollar is worth a lot compared to their currency, so 100 US dollars can go a long way for them.
They Say “I Love You” Too Fast
If someone tells you that you’re the one for them, they love you, and can’t live without you within a day, and then you are probably in the middle of an online dating scam. Scammers gain their victims’ trust by acting like they want a serious relationship with them.
They then proceed to go behind their back to get whatever they want from them. If someone proclaims their love for you within a day and seems to be moving too fast, trust your gut and block them.
They Look Famous in Their Pictures
If someone that you’ve never met before adds and contacts you out of nowhere looking like they’re the prince charming or princess of your dreams, the reality is they’re probably a scammer. Scammers steal images off of celebrities’ or models’ social media accounts and pretend that those are pictures of them while giving themselves an attractive fake name.
They do this to seem appealing to their victims and make it easier for their victims to fall head over heels in love with them. Once their victims fall hopelessly in love with them, it is then simple for the scammer to get whatever they want from the people they are playing.
They Refuse to Video Chat With You
If someone refuses to FaceTime or Skype with you for any reason, then they are probably a scammer and don’t want you to see who they are. They will use excuses like “I don’t know what Skype is”, “My phone or computer won’t let me download Skype”, or “I’m too busy to video chat with you.
To continue your online relationship, it is essential to make sure you are dating the person you think you’re dating. If someone doesn’t want video chat with you, they are most likely hiding behind a picture of someone else. If someone cares about you and isn’t trying to scam you, they will video chat you to let you know they are who they say they are.
What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed out of Paradise
Block the person off of everything immediately. If you have them on any of your social media platforms, on text apps, or they have your phone number, make sure you block them from all forms of communication.
Research the job your partner claims to have. If there are similar situations to the one you are encountering and those people have been scammed, chances are you are as well.
DO NOT give your online partner money if they ask under ANY circumstance. They are most likely only talking to you so that you will give them money and do not care about you. You can report anyone who asks you for money here: ftc.gov/complaint.
If you’ve already sent money to your scammer, contact your bank IMMEDIATELY. Your bank will then know that this person does not have good intentions, and will block any future transactions from them.
When you first start talking to someone online, FaceTime or Skype them to make sure they are a real person. If someone refuses to video chat you, then it is definitely a red flag that they aren’t who they say they are.
Do a reverse image search to see if your partner’s photo is real. If the photos don’t match under your partner’s name and is instead being linked to another person’s or celebrity’s name, chances are it’s an online dating scam.
Take the relationship slow and see how your partner reacts. If they get angry because you don’t feel comfortable taking the relationship to the next level, they are probably a scammer. Someone who cares about will respect your boundaries and would not want to push them.
Finding the love of your life is not a cake-walk, whether it be with online dating or in-person. People think that online dating is the way to go in today’s society, but it’s been proven to be more dangerous and lead to online dating scams. To make sure you are dating someone who matches their picture, it is better to wait to make a connection with someone in-person versus rushing an online relationship.
If an online relationship is the only thing that works for you, then take these precautions to make sure you don’t get wrapped up in an online dating scam. Don’t rush your happily ever after with a scammer, make sure you found someone who cares about you and is real to start your life with.