The of stories about fraudsters taking advantage of unsuspecting victims seems to grow by the day. Unfortunately, this serious health threat has presented an opportunity for those hoping to profit from the growing fears surrounding the virus. At first glance, these s look legitimate.
People are increasingly switching to more convenient means to find a connection, like dating apps and websites such as Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge or Bumble. That, unfortunately, may make them targets for dating scammerswho prey on their eagerness to find love.
Scammers tend to use stock images of models, who may be styled to sell a specific product. Photos of them posing with beverages and electronics may feel staged and unnatural because indeed they are.
Domestic violence and online romance scams use similar psychological tricks
Alternatively, they have been known to steal pictures of real people, to make themselves seem more believable. If you feel something is off about their photos, usually stick with your gut feeling you may be right.
In both cases, you can perform a quick check by reverse searching the photos on Google images. Go to the Google images websiteclick on the camera icon and either drag and drop the photos URL there or the photo itself. Either way that should clarify your situation a bit.
Other postal scams
A major warning that should set alarm bells off immediately is when new contacts come on too strong, too soon. Scammers will try to advance the relationship as fast as possible to make you feel wanted, softening you up with serenades to reach their ultimate goal, your wallet. Another red flag is that scammers make a concentrated effort to move the conversation to another communication platform.
Dating platforms have ways to detect scammers besides the reporting feature. In order to avoid triggering these mechanisms, scammers try to coax you into sharing your phone or or IM handle.
If they ask you to switch to another channel of communication too soon, then be wary and report them. Scammers love to take on the identities of professionals that inspire trust but often have to work abroad for extended periods of time, such as members of the military, aid workers, or diplomats. As the courtship goes on, you may want to meet your online crush in person.
Canceling a few times is normal but if they shoot down every date you suggest, then you should be suspicious and start questioning their reasons. Many fake dating profiles created by scammers portray them as Americans or Westerners who are university educated or, as mentioned before, have careers that take them abroad.
So, if someone who appears to be an English-speaking native or worldly has a bad grasp of the language, you should be wary. Of course, typos occasionally happen and not everyone you meet will have a perfect grasp of English. If you are in doubt you can quiz them on the area they claim they are from. Alternatively, you can perform a Google check on them to see if they are who they say they are. Once the conversation has gone on for a bit, the scammer will try to ask for money. But as time goes by, they will steadily increase the amount that they need, often feeding you a sob story about how they need it to help pay for the medical bills of their sick relative.
Scams like these have cost some people their life savings. But that is just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg: up to 30 percent of romance fraud victims have been used as money mules and in some cases became unassuming drug mules smuggling illicit substances across the border, which has led to years in prison when they were caught.
A con man steals one woman's heart — and $, here's how it happened.
According to a report published by the FTCthe annual of victims of romance scams grew from 8, to 21, between Relationships are built on trust, but if one starts off on a dating site or app you should always try to verify as much as possible and not blindly trust what your new-found love says. How romance scammers break your heart — and your bank What are some of the most common warning s that your online crush could be a dating scammer?
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