Dating & romance | Scamwatch
Con artists scam victims on online dating websites out of thousands. he found " the game" — Nigeria's shadow economy of scams, named for the article in. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or. PDF | The Online Romance Scam is a relatively new form of fraud that Article ( PDF Available) in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social.
For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
Online dating scams
The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
'Are You Real?' — Inside an Online Dating Scam
Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.
Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love. Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear.
You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before. Swindlers often inundate prospective marks with texts, emails and phone calls to draw them in.
He or she repeatedly promises to meet you in person but always seems to come up with an excuse to cancel.
Do's Do take it slowly. Ask your potential partner a lot of questions, and watch for inconsistencies that might reveal an impostor. Do be wary of flirtatious and overly complimentary emails. Paste the text into a search engine and see whether the same words show up on websites devoted to exposing romance scams. Do cut off contact immediately if you begin to suspect that the individual may be a swindler. Do notify the dating site or the maker of the dating app on which you met the scammer.
A BBB Study on Romance Scams
Scammers flood dating websites with fake profiles and wait for victims to come to them. Scammers can exploit details like your last name or where you work to manipulate you or to commit identity theft. Call our free Fraud Watch helpline at to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling. You can also sign up for Watchdog Alerts and check out our scam-tracking map.
Army has a detailed fact sheet on spotting romance scammers posing as American soldiers posted abroad.