It’s no secret that online dating has become an increasingly popular form of matchmaking. People everywhere use online dating sites and mobile apps to meet potential real life partners. These platforms are convenient and easy to use.
But those looking for love aren’t the only ones joining dating sites. Online scammers are taking advantages of these websites, too. They sign up for an account, pretend to be a prospective companion with a fake profile and picture. The purpose behind it is to gain some of value in return, usually money. In fact, in 2015, over 12,500 people filed romance scam complaints with the FBI with a loss of over $200 million to fraudsters.
To avoid falling prey to greedy scammers and protect your money and peace of mind, the private detectives at National Investigations, Inc. review common signs of an online scammer.
They Live Outside the U.S.
Scammers will admit to living overseas or say that they’re American but are temporarily overseas for business, the military or other reasons. They will tell you that they’ll be coming back home soon and to wait for them. They’ll also come up with multiple excuses as to why they can’t make it home, such as extended work, they lost their passport, or an issue suddenly occurs.
Pay close attention to their use of the English language, both written and verbal. Many scammers are from other countries and their grasp of our language is very poor. They frequently misspell and misuse words that provide a clue that something’s off, especially if they are originally from America and are temporarily overseas.
They’re in a Financial Crisis and Ask for Money
Scammers will pour you a sob story to guilt you into giving them money. They’ll convince you that they had a medical emergency, their business fell behind, or they owe the government money. They feed off of your emotions to convince you to give them money.
They Have Excuses for Not Seeing You
They’ll stress how they can’t wait to see you. They made arrangement to travel home and be with you. But as the date approaches, an unexpected incident occurs and they can’t make it. So, they push the date back. But they can’t make it again, so again the date changes. They provide excuse after excuse and continuously delay the opportunity to meet in person.
Scammers usually have very few photos and if you ask to see more, or for them to take one and send it, they have a reason that they can’t. The reason being is scammers troll other sites and steal photos from other and use them as their own. You can perform a photo check through Google image search, in which the images may come up marked as a scammer or the image may have someone else’s name on it.