What Are Romance Scams?
Romance scams commonly referred to as dating scams, occur when con artists use the anonymity provided by social media platforms to trick people looking for romance or companionship into sending them money, private information, or, in some cases, gifts.
These ruthless con artists can gradually win the trust of their victims by fabricating false names, images, and biographies on dating apps and social networking websites. Before contacting their victims, these crooks often look up information about them online and note their hobbies to start conversations.
While love scamming is less common than other sorts of impersonation fraud, if crooks pose as friends, members of the family, or representatives of trustworthy organizations, they can still be just as harmful.
Scammers who target people through major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts sometimes build bogus profiles on dating websites. The con artists develop relationships with their victims to gain their trust, sometimes communicating with them daily.
The current term for marriage scams is romance or love scamming. In this context, the concept of love betrayal is used. In this type of fraud, the criminal establishes false profiles on dating and social media websites to represent themselves as fascinated with other people. This con’s objective is to exploit the victim for financial gain.
After developing a strong emotional bond, the con artist exploits the other person’s generosity by inventing a sad tale in which only the victim can save them. Typically, it entails requesting cash or private financial data. Examples include requesting that you:
- Pay for a necessary operation or associated medical costs.
- Pay a fee to get something meaningful back.
- Eliminate gambling debt to avoid harm.
- Spend money on a visa or other necessary travel documents.
Scammers often request private financial data from you, such as your social security number or credit card number. Or ask that you wire them money, buy reloadable cards or gift cards from reputable retailers, or deposit cash or cheque as payment.
It’s crucial to understand that con artists are adept at this and that it’s simple to fall for their tricks. So don’t be mortified to admit that you defrauded yourself.
Remember this straightforward advice:
- Be careful with what you publish and share online. Scammers may evoke an emotional response from you by using information shared on social media and dating websites.
- Use online searches to look for the person’s picture and profile to determine whether the image, name, or other information has already been used elsewhere.
Like any other online relationship, romance scams,also known as sweetheart scams, starts online. You start talking every day after someone strikes up a conversation with you. If you place too much confidence in someone you hardly know, you can come to regret it. The individual on the other side of the screen may appear to be just another online buddy. The following are some indications that your romantic interest is not who they claim to be:
Some people keep their lives private and altogether avoid using social media. That was a logical choice. However, if your new sweetheart’s interest has no internet trail, it can raise suspicions. A name, email, or username search for most people will turn up something, such as work or school accounts, high school or local newspaper stories, petitions they’ve signed, etc. However, You should inquire about it and observe their response if there is nothing or some details don’t seem to line up.
They and you both enjoy jazz. Scammers are eager to have a dog once they move into a larger home because you appreciate pets. Are you a seafood fan? They cook up some shrimp gumbo. When you talk about something you like, if they get overly excited every time, they may be trying to appear more relatable than they are.
They constantly pose for the camera, and all their images appear to have been edited. Although it’s typically a component of their profession, some people make a lot of effort with their online persona. However, posing for hours and looking for ideal lighting may seem unattainable if your new companion works a regular day job.
Getting dozens or even hundreds of photos of someone is pretty simple in the era of prolific Instagram models. Whenever you have any doubts, invite them to a video chat. Just be sure to carry it out with reputable, well-known software.
Many people’s careers require them to travel often. But to avoid seeing you in person, internet con artists constantly claim to be traveling or living far away. Additionally, it is simpler to explain time zone differences and unexpected disappearances. Finally, it gives them more time to develop a closer bond with their victim without ever having to meet them.
After spending a few weeks or even months getting to know someone, you’ll begin to enjoy them, and it will appear that they also like you. Because of this, it is pretty challenging to step back and consider the bigger picture. However, it’s a significant warning sign if someone you only met online begs for money. They are most likely con artists.
How can you stay away from these romance scams or love scams? Heed the advice below to make your online dating experience enjoyable and secure.
Using slang and emojis is one thing; being unable to make a whole phrase is quite another. In addition, it’s common for sweetheart fraudsters to be based outside the United States, so be vigilant for grammatical mistakes and words.
Be wary if they declare their love for you after three days of online communication when you haven’t even met in person. Or don’t do anything.
You should be able to tell if this individual is honest or a scammer with a quick Google search of their character and some social network sleuthing. Do not forget to Google reverse search for their social media profile pictures as well.
Meeting someone in person is the only way to get to know them honestly. Unless you feel comfortable meeting somewhere else, keep meetings in safe public areas. It’s normally best if you never meet if your “sweetheart” declines to meet up in person.
It is always a warning sign when strangers beg for money or favors. Never give money to a stranger; if you have doubts about an online relationship, check with your reliable friends and family.
The victim of romance scams suffers a double blow since they lose money and experience emotional distress. It’s essential to constantly use your logic and not your emotions while making financial decisions. Watch out for relationships that look too good to be true when your money is at stake.