How to protect yourself from an online dating scam, duping victims out of millions

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable. This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up. Then you get an urgent request.

NI women lose £105,000 in online ‘romance scams’

The safety of our customers is of the utmost importance to us. LibertyX constantly monitors new scam and fraud tactics to find new ways to prevent any being used on our platform. Here are a few common scams being used by fraudsters, and red flags to look out for. Dating, Marriage, and Romance. Online Dating Apps and Websites. Overseas and Out of Country.

of online dating scams and consumers reported nearly $23 million in losses advise users who have sent money and provided financial details to contact their​.

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them. This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money.

These requests may be for gas money, bus or airplane tickets to visit the victim, medical or education expenses. There is usually the promise the scammer will one day join the victim in the victim’s home. The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money. Criminal networks defraud lonely people around the world with false promises of love and romance.

Some romance scammers seek out a victim with an obscure fetish and will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer’s plane ticket, they will get to live out their sexual fantasy with the scammer.

Justice News

We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.

According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher. As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about.

In neighboring Ohio, a Columbus man pleaded guilty last year to money laundering of $ million in proceeds from an online dating scam he.

I frequently get requests from friends and readers to help them save a loved one from a romance scam. Lots of money. The closer the date appears to be getting to the victim, the more unexpected calamities appear. The scammers seem to delight in torturing their victims and seeing just how outrageous they can make the stories be and still get paid. Many victims lose substantial sums of money, often their entire lifesavings. Some wealthy victims have lost millions of dollars.

Romance Scams

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.

Today, online dating and social media websites offer quick and easy ways to meet But if you decline to send money, they might remind you of those half-​naked.

As online dating has become more common, there has also been an increase in scams targeting users of online dating sites. A romance scam is a trick where someone pretends to have romantic feelings for a victim, gains their trust, and then uses that relationship to commit fraud. Usually, the crook misleads a victim online and then talks the victim into sending money, sharing personal and financial information, or laundering money for the crook.

Although the victims tend to be older widowed or divorced women, the scam can happen to anyone who uses social media and dating sites. The FBI lists the following as common warning signs for anyone active on social media and dating apps:. The FTC explains that romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media. They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person.

Remember that romance fraud relies on manipulation and a willing participant. Security awareness is our best defense for any kind of social media attack. Stay aware of common scams and refuse to participate. Navigating our site has never been simpler. Always find your way back home. There’s a lot to explore on our site.

When love becomes a nightmare: Online dating scams

Attorney Byung J. This is a stark reminder that users of online dating websites should be aware of such scams and exercise extreme caution if asked for money by anyone online or over the phone. Wiley, Sr. According to U. Romance scams are a type of online fraud in which victims are targeted by individuals posing as potential paramours.

Fraudsters are using dating sites not only to scout for people before fund it, but need a US bank account into which they can send the money.

Army Criminal Investigation Command CID receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U. Soldier online. Soldier who then began asking for money for various false service-related needs. Victims of these scams can lose tens of thousands of dollars and face a slim likelihood of recovering any of it. Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or social media platform, but they are not U.

To perpetrate this scam, the scammers take on the online persona of a current or former U. Soldier, and then, using photographs of a Soldier from the internet, build a false identity to begin prowling the web for victims.

5 Ways to spot an online-dating scammer

Sh’reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few weeks before she realized that something was seriously wrong with the man who had been actively pursuing her by text message and email. They’d hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz.

But meeting in person was always a problem. First, he was traveling through India with his daughter. Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized.

Victims often admit to sending money repeatedly for purported crises. The perpetrators often evade attempts to meet by claiming they are in the.

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Americans who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet. While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers.

These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money. According to the Better Business Bureau, victims in the U. Older users, in particular, are more often targeted by this type of scam — and most don’t realize they are a victim until it is too late. We also have information about how to report a dating scammer if you or someone you love has fallen victim to one. Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing.

Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you. Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time. Guard your personal information carefully, and be wary if a new love interest asks for personal details soon after contact. Be suspicious of anyone who asks you for financial assistance, no matter how dire their circumstances seem to be.

Often times, scammers convince victims to leave the dating site and use personal email or instant messaging to continue communication. At first, this might not seem like a red flag.

How to Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites

Local Field Office Locations: www. In some cases, the victim is persuaded to launder money on behalf of the actor. Actors often use online dating sites to pose as U.

Typically with this scam, the perpetrator engages the victim in conversation on an online dating chat room. They befriend and flirt with the victim, next suggesting.

Raoul is encouraging Illinois residents to be vigilant of scams in light of recent reports of scammers impersonating representatives of the Social Security Administration, the Illinois State Police ISP and public utilities. The recent phone scams involve scammers spoofing phone numbers, causing caller ID devices to display what appears to be a legitimate call from Social Security, the ISP or a utility.

Scam artists on the other end of the line claim they are collecting on a phony debt and instruct their targets to make cash or gift card payments, wire transfers, or provide confidential personal information in order to avoid losing benefits, being arrested, or having their utilities shut off. In addition to phone scams, Raoul also said the Social Security Administration recently warned people of email scams in which recipients receive emails that include attachments appearing on official letterhead in order to appear more legitimate.

Raoul urged people to not open emails claiming to be from Social Security that promise a benefit approval or increase in exchange for information or money. Online dating scammers often tell their victims that they live far away, sometimes outside of the United States, and need money for travel expenses to see the victim or to pay for medical expenses or other unexpected bills.

Scam – Dating Site Need Plane Ticket Money