Online Dating Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Online dating works. There are millions of singles online in the UK, seeking what we all look for: love, companionship and a long-term future. I met my gorgeous husband through online dating, and during the ten years I worked for Match. Figures published by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show a scary upward swing:. It was thought that women were the main targets for online-dating scammers. But men are increasingly duped. The losses can be huge—financially, and emotionally. In some ways, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from that.

Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance

It’s depressing but true; there are people that take advantage of the Internet to scam people. Whilst the majority of individuals using online dating sites are sincere and real you ought to be careful that you’re not a victim. A scammer is usually someone that may get in touch with you as a way to receive funds. These people use false details and then attempt to mislead you.

In order to avoid becoming a scammer’s future victim you need to understand how to identify them. Look out for those warning indications:.

More con artists are finding their marks on all manner of social media into an online scam last summer approached her not on a dating site, where she A man who said his name was James Gibson said he’d noticed her.

The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge. They can be motivated by the desire to live vicariously through a fake persona, to extort money from a victim, to make mischief or any number of other intentions.

Other sinister cases can involve sexual predators or stalkers who use this online anonymity to get close to their victims. There are several truly bizarre examples out there, like the girl who was catfished twice by another girl who posed as two different men. Your date looks like a supermodel Online dating scams usually start with an attractive person initiating contact through social media or dating sites.

A common theme is that catfishers use picture of models, actors or a member of the beautiful people club.

Criminals Collect Millions in Romance Scams

A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday for defrauding more than 30 victims after wooing them on internet dating sites. Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, New Jersey has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U. Attorney Craig Carpenito in a press release. Sarpong concocted online dating profiles mostly portraying US military personnel stationed overseas and looking for romance. The profiles were actually made up, using fictitious or stolen identities federal prosecutors in Camden, New Jersey said.

He told them he needed the money to ship gold bars to the United States, prosecutors said, but really kept it for himself and conspirators in Ghana.

You could also find yourself falling for a clever con artist who will Romance scammers post their fake profiles on popular dating websites and.

For years he used fake identities to charm women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then his victims banded together to take him down. By the spring of , Missi Brandt had emerged from a rough few years with a new sense of solidity. At 45, she was three years sober and on the leeward side of a stormy divorce. She was living with her preteen daughters in the suburbs of St.

Paul, Minnesota, and working as a flight attendant. Missi felt ready for a serious relationship again, so she made a profile on OurTime.

I Was Catfished By an Online Dating Con Artist

Sure, you can find love online. You could also find yourself falling for a clever con artist who will gain your trust and rob you blind. It happens all too often. For the past two years, more money has been lost to romance scams than any other type of scam reported to the FTC.

Evelyn Wichmann says a stranger she met on an internet dating site seduced 62, was the victim of romance fraud, where con artists use internet dating sites to The man’s dating profile suggested that he lived in Calgary.

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. Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances.

The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive. In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. The scammer then reveals their true identity.

They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online, unless the victim sends money.

ARMY SOCIAL MEDIA

Cecilie Fjellhoy thought she had met her prince charming when she matched on Tinder with Simon Leviev. Fjellhoy, a year-old Norwegian masters student living in London, said she was swept off her feet on their first date, which included a private plane ride to Bulgaria. Fjellhoy said Leviev told her he was an Israeli millionaire who called himself the “Prince of Diamonds.

But what began as a storybook romance turned into a real-life nightmare , Fjellhoy said — one that sent her into debt and fearing for her safety.

One woman shares her story of how she fell in love with man on an online dating website. However, she soon learned that she was getting Catfished by a con.

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Romance scams , and the millions of dollars lost to them, have jumped dramatically in recent years, even as experts say many cases still go unreported because victims are embarrassed or ashamed. That’s roughly equal to the population of Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s more than a dollar for every man, woman and child in the U. Online daters of all ages have fallen victim to the cruel crooks who break hearts and empty bank accounts.

To shed light on why people succumb, a social psychologist, a cybercrimes expert and a Secret Service agent share insights into romance scammers and offer advice on how to protect yourself from these heartless offenders.

Looking for love online? Romance scammers steal your heart to steal your money

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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. He or she will promise to pay it back, but that will never happen.

Phony suitors also seek out targets on social media, and they are increasingly active. The Federal Trade Commission FTC received more than 25, reports about romance scams in , a nearly threefold increase since

Woman Shares How She Says She Got Caught Up In An Online Dating Scam


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