How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scammer: 8 Red Flags

Online dating scams continue to rise, costing unsuspecting victims millions of dollars each year.

Instead of simply sending phishing emails, cybercriminals play the long game to trick people of their money.

If you're using an online dating platform, be sure to watch for these signs that the person you're talking to is actually a scammer, and how to avoid online dating scams in general.

Who are the dating site scams targeting?

Scammers target people of different demographic characteristics on all possible dating platforms. This means that, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age or preferred platform; No one is outside the bounds of a con man.

However, they tend to attack older people more frequently. Meanwhile, the biggest targets for long-term fishing scams are vulnerable or isolated people.

Large fish scams (POFs) are particularly frequent due to the large nature of the network. However, there are scams on sites like Ashley Madison, Match.com and most other dating sites.

With the increase of dating applications, scammers launch an even wider network for possible targets and automate much of the process, using bots. to attract victims to scams.

Ways to detect an online dating scammer

1. Profile warning signs

There are some signs you should keep in mind when looking at the online dating profile of a possible match.

Some typical features of a swindler's profile include:

  • The profiles have very few images or images that appear to be model or glamor photos
  • Despite looking for singles in their area, they work or live in another country
  • Many scammers claim to be in a military deployment in another country

In dating applications, scammers and robots will have a very limited profile information. They also tend to have only one or two photos and do not link their profile with their Instagram or other accounts.

2. Try to take the conversation elsewhere

Scammers of online dating, especially fly fishing victims, will ask you to move to another form of messaging off the platform where you met.

Scammers often want to communicate through messages written on Skype or Facebook. However, they can also choose to send messages by SMS or an application such as Whatsapp.

Beware of anyone you have not met who wants to pass the conversation to another platform.

3. Your Friends of Match Match Love Early On

Online dating scammers tend to move very quickly in terms of professing an emotional connection. In a short time, they can say that they love you and that they feel a very deep connection with you.

All this is part of the emotional manipulation involved in fishing with fish when using online dating. It is also the reason why vulnerable and isolated people are desirable goals, since they crave a connection.

You should be aware of coincidences that are too flattering and too dedicated to the beginning of your communication when you have not done so. He even met.

4. They want to meet you, but something always happens

A common line among online dating scammers is that they want to meet you, but when the time comes, there is always some unexpected problem.

Since the scammer is not The person they claim to be, they do not want to meet in person. This is also the reason why so many scammers claim to work in another country or to be in a military deployment, since it provides an excuse for not being able to meet. In fact, many scammers use photos of military personnel and soldiers in their profiles.

The inability to meet with you may even be the alleged reason why you first try to solicit money from a victim. They can say they need money to buy a ticket to travel and get to know it. Sometimes, they will say that the border officers stopped them and they need money for their release.

5. They avoid video chat completely

According to the Better Business Bureau, most romantic scams go back to people who live in Nigeria. Therefore, if a scammer is a foreigner from a country like Nigeria, Ghana or Malaysia, you can avoid phone calls or voice chat in programs such as Skype, because your accent can reveal them.

However, scammers may forge accents for victims who support their declared country of origin.

No matter what, a catfish will not appear in video chat since they use fake profile pictures. Be careful if your partner is never willing to appear in video chat or always gives excuses that your camera is broken.

Most smartphones now have built-in selfie cameras, which makes video chat relatively easy. Some people may initially hesitate to appear in the video chat because of shyness. But it's a red flag if someone professes love, but does not let you talk on video after weeks of communication.

6. They ask you for money

Inevitably, a catfish will ask for money from you, since this is the ultimate goal of most scammers. There are a variety of scenarios that can be invented, from family emergencies, health problems or travel problems.

Particularly inventive scammers can even trick you into sending money by sending a package supposedly requiring customs fees. Scammers do not necessarily work alone, so you can receive a phone call or documents from someone posing as a third party to request fees.

Some scammers even request financial help or financial investment related to their fictitious business.

If any type of financial request comes from your suitor, or from something related to them (such as a package or business), this is the most important sign that you are the target of a scam.

7. They ask for your help with financial transactions

One of the newest online dating scams does not solicit money from victims, but rather makes them "money mules". Instead of trying to get money from the victim, these scammers make you an accomplice in money laundering.

An example includes the scammer who sends money to the victim, who then sends them an Amazon card or other type of gift card. Other times they can send you money and ask you to send it to another account for them.

Sometimes scammers can ask a victim to open a bank account for them.

If your online suitor asks you to involve this type of financial transactions and exchanges, they are likely to be a scammer trying to lure you into illegal activities.

8. They send you a link to another service or website

Some scammers do not care about fishing for fish, but use more efficient ways to exploit the victims. This is especially true in online dating applications, where bot profiles prevail.

If a match sends you a link to an application, game, service or website, they say they want you to try it; It is often a tactic to get you to provide financial information or download malware.

It's essentially the online phishing version and it's a very popular tactic for scammers in dating apps like Tinder


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How to avoid online dating scams

In addition to detecting a potential scam artist, there are some precautions you can take to avoid online dating scams.

First of all, use inverse image searches and tools like the social cat. com to verify a person's online identity. You should check that the same image does not appear in a variety of profiles with different names.

You must also stay up to date on the different types of dating scams that arise, especially those related to the platform on which you are using. Not all dating scams involve prolonged catfishing, and certain scams of mobile dating applications differ from the scams of dating websites.

Finally, never reveal too much information about yourself to someone you've never met. A catfish will use your financial situation and if it is vulnerable to determine if it is an ideal target.

If you receive intro emails or overly flattering messages on an online dating site, simply do not respond. In mobile dating applications, do not match profiles that look suspicious.

In addition, never send intimate images of you to an acquaintance online : scammers now use this type of images for blackmail and extortion schemes.

Finally, if warning signs appear and you can not verify the identity of the person, cut off the communication immediately.

Protect yourself while dating online

One of the most important measures to date when going online is to protect your privacy. Not only does this help you avoid scams, it can also protect you from cyber stalkers and harassers.

To make sure you do not share much, to block the link between social networking applications, see our guide on how to protect your privacy while using online dating


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