Since the internet became widely available, the number of online frauds has constantly increased each year. Due to required shutdowns and social distancing restrictions, more people spent more time online in 2020 and 2021, giving scammers even more possibilities to target naïve users in various ways. One method is to use romantic scams.
According to the FBI, a romance scam occurs when a criminal creates a fake profile and pretends to be romantically interested in another online user – whether through a dating app or website, an online chat room, or a social media platform – in order to create a false sense of intimacy and defraud the victim.
This is an overview of a few ways to spot a romance scammer.
5 Ways to Spot a Romance Scammer
Unfortunately, between 2018 and 2019, romantic scams surged by roughly 40%. Romance scams, like all internet frauds, are on the rise. Scammers will fabricate a variety of false stories, promises, and emergencies to entice their victims to send them money.
With the rise in popularity of dating apps and services, spotting phony profiles that are truly belonging to romance scammers can be difficult. Here are five warning indicators that you’re dealing with a romantic scam.
The scammer is quick to call it love
The romantic con artist will be eager to “fall in love” and genuinely confess their affection. Their goal is to emotionally manipulate the victim as quickly as possible before they realize they’re being duped. The scammer will frequently use words like “dear,” “darling,” and “love of my life” to entice you. They’ll blame the developing romance on fate or destiny, making the victim feel as special as possible.
Marriage proposals may be made quite rapidly by romance scammers. They may persuade their victims to marry them in order to “rescue” them from dire situations, expressing extravagant gratitude for the victim’s love and support. Be skeptical of a romance if someone you’re actively texting tries to create an intimate relationship in a short period of time.
The scammer’s profile contains vague or few images across platforms
The profile images of the individual you’re messaging can also help you figure out whether they’re a romance scammer. These con artists frequently imitate others and have only one or two photos of the person they’re impersonating.
Genuine dating site members, on the other hand, frequently have many photos of themselves in various contexts, ranging from facial shots to full body photographs. On their accounts, romance fraudsters may use photos that merely show a piece of their faces. Those photographs aren’t always distinguishable from the rest of their profile.
The scammer asks for money
It’s a significant red signal that you’re being scammed if a love interest you met online asks for money before you’ve met them in person. Scammers are experts at fabricating plausible scenarios. When they beg for money, some of the most common reasons they’ll provide are:
- reimbursement of travel charges (alleging they want to come to see you in person)
- Medical bills or other unexpected expenses must be paid.
- Payment for gambling debts or other forms of debts so they can begin a fresh life with you.
The scammer wants to move to a more personal communication platform
Scammers are identified and removed from dating sites and apps using parameters set in place by the companies. As a result, scammers may try to persuade you to switch to a more private communication medium, such as texting or emailing. However, this is a gray area because even genuine love interests will wish to take their communications away from the dating site at some point.
The safest choice might be to keep communicating via the dating site or app until you meet your love interest in person. Consider it a red flag if they press you to exit the app before you’re ready.
The scammer makes plans to meet you, but an emergency comes up
To conceal their own identities, romance scammers frequently use bogus profile photographs. Romance fraudsters would frequently make promises to meet in person, even if it means going internationally, to keep you engaged and discourage you from doubting their identity.
As your meeting date approaches, however, the romance scammer will almost always claim an emergency. Their tales are frequently complex and emotive, which can be very convincing to a love-blind victim. These contrived emergencies provide them with the ideal chance to beg you for financial assistance.
Hopefully, you won’t fall victim to these online dating scammers. In the worst-case situation, if you fall victim to one of these scams, there’s no reason to be concerned. Experts at firms like EzChargeBack specialize in quickly and efficiently reclaiming your funds. Don’t worry about it, and enjoy your dating life!