Love In The Time Of Internet Fraud

Online dating has resulted in many happy relationships out here in the real world, but also provides a unique opportunity for different kinds of scammers to quickly gain your confidence and manipulate your emotions in order to get past your normal scam-detecting defenses. So how do you protect yourself?

Unsurprisingly, there’s now an entire site dedicated to preventing and dealing with the aftermath of this type of scam, which provides lists of warning signs, a database of scammers and their dating profile aliases and photographs, and resources for reporting online dating scams.

What are the most common scams? Other than green card and reshipping fraud, the most common online dating scams involve simple pleas for money or advance fee fraud scams.

Scammers are on dating sites, and social networks setting up fake profiles. Scammers will pose under the disguise of beautiful pictures as either male or female claiming to be from the United States. The scammer weaves a story of a successful business person working over seas, having no family; they present themselves as a thoughtful, caring and loving individual who is looking for their soul mate. The scammers are good at what they do; they ask lots of questions of the victim regarding what they want in their lives.

The scammer then takes the information and turns it into a dream that becomes a reality to the victim. They use words we all like to hear to woo our hearts so they can burn our souls. They use psychology to hold you in their spell. Once they have established a relationship then the scamming begins. In all cases the plea for financial assistance is the key to the scam. … They are desperate to come to you but need your help with the money to manage that. They were mugged and are in the hospital and need you to pay their hospital bill as they are being held hostage until it is paid.

Romance Scams (via iovation) (Thanks, RandomHookup!)

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(Photo: Romancescams.org)