In general this is how it works. A male scammer contacts another man through an online dating service, posing as an attractive young woman, looking for a serious relationship. It all starts out as a harmless virtual friendship but soon enough the pretty young girl will ask the man for financial help. The excuses for this approach vary according to the scammer’s imagination but they tend to have a very strong emotional appeal to the victim. By the time the scammer starts to ask for money, the poor man is already convinced that she is looking for the same thing that he is: a serious long lasting relationship and is an easy pray to her charm.
Be on the lookout:
A scammer will try to get your money using extremely appealing arguments. Most of them are very smart and used to this kind of activity and they will easily find a way to your heart.
- Maybe they need money to help a sick or struggling family member.
- They need some money to start their own business and better their lives.
- They are desperate to meet you and they need financial help to get that flight ticket.
- They have suffered a tragedy, been robbed and they don’t have anyone else to turn to.
- And so on…
The excuses are as many as the scammer’s imagination can handle and you are their gullible prey!
Usually they will ask you to send them money using methods that are virtually impossible to trace, so be extra careful when your new virtual date suggests a wire transfer via Moneygram or Western Union. These methods are untraceable, irreversible and they don’t offer the sender any legal protection against fraud – a big no – no.
Does this mean you should quit online dating?
Of course not! There are lots of things you can do to protect yourself from fake online daters and many signs that can indicate you are being a victim of this type of scam. So, if your online date sends you a picture that looks out of a magazine cover, it probably is! Top models don’t usually hang around online dating sites.
Online Dating Red Flags:
- Your date does not give you a valid postal address and the phone number.
- Your date sends a lot of emails that seem generic and when you ask questions, the answers are always too evasive.. Maybe they are just sending mass emails to several other potential victims.
- They ask you for money.