We are all in search of true love and many people use social networks and dating sites to increase their chances and find their soul mate. Even though this method has many advantages, however, there is one minus. Unfortunately, social networks, messengers, dating sites have become a strategic bridgehead for romance scams. A typical scammer’s scheme is to gain trust and lure a considerable amount of money from gullible people.
How does the scam work?
Usually, the scheme is as follows: scammers create fake profiles and compose a universal text that can affect all women or men. They send this text out in bulk to new victims on the site. If someone responds, they begin to actively chat with a person having the ultimate goal of raising money. Often scammers say they are from another city or country and that they eventually want to meet you in person. Then they come up with a sad and touching story to ask for money.
Are there any signs that can show you’re being scammed?
Scammers can be quite experienced in telling stories to lure in their victims. However, you may notice some red flags that can be helpful to spot them. Take a look at the following ones:
- Scammers prefer to use instant messaging, text, or phone calls instead of dating websites. They may suggest that you continue messaging this way;
- Romance scams ask a lot of personal questions to get more information about you;
- Frauds try to avoid answering personal questions about themselves. You may notice that the details that they do tell seem made up. For example, their spelling and grammar is poor although they’ve said that they’re university educated;
- Such people try to establish a bond as quickly as possible and move too fast. They may tell you that ‘they’ve never felt like this before’ or write detailed letters about their love for you;
- They ask for money. They can tell you about financial problems frequently hoping that you’ll offer to help;
- You can’t meet them in person. They may promise to see you in the nearest future, but either cancel every time or offer excuses which delay meeting up;
- You find out their profile photos may belong to someone else.
Tips to protect yourself from being scammed
Dating websites and apps do everything to protect you from fraudulent people and make your dating experience enjoyable. Still, it’s wise for you to be careful when communicating with people who have romantic interests. Here are some things which may help you avoid romance scams:
Avoid sharing your personal details
Don’t share personal details online with people. Even if you think you already know them, you may end up sending it to a scammer pretending to be them. You should also be careful when including personal information in your profile. Keep your personal details private until you’re ready to share them (your phone number, email or home address).
Don’t send or receive any money
No matter how convincing the story of your lover is, don’t send or receive money from anyone you’ve met online. If the request is coming from someone you know, meet with them offline to make sure that it’s really them.
Use trusted dating websites
Dating sites like Meetville are a reliable place to chat with people and find love. We use many measures to ensure your safety and identify scammers.
Trust your intuition
If you feel like something is wrong, be careful. Sometimes you should trust your instincts.
How to report a romance scam
You can report fake dating profiles at any time by contacting Meetville support team. This will help us close down any fraudulent accounts.
If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away and ask if they can refund your money by explaining to them your situation.
Read also: Fraud and Scam Warning from Meetville