Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas.
They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency.
Dating & romance
For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.
Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year.
The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you.
If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot. We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.
Phishing Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits. If they agree to this, pay attention to their tone and use of language; if their demeanor seems to contradict what you know about them, it's best to walk away.
Again, if the person outright refuses to talk to you over an audio or video connection, they're most likely a scammer. Watch out for the catch. When scammers think they have you on their hook, they attempt to reel you in. This is usually when they will "agree" to meet up or talk to you, but their plans to do so will usually be interrupted by a financial emergency.
As a general rule, if the person to whom you're talking asks for money in any context, they're a scammer. Don't fall for phrases like "For this to work, we both have to trust each other" or "I thought you loved me"; this is a form of emotional manipulation. Keep your profile as private as possible. One of the first steps in making your profile scammer-proof is limiting the amount of information they can see. Most services require you to display your age, a description, and a picture.
Outside of those items, you should keep the rest of your profile blank. Scammers require quite a bit of information about you before they can attempt to reel you in, so limiting their leverage from the start decreases your odds of being targeted. Don't give potential scammers leverage over you. As such, avoid sending messages that reveal who you are, at least at first. Avoid sending photos or videos that show friends or family, or that give away your location. Keep your discussions on the dating site.
If you're using a dating site that has a built-in chat option as most do , your safest bet is to keep your conversations with the other person limited to the dating site's chat. If the other person suggests moving to email or texting, decline. This will usually allow your selected dating site to review the contents of your messages if you decide to report the other person as a scammer. Keeping discussions within the dating service will also allow you to block the person later if needed without having to block them in your email or on your phone as well.
Avoid giving out your real phone number. If you must move the conversation over to your smartphone, don't tell the other person your number. This doesn't mean that you have to give someone a fake number; there are plenty of free mobile instant messaging services—WhatsApp, Skype, Google Voice , and Facebook Messenger are only a few examples—that can be used to message someone freely without having to compromise your real phone number.
If the person to whom you're talking refuses to use any mode of conversation except your phone number, there's a decent chance that they're more interested in the number than in the conversation. Document your interactions with the person. If you suspect that the person with whom you're conversing is attempting to scam you, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have evidence against them: Refrain from deleting conversations or other forms of communication.
Take screenshots of the conversations. Stop talking to the person if need be. There's nothing wrong with cutting off contact with someone, especially if you think that they might be a scammer. If you have a bad feeling after interacting with a person online, you don't owe them your time. Many dating sites will allow you to block the person to whom you're talking. As long as they don't have your email address or phone number, doing this will prevent them from being able to contact you at all.
If the person becomes unreasonably outraged or sends threats your way, be sure to take screenshots and report the person's profile to the dating service. Report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Naturally, you should also report the scammer to the site on which you were scammed. What should I do if a man asks for my full name and address so he can send me gifts from overseas?
Not Helpful 15 Helpful Pay careful attention to whether there are any inconsistencies in their stories. Also, beware of anyone who addresses you with "Dear Not Helpful 26 Helpful Should I trust my gut when speaking to a someone through an online dating service? You shouldn't trust anybody online until you have met them in person.
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This is especially for dating sites. Not Helpful 30 Helpful My online suitor for eight months would like to transfer his account from another country to my account. It's a big amount. I haven't met the guy before. I don't believe he could easily trust me since we met only online. Is there a sign of fraud in this? He would need your account info. Once he has that, he can withdraw money from your account.
Have him open an account with your bank, and transfer the money to that account. Once that is done, and in time, he can add you to that account. Once you see that all is good, then you could have him transfer it to your account, but I would encourage you to keep separate bank accounts, just in case things don't work out.
My gut though, is telling me he is a very patient scammer. Not Helpful 18 Helpful How long should you communicate on site before giving someone your number? Online isn't the best place to hand over your number. Suggest a meet-up in a public place instead. Not Helpful 1 Helpful How do I get more pictures of someone online who I think might be a scammer? Make this a condition for you two to talk any further.
If you pursue this conditional stance, and the other person gets mad or says he's hurt, walk away. Not Helpful 14 Helpful I have a friend that uses a dating site and the women he's speaking to lied about their age. Now apparently her father is making threats to him unless he sends money via Western Union.
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The phone number is on the other side of the states and she is threatening to get the law is involved. What should he do? He should report this threat to the site and see what they do. Then, it's best to get him to tell police or another family member on the issue because he is a victim of extortion. Help him to see he is not the one in the wrong. Not Helpful 23 Helpful Can they still be scamming you even if they don't ask for money?
7 Signs You’re Getting Scammed In Online Dating | Thought Catalog
Do they contact you once you call them scammers? Some scammers find ways to get your money without asking for it. Some scammers will disappear if you call them scammers, but some will try to convince you otherwise. Not Helpful 22 Helpful Should I trust a girl who won't give me her phone number or let me see her Facebook account? If she contacted you first that might be a red flag, but if you contacted her first, she might be trying to be cautious. Look for other signs.
Not Helpful 9 Helpful If someone I met online is always spending money on me, and then asking me to send them money in return, could these be signs of a scam? Scammers don't usually spend money on their victims, rather they demand money from their victims and it never stops. However, spending money on you and then turning around and asking for money could be a case of bait and switch to lower your guard, so be careful.
Ask why they need money so badly if they are spending it on you, as it'd just be easier if they kept that money for their own needs! Not Helpful 25 Helpful Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips Unfortunately, encountering online scammers is a very real possibility.
Romance scams are the leading cause of lost money due to scams, and somewhere around 12 percent of people who use online dating have reported running into a scammer. Refraining from answering this question or saying something snarky like "I work" will often dissuade them from pursuing your profile. Searching for a person on job sites like LinkedIn may help you find the person or people on which a scammer is basing their profile.
Certain speech patterns could indicate that they are a scammer. Poor English and nonsense words indicate that they probably aren't in the United States. Warnings Remember the Golden Rule of online interaction: Never give out your dating service account password.
Examples of What Online Dating Scammers Say to Trick You
Even employees of the dating service will not ask for your password. Do not accept packages or payments from potential scammers, as doing so may involve you in money laundering. Article Info This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Your advice tells me it might be a scam.
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FG Fred Gerrior 6 days ago. Stout Jun 6, I am currently playing along with a scammer who is pretending to be a beautiful woman who is very much in love with me. But had to go take care of mum in Africa.