Common online dating scams


Catfishing and financial fraud aren't the only things you should worry about when dating online.

While pretending they are someone they’re not and trying to get people to wire them money are the two most common online dating scams. They’re not the only ones. Here are the other scams you should look out for:

Phishing: You receive an email from a dating site you use urging you to click on a hyperlink. When you get to the site you’re asked to type in your login credentials or other personal data. You’ve just handed your personal data to a hacker.

Shill Profiles: Individuals are paid by the dating site to put up profiles intended to lure people in. If you reach out to the individual to connect they will be encouraging yet will never want to meet. Soon they will stop responding. They’re paid by the dating site for each person they get to respond.

Affiliate Sex Scam: You respond to someone who encourages you to go to a site where the two of you can engage in webcam sex. You’re sent to a site that forces you to sign in with a credit card and then bombards you with hidden membership fees and subscriptions. Your potential partner gets paid for each person they lure into the scam.

Background Check Scam: Once you sign up for a dating site you receive solicitations from companies offering background check services. These tend to be poor quality Google checks at most. Background checks are vital, but make sure you hire a licensed, experienced professional.

Webcam Blackmail: The other person convinces you to share explicit photos or videos online. The next day you get an email or text message from the person’s “father” who tells you he’ll call the police unless you send them money.

Tinder Scam: You’re asked to download their “favorite” song, or to go to a survey site, or to try a product or service. The other person gets a fee for your going to a site and you’re likely to get malware on your computer.

Verification Scam: You get a response from an attractive person who asks that you go to a “verification” site if you want to continue communicating with them. The site steals your personal data once you enter it.

Free Meal Scam: You meet someone online. They’re local. They’re real. They want to meet at an expensive restaurant. You have a lovely evening. They cut off contact. They’ve gotten a free meal out of you and perhaps a commission from the restaurant.