Signs you're connecting with a fraudster
In 2015 the FBI received 12,509 complaints about online dating fraud resulting in losses of more than $200 million.
Online dating sites are now some of the premiere sites for cybercrime. New sites are coming online every day and every one of them is simple for fraudsters to join.
The signs of a dating fraudster are easy to spot:
- They look like a model. Run a check on their profile photo and you’ll find it’s someone else.
- They claim to be an American, living or working overseas, or a member of the military. They’re overseas, but they’re probably not an American.
- They don’t contact you right away, but then they deluge you with notes and messages. They spend more time planting fake profiles than monitoring them…until they get a bite.
- They want you to immediately connect off the dating site via email, or instant messaging. That ensures your communications aren’t monitored.
- They pull down their profile as soon as you start connecting off the site. That lets them put up a new profile to snare someone else.
- They won’t chat via webcam or claim there’s always something wrong with their webcam. That’s because they’re not who they say they are.
- They never are able to meet in person…something always comes up. A face to face meeting is the lure they will keep using to keep you hooked.
- Their grammar and sentence structure is odd. That’s because English may not be their first language.
- There are inconsistencies in their messages. That’s because there may be a group of fraudsters working the scam. One doesn’t know exactly what the other has said.
- They profess strong feelings very quickly. Their goal is to get you feeling loved as soon as possible.
- They send you flowers, candy, or notes. Generally they use stolen credit cards to send romantic gifts of little cost to mitigate any concerns you might have.
Don’t get emotionally invested in an online-only relationship. The more invested you become the more likely you’ll overlook the signs of fraud.