People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 ($455,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over $50 million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
While the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs.
Even if they say they live near you, they’ll say they’re out of town and won’t be able to meet. However, repeated excuses at the last minute are a definite warning sign.
Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.If their profile says they’ve lived in Ohio their entire lives, but they’re using non-standard English, or have notably poor grammar, that could be a warning sign (think of the kinds of errors you’d see in a Nigerian scam email or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say. Obviously, there are plenty of non-native speakers out there who are sincerely looking for a relationship, and they could very well be from heritage speaking communities in the United State or Britain.This isn’t a dead giveaway, but it’s something to watch out for.Online dating websites aren’t the most secure Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison (targeted primarily at cheating spouses) has been hacked.However this is a far more serious issue than has been portrayed in the press, with considerable implications for user safety., so sharing any sensitive information might be a bad idea anyway. That’s almost a sure sign that you’re talking to a scammer.They’ll hit you with the full force of their charm; they’ll say sweet things, compliment you a lot, and talk about how perfect you are for each other within the first couple weeks.