The vast majority of Romance scams start out innocently. Scammers may create phoney profiles that appear as appealing as possible, then wait for victims to contact them and initiate contact.
They may also make direct contact with victims, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection. The possibilities are endless once a scammer has you hooked, but here are a few of the most common:
Types Of Romance Scams
1. Malware Scams
On dating websites, malware is a common online threat. A Tinder match, for example, may exchange several messages with you before offering you more information on their personal website or even fake Facebook or Instagram profiles.
These are not legitimate pages. Instead, the victim is taken to a website containing malware and spam that scammers can use to steal personal information.
This eventually results in identity theft, financial fraud, or both. Anyone on an online dating site who is eager to refer you to another should be considered a potential red flag.
2. Verification Code Scams
This is a popular online dating app scam. It takes the form of an email or text message asking you to confirm your dating app account. The message may state that your app’s records are being updated and that you must confirm your account.
Other variations of the scam involve an online Tinder match requesting verification before engaging in further communication. The scammer encourages victims to verify their account by clicking on a third-party link in these Online Romance Scams on dating apps.
After clicking through, the victim is prompted to enter personal information such as their name, address, phone number, email address, birth date, and bank account or credit card information.
3. Inheritances Romance Scams
When a romance scammer claims they must marry in order to inherit millions of dollars in gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather, this is a red flag. Marriage is said to be a requirement of the will of the male relative.
A young woman contacts the victim and informs him that she is unable to remove the gold from her country due to her inability to pay duty or marriage taxes. Once the scammer has established a rapport with their victim, they will request money to transport the gold to the victim’s country.
The scammer offers to fly to the victim’s country to demonstrate their legitimacy, and the victim agrees to pay for the flight. Needless to say, the con artist does not appear.
4. Fake Dating Sites
Scam dating sites are services that claim to provide genuine meetings but are either severely underpopulated or infested with scammers. Online romance scams are common when dating sites ask you to create a profile in order to mine your information.
Watch out for sign-up questionnaires that are light on dating details but heavy on financial questions, or that ask for information like your mother’s nickname or your first school (i.e. answers to common security questions).
Some free online dating sites may appear legitimate at first, but after a while, you will learn about the world of online romance scams.
In exchange for completing a survey with questions similar to those used in banking, you may be offered a free premium membership or some other exclusive benefit.
Regardless of the incentives offered, you should never reveal any information that could be used to gain access to private or financial information.
Keep an eye out for an increase in interest soon after creating your profile. If our profile is devoid of information but you continue to receive messages from potential suitors, you’ve most likely been the victim of an online dating scam.
5. Photograph Scams
In exchange for intimate photos of the scammer, the victim is asked to send their contact information in such online romance scams.
The scammer is looking for personal information, or it could be a fraudulent bot operation that uses emotion and excitement to gain access to the victim’s data.
Financial or data theft scams can be based on online romance scams. Or to blackmail the victims in order to extort money from them.
A Few Stories Used in Online Romance Scams
- The scammer claims that they need money from the victim to pay for flights (or, in some cases, a passport) to the victim’s country.
- In order to continue communicating with the victim, the scammer asks the victim to pay their phone bills or purchase a new laptop.
- Funds to pay for medical treatment of the scammer or a close relative.
- The scammer claims to have valuables seized by Customs and that they must pay taxes before they can recover their belongings and join the victim in their country.
- The scammer claims that their boss has paid them in postal money orders and asks the victim to cash the forged money orders and wire the funds to the scammer.
- Before they can visit the victim, the scammer needs money to finish their education.
Casual users are frequently the target of online romance scams. Understanding common catfishing and online romance scams can help users avoid romance fraud. Such scams should always be reported to the appropriate online dating site or app.
Send the username of the romance scammer along with any other pertinent information. Conversations or any transaction are included. This may enable website administrators to take action to protect others from being targeted.
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