In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) 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 million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.
This isn’t a dead giveaway, but it’s something to watch out for.If someone was expressing over-the-top love and passion within a couple weeks, you’d be worried.Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.They have a lot of victims to get through, so they’re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible.If someone sends you a message and says they’d like to get to know you, save a copy of their picture and use Google’s reverse image search to see if anyone has posted about that photo being used for a scam.