These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.Vendors also list guides on how to commit other illegal activities.If you find yourself frustrated by the dating scene, you may be thinking about searching for love online.The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.If you've used a dating site or app like Ok Cupid or Tinder, you'll have noticed the hundreds of fake profiles that exist on the sites, seemingly designed to make you hand over your profile to scammers.Dating online is convenient, however it’s important to exercise a bit more caution since the online dating world is often an attractive place for scammers to conduct financial fraud.Due to the somewhat anonymous nature of dating online (depending on how much information you display in your profile), it can be easy to fall victim to a dating scam.
Business Insider obtained a PDF guide that is sold online for just £2.59.
According to the Consumer Reports 2016 Online Dating Survey of more than 114,000 subscribers, among the respondents who were considering online dating but were hesitant, 46 percent said they were concerned about being scammed. “Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says Unit Chief David Farquhar from the Financial Crimes Section of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) who specializes in cyber-related crimes.
“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Dating sites are, thankfully, getting better at spotting who is using their service to send thousands of spam messages.
It's pretty easy to tell: They send the same message over and over, often with the same link.