Warning online dating
It all starts when a bad actor dupes a victim into a trusting relationship, then exploits that to get money, goods, or sensitive financial information.
The bad guys often use online dating sites to pose as US citizens abroad or US military members deployed overseas or American business owners who have sizeable investments, the FBI said. While in 2017 more than 15,000 people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) saying they were victims of confidence/romance fraud with reported losses of 1 million, in 2018, the number of victims jumped to more than 18,000, with more than 2 million in losses, an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year, according to the FBI.
In fact, this is a great sign that the person on the other end of the conversation is truly interested and invested in learning more about who you are.
Where the danger lies, however, is not their interest in you as a person, but rather that they don't offer any detailed, personal information about themselves in return, or doesn't really answer your emails in a personal manner but rather changes the topic with each contact.
He claimed, in some cases, to be an officer in the US armed forces, to be widowed with one child and “to be a practicing Christian with a strong Faith,” the BBB said.
The man “spent weeks or months developing relationships with his victims, often sending gifts such as flowers or chocolates and then asked for small sums of money for supposed minor emergencies to test his influence on them,” the BBB said.
Or perhaps you've briefly thought to yourself that the person on the other end of the communication really needs to employ a spell-checker.
Neither of these email discrepancies is cause for alarm; a lot of people aren't very good at spelling and grammar, and they may be writing English as a second language.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.
Most singles who have tried meeting people from online dating sites have come across this telltale internet dating scam sign: being asked to either cash someone's check or money order for them, or being asked outright for money.
The story varies somewhat with each internet dating scam, but the intention remains the same: robbing you of your hard-earned cash.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.
So how do you avoid falling prey to an internet dating scam in the first place?