The online dating world can come with a lot of risks. Missed connections, impending heartbreaks, and more importantly online dating scams. Avoiding the latter of this has become almost as impossible as finding your perfect match. Every day there are hundreds of people who will fall victim to these scams, and yet the levels of awareness over what’s going on are exponentially low. This makes it harder for people to know exactly what type of things they should be looking out for and more importantly avoid.
These five online dating scams are the most common.
- Photo scams: In photo scams, a third party offers to trade intimate photos of themselves in exchange for your personal information and card details.
- Inheritance scams: The scammer convinces the person they are chatting with that they must get married so that they can inherit money.
- Malware scams: Scammers sent messages and attachments that install malware on the person’s computer. This allows them to collect personal information.
- Blackmail scams: The scammer convinces the victim that they have compromising information they will release unless they get paid.
- Fake Dating Sites: Dating sites run by scammers who want to make money off of those looking for love.
Now, you might be thinking that most people would not be gullible enough to fall for any of these, but the reality is that in 2021 alone, there were $547 million stolen from victims of online dating scams. According to the FTC, this essentially elevates romance scams as the scam and fraud category that leads to the most monetary losses. Even more worryingly, between 2020 and 2021 romance scams increased by around 80%. This ever-growing expansion of this industry truly shows how unaware most people are of scams’ existence.
Another key factor to remember is that romance scams do not affect everyone equally. Those over the age of 70 have a median loss of $9,000 while those between the ages of 18 and 29 are only losing around $750. This clear connection between technological literacy and fraud cases clearly shows that elderly people are more likely to succumb to online dating scams. So, what can you do to avoid being the next victim of online dating scams?
- Know when to move away from a conversation – if someone is trying to gain access to your information or gifts and payments, simply stop communicating with them.
- Do not fall for relationships that are moving too fast, this is a common trick used to make you think you are more connected to the scammer than you actually are.
- Try to video call, being able to see the person and talk directly can help eliminate the chances of catfishing.
- Do not send any compromising photos or information.
- Never give money online to someone you haven’t met in real life.
- Report scammers when you encounter them.
These easy tips could not only leave you safer but also help you create a safer world for finding romance online. Use our service to perform a background search on any person you met online.
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