Online Frauds Part 4 : Dating Scams
Searching for partners to romance typically through dating websites, apps or even social media can lure you into scammers trap pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to induce you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
How this scam works
Online dating websites, social media and email are usually the biggest medium of online Dating scams. They have even been known to give phonecall to their victims as a first introduction. These dating scams are referred to as ‘catfishing’.
Scammers generally create fake online profiles designed to lure you in. they may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted individuals like military personnel, aid employees or professionals working abroad.
In a relatively short period of time scammer will express sturdy emotions for you so that you develop feeling of love for them and will also suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more personal channel, like phone, email or instant messaging. They usually claim to be working or residing in Australia or other countries overseas.
Scammers will go on being nice and caring for long period of time to achieve your interest and trust, like showering you with lovesome words, sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts.
Once scammers on Dating scam website have empowered your trust and your defenses are down, they’ll either subtly or directly ask you for money, gifts or your banking/payment card details. They will also ask you to send photos or videos of yourself, probably of an intimate nature.
Read More :- Bank Fraud During Transactions
• You meet somebody online and after just a couple of contacts they profess sturdy feelings for you, and ask to talk with you in private. If you met on a dating website they’ll try to move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email.
• Their profile on the internet dating website or their Facebook page isn’t according to what they tell you. For instance, their profile image looks completely different to their description of themselves, or they say they’re university educated however their English is poor.
• Their messages are often poorly written, obscure and intensify quickly from introduction to love.
• If you don’t send money instantly, their messages and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send money, they still ask you to send more.
Protect yourself from Dating scams
• Never send money to somebody you haven’t met personally.
• Always think about the chance that the approach could also be a scam, significantly if the warning signs listed above appear. Try to take away the emotion from your decision making despite how caring or persistent the ‘prospective partner’ is.
• Do image search of your admirer to help verify if they really are who they say they are. You can use image search services like TinEye.
• Be attentive to things like spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistencies in their stories and others signs that it’s a scam like their camera never working if you wish to Skype each other.
• Anything personal like photos or videos should not be shared with prospective partners you’ve never met before. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material.
• If you agree to meet a prospective partner personally, tell family and friends wherever you’re going. Indian Cyber Army strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet somebody you have never met before.
• Avoid any sought of financial transaction like up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin until and unless you know the person in flesh and trust that the money is going to the genuine person not any scammer behind the face of him/ her.
• Do not agree to transfer money for somebody else: money laundering is a criminal offence.
• Be very careful about how much personal data you share on social network sites. Scammers can use your data and photos to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.
Read More :- Social Media Frauds
Have you been scammed?
If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media website wherever the scammer 1st approached you. Allow them to know the scammer’s profile name and the other details that may facilitate them to prevent others being scammed.
If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial organization instantly.
We encourage you to report us regarding any such online dating scam in your surroundings to our Cyber Crime Helpline so that we can help and also spread awareness to individuals about current online dating scams prevailing, monitor trends and disrupt them wherever possible. Please embrace complete details of the scammer available to you for instance, email or screenshot to prevent yourself from further repercussions.
We additionally provide alerts and advisory on ways to protect you and the citizens of India from scams.
Spread the word to your friends and family to safeguard them.