If you use the internet to find relationships, you should
be educated in internet dating scams.
Online dating is increasing in popularity as a way to meet
people. Sometimes the online friendships blossom into genuine long term
Sadly however, there is a dark side to online dating. If
you place a personal advertisement on the internet you are a potential
victim for professional con artists and internet predators who entice
unsuspecting hearts into a web of deception.
Scammers have learnt to effectively exploit people's
loneliness and shyness and dupe them into sending money while posing as
girlfriends or boyfriends.
A lot of the internet personals, online introduction
agencies and matchmaking sites allow anyone to join for free, and they don't
usually screen their members. This means that you never know who is behind
that pretty or handsome photo - a genuine good-looking person, or a con
artist who downloaded a photo of a model from the internet.
the Internet Dating Scams Work?
A person registers on an online dating site and
creates a profile and often includes a photo
A scammer contacts the person and expresses an
interest in exploring a relationship
The victim and scammer correspond and usually the
scammer encourages the victim to move off the dating site contact system
and continue communicating via email so that the dating site can't
monitor the scammer
The scammer builds up trust with the victim and photos
are exchanged. The scammer has stolen photos from other internet sites
so the photos the victims sees are not that of the scammer
Once the relationship has been progressing a few weeks
[usually 2-6 weeks] the scammer will 'fall in love' with the victim and
the communication will become very passionate and seductive
Then the scammer will ask for money for a variety of
-- Passport, visa, air tickets and travel insurance -- Emergency medical expenses for her or her family
due to illness or accidents -- Internet cafe expenses, cell phone
If the victim sends money, the scammer knows they have
a 'live one' and will continue to invent reasons for more money until
the victim has no more money, or realizes what is going on and stops
The scammer drops the email address used with the
victim and continues with their other victims they are stringing along
at the same time
A variation to the internet dating scams is when the
scammer sets up a profile and waits for the victims to contact them.
They usually use a photo of a very attractive young woman as its
guaranteed to get hundreds of replies from men!
The scammers also stalk chat rooms and begin a
What to do for Internet
Once the scammer has asked for money, stop further
communications with them
Report them to the dating site
No matter how trustworthy they may seem, DO NOT SEND
If you have sent them money, your chances of getting
it back are really zero, but you should report it to the Police, Western
Union [if it was used] or Moneygram [if it was used]
If you are from the
US, you can also visit the Internet Fraud Complaint Center hosted by the
http://www.ic3.gov in order to file a complaint.
Enjoy the relationship, but
DON'T SEND THEM MONEY OR CREDIT CARD OR BANK DETAILS!!!
and then all you will lose is your heart!
If you are a US
citizen, the Fraud Prevention Unit can verify the authenticity of any
U.S. visa via e-mail at FPMM@state.gov.
In addition, complete and authoritative information on applying for a
U.S. visa is available on the Department of State’s webpage on
Visa Information for Temporary Visitors.
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