Broadly speaking, there are two types of scams that prevail on romance sites, which serve two distinct purposes. The first is perpetrated by attention-seekers that open and operate fraudulent accounts for selfish reasons. For example, these can be men who pretend to be women and vice versa. The second type of scams targets material gain.
Scammers on online affair sites will invest time and effort to create dependency. To appear legitimate, they might even send a small amount of money to them. With time, they will start asking you for money as well. In this article, we look at some typical situations to help you avoid romance scams on online affair sites.
Scammers on romance sites harness the power of emotions to gain and exploit their victims’ trust. In the best-case scenario, this will leave the victim feeling awkward. In the worst case, it will lead to financial distress. Online affair platform users should always watch out for romance scams. A typical one involves you receiving a check from someone who’ll ask you for some of the money back, and then their check will bounce when it becomes deposited. To top it all off, they disappear afterward.
Online affair site scammers often create fake profiles. They might use other people’s pictures to present themselves as successful and gifted professionals. Phony profiles sometimes seem vague or have inconsistencies or discrepancies, such as a disbalance between their weight and height. Scammers frequently say they are members of the military serving abroad to explain why they can’t meet you in person.
How Does It All Start?
Online romance and affair scams usually start just like any online relationship – two people talk about what they do, where they live, and what they like doing in their free time. Frequently, the scammer will ask their target to move the relationship to another, more “discreet” platform, away from the safety of the romance site. This includes instant messaging or email. In addition, they will draw attention to similarities they share with their target, profusely express strong sentiment, or claim they were “destined” to meet.
The Main Types of Online Scams
Usually, the ultimate goal is financial gain. Once the target has developed an attachment, the con artist will try to scam them into sending money. This can happen directly or indirectly.
In the first case, they might ask for a large amount of money, claiming they were robbed, that a loved one suddenly became gravely ill, or that they will spend this money on a plane ticket to come to visit the victim and can’t get their travel documents now. To lend the story credibility, the scammer might even get someone to call the victim, pretending to be a doctor or lawyer.
In the second case, the con artist will be less direct. They will hint at financial distress, saying they’re unable to visit the victim or express general concern about finances. They do this so that the victim will offer to help.
Therefore, you should never send money to someone you’ve never met in real life, particularly via a prepaid card or MoneyGram, Western Union, or another wire transfer service. You will not be able to recover any money you’ve sent abroad. You may not be able to recover a domestic transfer, either.
Other scams involve free giveaways and fake news. These can be used to deliver malware. The purpose of these offers, news, or stories is to attract attention, as with email scams in the past. The goal is to get you to click on a link in a direct message or otherwise.
You should avoid taking part in any survey, even if the organizer promises a chance to win a big prize and/or it seems legitimate. Many surveys are created by con artists to get information about users for spear phishing, account hijacking, or identity theft.
To protect yourself from scams on online romance sites, there are some key measures you can take. You should never assume your details are hidden and your account is secure. If you leave a photo or check-in open, you risk falling victim to a scam since these are sources of valuable information. Therefore, you should only use the functions you require and ask support for help when in doubt.