2 Dec
Posted in: Resources
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How To Spot An Online Romantic Scammer

Online dating is a great way to meet “the one.” Unfortunately, it’s also a popular source of scams these days. Most people on dating websites are simply looking for love, but be cautious of anyone who:

Always has different excuses for not meeting face-to-face. Someone really interested in a relationship will want to see you in person.

The “relationship” may become romantic extremely quickly, professing they are deeply in love before you’ve even met! You might even receive bouquets of flowers expressing his love.

The pictures sent in the mail or posts online make him/her look like a supermodel. Or he might have a fake Facebook profile, and will use names and photos of real people or military personnel. Even using the true name and rank of the soldier pictured. Often the real soldiers have no idea their identities are being used inappropriately. Military investigators say the victims are often women, 30 to 55 years old, who are wooed online through social media or dating websites.

Disaster strikes; you start getting text messages about the emergency that sent him overseas. They will ask you for money to be sent immediately or your credit card information including your pin number. In some cases the scammer will claim a family emergency or stolen wallet and will ask you to wire money. The first amount may be small but the requests keep coming and growing.

Claims that he or she is a U.S. citizen and is working overseas and that he is wealthy, or a person of important status.

Bad grammar, strange word choices are other signs of a foreign scammer, experts say.

The person quickly asks for an e-mail address or instant messaging username to avoid communication via online dating sites’ messaging services.

There are cases where the scammer sends the victim money orders or bank checks in the US, asks the victim to cash them and then send the money back to the scammer. The money orders and checks are fake, of course, and when the US bank discovers it, the victim is responsible for repaying the bank.

Report It!

We strongly recommend, however, that if you think you’ve been victimized by a dating scam or any other online scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam).

So, what do you think?