You hear about it in the news, on social media, and elsewhere - someone has been scammed through an online dating site. You think “That could never happen to me.” But online dating scams have become so sophisticated; anyone can be easily duped these days. Use these resources to prevent an online dating scam before it happens to you:
An online love interest who asks you for money is most certainly a scam artist. They start by proclaiming their love, in hopes of gaining interest and trust as quickly as they can. Often, they want to interact with you over personal accounts rather than the online dating site, to get more personal information about you. Review signs of a scam artist so you are on the look out for blatant signs of a scammer.
- In many instances, scammers will say they are American, but are working or traveling abroad. They may then say that a traumatic incident has happened in their life and they need some money to get home, or to visit you. While the State Department strongly discourages sending money to someone you don’t personally know, you can use a State Department Overseas Citizen Services (OCS) Trust, which is sent through Western Union directly to the nearest U.S. embassy to be picked up by your loved one.
- The FBI also warns of another scam in which a con artist turns a conversation intimate, and then threatens to post the conversation and intimate information online, saying you can only get out of it if you pay them, even with no assurance that they will actually do what they say. Get more tips from the FBI on recognizing online dating scam artists.