Will You Be Mine?

lady on a laptop graphic

Valentine’s Day is a time for romance. Many will celebrate with exquisite dinners and gifts. Others prefer a simpler way to express their love with cards, flowers or candy. For those still seeking a ‘plus 1’, there is always the option of online dating.

Online dating apps allow people to connect without the awkwardness of face to face interactions. While allowing users to easily share their personal profiles, it also gives scammers an opportunity for exploitations. Bad actors may prey upon the lonely hearts and reek emotional and financial loss. It’s important for those seeking a love connection to be cautious and aware of these potential fraudsters. Here are a few scams to be aware of to help protect yourself from possible deception.

Photo Scams: Some photos may not be the actual person that you correspond with. To fact check you can go through their photo gallery. Check other social media sites. If you end up talking with that person, see if they will switch to video chat or send a selfie. You can also try a reverse image search online to verify.
Catfishing: This is when someone takes personal information and images from other people to create a new identity. This deceptive practice is meant to entice the target to engage with them. Catfishing can be malicious in intent to harass or embarrass the victim or may be used by the attacker due to insecurity, secrecy or mental illness.
Sugar Daddy: A scammer will pose as a wealthy person that is seeking younger companionship in exchange for money. Once trusted, the shyster will then request personal information or a fee before setting up a payment plan.
Inheritance: Crooks will make the target believe they need to marry them in order to claim part of the inheritance. Then they will request funds for travel in order to meet this priority. Or they may claim that the only way to get the inheritance is to pay a large fee.
Blackmail: Sextortion may be used if the fraudster requests intimate photos. Then they will make threats to post these photos online if a ransom is not paid.
Asking for money: Any time a perspective beau asks for money or gift cards, you can be pretty sure it’s a scam. There will be some sort of hard-luck story to persuade the victim. Many times there will be pitches for cryptocurrency investments.

Keep in mind some key points to spot a fake profile:

  • Lack of photos
  • Incomplete profile
  • Lack of friends or followers
  • Generic messages, bad grammar or spelling errors
  • Asking for personal information
  • Asking for money or other financial awards
  • They refuse to talk on the phone
  • They claim to be in another country
  • They seem too good to be true

Romance Scammers’ Favorite Lies Exposed