Arelationship scam starts simply. Two people meet online, usually through adating site. They email, trade pictures, talk on the phone, and soon they’remaking plans to meet… and maybe even to get married. But as the relationshipget stronger, things start to change.
Datingsites offer convenience and anonymity, which is just what scammers need. Youmay feel you get to know someone through photos, email or chatting, but it’seasy for the person at the other end of the keyboard to conceal the truth. Manypeople find true love via online dating sites, but there are red flags to watchfor that may indicate you’re dealing with a scammer.
BetterBusiness Bureau is warning singles to know the warning signs of “catfishing,”or romance scams. Be wary of anyone who:
Asks to talk or chat on an outsideemail or messaging service.Oftentimes, this allows fraudsters to carry out scams without the dating sitehaving a record of the encounter. Remember that scammers play on emotion… andromance is certainly a strong emotion. Anytime people are vulnerable, fraudstersfind opportunity.
Claims to be from this country butis currently traveling, living or working abroad. Scammers come up with all kinds ofexcuses why they can’t meet in person just yet. Be cautious of online daterswho claim to be called away suddenly, or to be in the military and stationedoverseas.
Asks you for money or credit cardinformation. Insome cases the scammer will claim an emergency like a sick relative or stolenwallet, and will ask you to wire money. The first wire transfer is small butthe requests keep coming and growing. Or he may ask for airfare to come for avisit. The payback promises are empty; the money’s gone, and so is he.
Sends you emails containingquestionable links to third-party websites. Third-party links can contain malware that’s designedto steal personal information off your computer. Scammers may use third partylinks that look credible, but in reality, they only link to viruses that canlead to identity theft.
To find out more about scams and to read up on the latest,check out BBB Scam Source.