What can a fraudster ask for besides money?
The 7 most common online dating scams and how to spot them
For many people, online dating is a gift. But where things are booming, rip-offs are often not far away. So that you don't fall victim to a deceiver in your search for love, we have presented the most common scams. We also show you how to recognize them.
For some love seekers, online dating is more of a ruinous experience. Because when it comes to online dating scams, some people not only lose their hearts, but often a lot of money as well.
In addition to those who have been looking for the right lid for some time, it is especially recently abandoned people who are susceptible to scams from dating scammers.
This is what the business model and strategy look like
According to the study by the Better Business Bureau - BBB for short - fraudsters aim to steal money from their victims through built-up trust - and this is achieved through online dating portals. The perpetrators contact their chosen victims quite harmlessly and impress with their attractive profile.
However, the perpetrators do not need to be in a hurry. It often takes months before they manipulate their victims, who in the end forfeit them and hand over a not inconsiderable amount. In its study, the BBB lists victims from the United States and Canada who have lost nearly $ 1 billion in the past three years.
The four stages of online dating cheating
1. Contact victim
The scammers rely on various dating websites or social media channels. They also use stolen credit cards to register and publish their fake profiles.
Once the victim is found, they try to get them to switch to another form of communication via email or SMS. In this way they avoid the risk of being identified as a fraud by the operators of an online dating portal.
2. Obtain trust
In this phase, the deceiver learns something about the victim's life and builds a trusting relationship with him. As mentioned earlier, this can take months. Whether daily messages or small gifts: According to the study, a whole repertoire of small gifts is used by the fraudsters.
At this point, the fraudsters demand small favors in return and thus test how trusting the relationship actually is. The fraudster also learns how willing the person contacted is to support the fraudster in an emergency.
3. Asking for money
At some point, the scammer asks his victim for an amount of money - usually for an emergency, a professional problem, or for a plane or train ticket to finally meet.
If payment is made, the perpetrator demands an additional amount, which, according to the study, often leads to the victim being unknowingly involved in money laundering or drug trafficking.
4. The scam continues
After successful payment, the scam will continue with a new scam. Then the perpetrator pretends to want to repay the money stolen by fraud. An alleged law enforcement officer then comes forward and announces that the fraudster has been caught and the victim will get their money back - provided they pay a fee.
These 7 signs can help you identify scams in online dating
1. Too perfect, too beautiful
Scammers usually offer extremely handsome profiles with good-looking photos and even better stories about their own financial success. Be honest with yourself about this: is a jet set millionaire really interested in you? If everything looks too perfect, the alarm bells should sound now.
2. Please get in touch - quickly!
There is no reason to slow down now. So if a contact wants to quickly induce you to use another means of communication, at least caution is required.
3. Our future will be great. Really. Will you marry me?
After a short time the sky is full of roses. As is well known, everything can go very quickly. But expressions of love after a few weeks are rather the exception - or at least should be in online dating. Often times, the scammers say they have never felt so safe. Ah!
4. I trust you - now and forever
The perpetrators like to talk about one important word: trust. And often this is where the fraud and the scam to steal money begins.
5th meeting? Um, doesn't fit right now ...
In addition to the oaths of love, the deceivers shine through their absence. Because the fraudsters avoid getting to know each other personally with the excuse that they are currently traveling, live abroad or are employed in the military.
6. Unfortunately, I can't speak German very well ...
An indication of fraud: a suspicious style of language with a rather inadequate spelling and grammar. The flowery language, which often sounds almost penetrating, is then often supplemented with sentences that make absolutely no sense. So do the rose-colored glasses press on the brain? Hardly likely.
7. I've had so much bad luck in my life!
Anything can happen. But if the grandma suddenly fell ill, the car was stolen and the job was lost, these are a few tragic situations too many at once. And if the person asks for money, it should be quick - run away.
Actually, a piece of wisdom that belongs to the basics of online dating: Protect yourself from fraud by never giving money to someone you don't know. Do not share personal information that fraudsters can use to commit identity theft.
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Another no-go: passing on credit card information. Cut off contact immediately and report it to the police.
If you are unsure, you should check the credibility of your contact by asking a few specific questions. Often times, the scammers then stumble upon their own story.
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