Online dating sites and apps are used by millions of individuals all over the world. There are also several success tales of people finding love and companionship over the internet. However, in addition to the achievements, there are also online dating frauds, which are on the rise.
Online dating scams, also known as romance scams or romance fraud, occur when a person believes they have struck a connection or match through an online dating site or app, only to discover that the person they are speaking with is a fraudster with a phony profile. The scammer manipulates or grooms the other person over time in order to gain their trust and, ultimately, beg for money or gather enough personal information about them to steal their identity.
Don’t trust Me? Then, Trust These Undeniable Stats
This form of crime is becoming more prevalent. The Federal Trade Commission in the United States received 11,235 complaints concerning dating and romance scams in 2016. That number had climbed to 52,593 by 2020. In the United States, losses from online dating scams surpassed $300 million in 2020. A similar number in the UK was £68 million. The coronavirus pandemic, which hindered face-to-face interactions and caused people to spend more time online, created ideal conditions for romance scammers to take advantage of.
While anyone can be a victim of a romance scam, older adults are more likely to lose money. Scammers target the elderly because they are more likely to have valuable assets such as retirement savings or homes. Women account for around two-thirds of romance scam victims, with an average age of 50.
Online Dating Safety Tips Indicated by Ezy Chargeback
This overview of how to protect yourself from online dating fraudsters.
- Avoid disclosing too much personal information on a dating profile or to someone with whom you’ve just communicated online. Scammers might use facts like your last name or workplace to influence you or steal your identity.
- Use trustworthy dating sites and stay in touch with them via their message system. Fraudsters will want you to switch to the text, social media, or phone as soon as possible so there is no trace of them requesting you for money on the dating site.
- Take it easy on yourself. Inquire about your potential mate and be on the lookout for irregularities that could indicate an impostor.
- Be mindful of texts that are overly flattering. Paste the content into a search engine and observe if the identical words appear on romance scam-exposing websites.
- Because you made the first contact, don’t get a false sense of security. Scammers create bogus accounts on dating apps and websites and wait for victims to contact them.
- Sending revealing images to online strangers that could be used for extortion is not a good idea.
- If you feel the person is a scam artist, stop communicating with them right away. Notify the dating site or app where the scammer was found.
- Avoid clicking on links or downloads in user profiles or communications addressed to you that don’t appear to be related to the current chat.
- If you decide to meet a potential mate in person, inform your family and friends and meet in a public place. It’s not a good idea to fly to another country to meet someone you’ve never met before.
- Never send money or gift cards to someone you’ve simply met online, and never give out your bank account information.
Hopefully, you’ll be safe from these online dating con artists. There’s no need to fear if you fall victim to one of these scams in the worst-case scenario. Experts at companies like EzChargeBack specialize in retrieving your money in a timely and efficient manner. Don’t be concerned, and have fun with your dating life!