How to spot an online dating scammer

If you right click on their picture on Chrome it should come up with the option to search Google for this image, or copy the photo and paste it into Google Images to see whether the picture is being used elsewhere online.

If they give you a number with a foreign area code or have an unusual accent for where they’ve told you they’re from, it’s likely you’re being catfished.

One of the scenarios that romance scammers often use is that they’re stuck abroad on a business trip and don’t have access to their bank accounts.

Scam victims frequently report being asked to send money internationally to pay for an alleged visa, only never to hear from them again.

Q: Is there an easy way to spot scammers from ‘normal’ daters? If scammers have made it onto a dating site, its because the profile looks normal. If they want you to get off the dating site asap – and communicate by email, say – that’s a sign. Older women, because its tough to find a hot older gentleman. Bear in mind that its the scammers job to get users off the site asap.

All dating sites have to suppress and deal with fraud. Q: If you are creating your own profile, is there anything that might make you a target? They’re looking for some sign of gullibility among people who are likely to have some savings. People who are generous, vulnerable, of-faith and fighting poor odds of finding a partner are ideal. In general I recommend people chat for a short while, and then jump onto a video date anyway. I don’t think anyone should put more than half an hour of time into communication without doing a video or real life date. They want to get into direct email or Skype or phone contact asap.

Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage.

Victims have transferred thousands of pounds to scammers they met on dating sites, and it isn’t always easy to get that money back.

Millions are lost to these scammers each year – and worse still, the crime may be underestimated, as victims are often too distraught to reveal the extent of their losses.

Spotting scammers is getting harder – but there are still ways to ensure you stay safe, Brooks says.

So if your profile hints at any of those, you’re more of a target. Q: I’m already in a relationship online – can I be sure it’s for real? Some of these fake relationships can last for years. Q: My lover sends me gifts – surely that means he’s for real? They’ll send gifts, and make users feel beautiful and cared for, and then it them with a test. That way dating sites detection systems have less chance of picking up on unusual lines of communication.

They’ll pan for gold among tens of thousands to find a few pieces of gold. If they’re a different person than on their profile photo, bail! If the person has a Facebook profile with 10 friends, well that’s a dead giveaway as well. For example, we know people don’t use the word ‘wire’ in regular dating communications. Report to the local police and ask to be referred to their cyber crimes unit. The problem is, most of these scams are cross-border and it becomes tough to coordinate jurisdiction.

Where catfishing can become illegal is if the scammer uses the fake profile to trick you into sending them money. If the person you’re talking to online is reluctant to talk on the phone or meet up in real life, it’s possible that they’re not who they’re pretending to be.

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