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Online Dating Site Scammers: 5 Signs You May Be Flirting With One

Online Dating Site Scammers 5 Signs You May Be Flirting With One

Scammers are defrauding users of online dating sites, sometimes for several thousand dollars. Don't be another victim. Here are five surefire signs that the person you're flirting with may not be who they claim.

Scammers can pretend to be anyone on an online dating site. They can be a cute divorcee, or a gorgeous student in a college town. Since dating sites are by necessity somewhat anonymous, it can be difficult to prove that someone is not who they claim to be, making it trivial for con artists to appear, defraud legitimate users, and then vanish.

The way online dating scams work is pretty straightforward. Basically, you contact someone who catches your interest. You introduce yourself and, after a few rounds of flirting, there arises a problem. Your new online sweetheart's car needs repairs. A pet needs an expensive operation. Money is desperately needed for rent. Naturally, you'll want to help. By this point, you think you've made a connection with this person and are looking to pursue a relationship with them. So after some initial apprehension, the money is sent. The scam can end here. But depending on how trusting they think you are, the scammer behind the disposable e-mail address will string you along, promising a romantic meeting down the line, until you've given them hundreds more, thousands in some cases. By the time you begin to suspect that they're not who they claim to be, they'll have stopped responding to your e-mails and will have moved on to another user. Worse, even the police won't be able to help you much once you've sent away your cash.

But how can you tell that the attractive stranger you're corresponding with is a scammer? Profiles belonging to scammers are off in subtle ways. The way that they respond to messages is typically suspect as well. Be on the lookout for the following:

1. The Profile is Short on Details

A legitimate profile writer will provide concrete details willingly. Their alma mater. What restaurants they like to visit on the weekends. Why they chose their career. By contrast, a scammer's profile is usually vaguely written and short on facts. It'll usually be little more than a highly attractive photo (undoubtedly taken from Facebook, Google Images, or stolen from a stock photography site) that could apply to just about anyone. This person likes to read, but the title of the book they're reading is nowhere to be found. Or there will be mention of this person's love of museums, but no mention of the most famous museum in the city they allegedly reside in. The scammers keep their dummy profiles generic and low-effort because they know they don't have to be too convincing. Any profile with an attractive photo attached to it will generate a large number of responses quickly. This is all they need to begin defrauding members.

2. Their Pictures are Too Good To Be True

Real people on dating sites by and large use candid shots of themselves. Photos taken by friends during nights out or on vacation. The photos that a scammer uses to add visual appeal to a fake profile aim for a more immediate impact. As such, using staged photos of highly attractive people is a very popular tactic. The lighting often looks professional and the clothing tends to be glamorous and/or revealing or sexual. Again, they're trying to generate responses — positive ones. Someone who likes what they see is less likely to balk when they're inevitably asked for money.

3. They Don't Care About Who They Want To Date

People tend to be picky about who they date. There are age and distance requirements. People can be selective about height, religion, education or any number of things. Dating site scammers obviously don't care about any of this, so they don't dare limit the demographics of potential marks. They will often write that 'distance is no problem', or 'age is only a number'. Be on the lookout for profiles that leave the section about who they want to meet mostly blank. Legitimate users usually take care to fill that out, scammers don't.

4. They're Eager To Take the Conversation Off-Site

Online dating site users prefer to keep initial conversations with strangers on-site. This ensures that their privacy is maintained until they're comfortable with the person that they're getting to know. Because of this, they're willing to take their time before asking for an e-mail address or offering their own. After all, with the prevalence of social networking sites, giving someone your personal e-mail can be the same as giving them a great deal of your personal information. A scammer, however, will usually ask for an e-mail or offer one immediately. They want to continue the conversation you've initiated, but anywhere but on the dating site itself. They know that it's only a matter of time before their profile is shut down and they need a way to keep in contact with their victims before that happens.

5. They Ask For Money

Inevitably, a scammer will ask for money. It will be done in a way that engages your sympathy and makes you feel uncaring if you don't agree to send it. The matter will appear urgent — sudden emergencies are popular with dating site scammers. The idea is to not give you a lot of time to think it through. If someone you've only just met on a dating site begins asking you for money, stop responding immediately and report the scammer's dating site username to site staff at Contact Us.

It's unfortunate that something as fun as online dating requires some amount of suspicion and vigilance, but it's a necessary part of any online service that involves meeting new people.

(To read more about How Scam Happens and help prevent it from happening to you, see ConnectingSingles info and redflags at http://www.connectingsingles.com/scammers.aspx)

Comments (5)

BigGrizzlyBear
Very good article, the best tool we have aganist these Pathological criminals (Romance Scammers)is the education of the dating site members and innocent internet users. By understanding the "Play Book" used by these scammers and the red flage found in their profiles and emails we then can avoide their traps to ensnare us in their scam.
lilmonkey
I have to say that you maybe right on this topic. Sometimes the photos are wat too good to be true. And they mess up on the things they say and take a huge amount of time to respond. So becareful people..
drvmecraze
I have dealt with a few of these scammers. I have even reported them to this site. Yet your Site Admin stated that there was no proof. I state otherwise.

there are additional signs that the person you are dealing with is a scammer.

a.) spelling errors...grave obvious ones.

b.) broken and run on sentences

c.) in ability to operate their scam in the correct time zone and/or day. for example: saying that today is a holiday when it is not

d.) verbatim repetition of previous statements made in an earlier email.

And there are many more.

I suggest the following:
1.) when a person reports a profile as a scammer and provides information, the Admin should forward that information to the alleged scammer and request clarification, stating if a response is not forthcoming that they will receive 1 black mark against their profile and the Admin requires that they provide a response to the allegation. 2 black marks equal deletion from this site. A real person will respond. A scammer will not. Keep this "program" internal and do not post it as a method for site users to utilize. Just require detailed information from the accuser....make a list of information the Admin requires..i.e. a copy of the email and any previous contact info, and a detailed explanation. Then the Admin can contact the alledged scammer, identify themselves and request clarification. Kind of like mediation.

The profile I submitted was from a definite scammer yet your Site Admin failed to see this. Stating no proof when proof was supplied.

the only way your site is going to be cleared of scammers is if your Administration of this site is strict, straightforward, upfront, honest and hard.

Scammers will get the message.
plt1968
I would like to add that many now use software to attach video to webcam.Is to re-assure you that you can see them on cam and confirm that the photo is of them....wrong! You shall hear no volume so is better to ask them do something visible such as hold up 3 fingers left hand. Always they seem to want to share photos..very dangerous as if is attached a virus or keylogger too late once receive. I advise all as a matter of staying safe to review your options in messenger as well as your computer to make sure not set to accept automatically and to set to scan all files with anti-virus/apyware programe and the default setting for windows is to accept remote help, though needs a password it is dangerous so just turn it off, if need help, remote security providers etc will instruct you how.Have a safe time surfing and stay safe!:)
vosztok
Who are these scammers?

How do we know how many there are out there? there may be only one, doing all the work alone, all by him- or herself.

Are these men or women white, black, or yellow? Are they poor, rich, or middle-class? Are they short, tall, fat, or horizontal?

Are they greedy, having fun, or just obeying orders?

Are they men and women who are disgruntled with society? Are they bitter because of how life treated them, and therefore they are bent on getting back on mankind? A sort of going postal the cyber-way?

Why am I hungry? I just ate a half hour ago.

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