Online Romance Scams

Have you ever been a victim of online romance scams? Have you been contacted on Facebook, Google+ or other social media sites by men or women trying to befriend you and then moving into the romance arena too quickly? Dating or Social media sites such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and many more have become ripe pickings for those who want to commit romance fraud.

I know about this personally because I had to change my privacy settings for social media sites when I started my three blogs. This was an open invitation to anyone wanting to scam me out of money or maybe to get satisfaction from scamming some poor, lonely woman looking for friendship. I learned very quickly not to be so naïve about people and their intentions. I wanted to believe that everyone was honest and genuine. I was disappointed to find out that there are many imposters out there just trying to get one over on you.

 

6 Red Flags

  1. Asking to leave the site-The “friend” may request to leave the social media or dating site and want to chat/message privately through messenger, by email or phone.

  2. Geography-There many times will be a great geographic distance between your “friend” and you, making it difficult to visit face to face except on Skype or another site. You can’t see each other in person. If they do agree to meet you in person, they will come up with an excuse or emergency at the last-minute and cancel.

  3. Difference in age-There will many times be a significant difference in age like a May to December romance. Most times they are younger than you since the frauds usually see out older, lonely women. The scammer looks for vulnerable women and men in their 50s and 60s who are widowed or divorced and feeling past their prime. They also look for people who are overweight or someone recuperating from illness.

  4. Language differences-You will see typos, bad grammar, differences in expressions when on IM or a foreign accent when chatting on Skype or the phone. This especially paired with your “friend’s” or having trouble communicating and a history of a college education makes you suspicious.

  5. Wealth-Your “friend” may appear wealthy as shown from pictures of housing or through discussion of wealth, education, career. Most photos that the scammer shares are fake. They may also ask leading questions about your financial wealth.

  6. Crisis or disaster-Lastly, as they get to know you, there will be a crisis involving finances and then will ask you to help them. If you decline to help, the messages will get more desperate.

How Not To Get Scammed

  1. Google search anyone you don’t know including their name, picture, address or email address. If they haven’t given you a picture or email address, ask for it before chatting or messaging further. Remember that Google is your friend in this instance.

  2. If possible, keep your privacy settings to only let close friends or relatives know all of your particular information. This also includes keeping your Geo Locator settings for your computer or phone private.

  3. Always be suspicious of anyone contacting you that you don’t know. Sadly, this is true. When in doubt, don’t give any specifics about yourself except your name.

  4. Never agree to give financial information or money to the “friend.”

Hopefully this information was helpful in this digital age of ours with phones, computers, texting, social networks all involving us more and more in the lives of people we don’t know. Comment and tell me if this blog was helpful. Let me know any “horror stories” you experienced.

Take care and stay safe,

Susan…


Reference:

CBS News-6 Red Flags for online dating

Don’t Let a New Sweetheart Swindle You Out of Cash


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