Warning signs internet dating scams
Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims.
An online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist.Don’t send money to tide someone over after a mugging or robbery, and don’t do anyone a favor by making an online purchase or forwarding a package to another country.One request leads to another, and delays and disappointments will follow.In the end, the money will be gone along with the person you thought you knew.Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year, hoping to find a companion or even a soul mate.So you send money…but rest assured the requests won’t stop there.
There will be more hardships that only you can help alleviate with your financial gifts.
He may also send you checks to cash since he’s out of the country and can’t cash them himself, or he may ask you to forward him a package. You were targeted by criminals, probably based on personal information you uploaded on dating or social media sites.
But today, on Valentine’s Day, we want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.
These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. Their most common targets are women over 40, who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.
He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.
For weeks, even months, you may chat back and forth with one another, forming a connection. But ultimately, it’s going to happen—your new-found “friend” is going to ask you for money.