Romance scams are fraudulent online dating services that pretend to be legitimate dating websites. The scammers create fake profiles for the victims and use them to communicate with ‘target’ users, who might be lonely or looking for love. Once the scammer has gained the target’s trust, they start asking for money under various pretexts to help with their expenses or settle their debts. They might claim that they have won a lot of money playing a lottery game and ask you to send some of your savings as a guarantee until they can retrieve it from the lottery company.
They might also ask you to transfer certain amounts of money to different bank accounts as stipulated in the letterhead and invoices, which are also fake. These expensive requests might seem legitimate at first glance but when you investigate further, you find out that these companies don’t actually exist. If you receive any such messages from scammers, do not respond; report it immediately to the Anti-Scam Network .
How to avoid becoming a victim of romance scams
Romance scam artists are skilled at making their targets feel very attached to them, sometimes to the point of sending money. To avoid falling for this, be more cautious when responding to emails and messages from people you hardly know. If you receive a message from someone you don’t know, don’t open the email or reply to it until you’re sure who the person really is. You can also use email, IM or social networking sites to warn others about the potential risks of romance scams. Don’t let yourself be fooled and open the door to financial fraud.
Know the warning signs of a romance scams
Before you start falling for a scammer’s tricks, do a little research. Look out for certain signs that the person you’re talking to might be a scammer or a fake. Here are some of the signs that indicate a potential romance scams.
– Required payments – You are asked to transfer money before you are allowed to meet your ‘lover’. – ‘Loving’ messages – The scammer sends ‘loving’ messages and asks you to send money to help them ‘get settled’. – Requests for money – The scammer asks for money before you are allowed to meet him/her. – ‘I’m dying’ messages – The scammer says that they want to ‘get it over’ with and write you one last letter, asking you for money. – Out-of-this-world messages – The scammer sends you messages that seem too good to be true and ask you to send money to help them get settled in life.
In case you fall for a romance scams, don’t send money right away
If you get a scammer’s initial messages or emails, don’t reply to them right away. Do a little research on the person and see if you are comfortable in chatting with them. If you are, then chat with them without sending any financial help. If you are not comfortable with chatting with the person, don’t open any email or messages from them. If you have already sent any money, don’t panic. Either inform the person about the scam and ask them to return your money, or delete him/her from your chat/email list. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If the person contacts you again, inform the police immediately.
Don’t trust anyone who asks you to send them money without meeting in person
If someone asks you to transfer money to their bank account or any other third party account, especially if they don’t want you to meet them in person, it’s highly likely that they are a scammer. There are many romance scams that start with online dating. Here, the fraudsters pose as people from different countries and pretend to be romantically interested in the victim. The fraudsters might ask the victim to send them money via bank transfer or money transfer services like Western Union. This way, the fraudsters can claim that the money has been lost and disappear from the victim’s sight.
One such scam was reported from the UK. The fraudsters posed as a couple from Iran and asked for money to help them get settled in the UK. The man claimed that he had won $20 million in a lottery, but he did not disclose the name of the lottery company. They asked the victim to transfer $20,000 to the man’s bank account. The police warn people not to fall for this kind of scam.
Take precautions before responding to online dating messages
Never respond to a dating message you don’t feel comfortable with. If you have any doubts regarding the legitimacy of a dating website or a dating message, don’t reply to it. The same goes for any dating message you receive via email, IM or social networking sites. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. You can use safety filters like Safety-KeePass and Safety-Inbox to protect yourself from unwanted messages and emails. You can also set a rule that emails sent from known senders like your family/friends/coworkers are not to be opened.
When meeting strangers, keep your guard up and be skeptical
You might be tempted to meet a stranger, especially someone you like, at a public place like a park, coffee shop or a shopping mall. But be careful before you meet someone you just meet. Always follow your gut instinct and don’t let your emotions dictate your actions. Don’t feel shy in asking someone for their details like their name and address or contact number.
Tips for safe online dating
– Don’t rush into anything too quickly, especially online. Take your time and get to know the person you’re dating.
– Remember, these people are real, they are just online. So, be careful and remember that they are not real.
– Make sure your online profile is authentic; avoid lying or making up details.
– If you receive any threatening or weird messages, notify the police.
Romance Scams Conclusion
Even though romance scams are rare, they happen a lot more often than you would think. To avoid falling for romance scams, be more cautious and careful when responding to emails and messages from people you hardly know. Also, don’t open any email or messages from strangers. If you have already sent any money, don’t panic. Instead, inform the person about the romance scams and ask for your money back, or delete him/her from your chat/email list.
You can get your funds back by reporting us. All you need to do is file a complaint against the broker here through our online complaint form. Our experts will contact you and provide a free consultation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
We hope this information about romance scams helped you.
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