Worrying Number Of Dating Website Users Fall Victim To Scams

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Worrying Number Of Dating Website Users Fall Victim To Scams

Article first published as Worrying Number of Dating Website Users fall Victim to Scams on Technorati.. It seems a high number of lonely-hearts are becoming the victims of malicious online fraud scams, according to the Guardian 200 000 Brits have been conned by fraudsters who claim to be on the lookout for love. This shocking statistic indicates just how much of a problem online fraud is proving to be. It seems con artists know no limits when it comes to getting their hands on some cash, using dating websites to sweep victims off their feet before asking for money or expensive gifts.

Although the number of people conned is already an eye-opener, it may not actually represent the full extent of the problem as victims of the online dating scam are often reluctant to tell anyone due to embarrassment. The con artists are scarily becoming more cunning and convincing in their methods as they “woo” their victims, declaring their love and making them feel special.

The scams aren’t necessarily a short-term process either; the longest dating scam allegedly lasted for five years. They take time to earn the victims’ trusts to the extent that handing money or presents over may not seem irrational. They forge a relationship with victims, often offering a virtual shoulder to cry on and share problems with. Some of the victims have reportedly even continued to communicate with the scammer after their cover’s been blown due to the “comfort” they’ve provided them.

Dating websites are aware of these scammers who are creating bogus accounts and luring in vulnerable people who are lonely and looking for love. Despite their awareness of the problem, it can take dating websites time to identify a bogus account and by this time the scammer has usually contacted multiple victims and moved them to anonymous messaging services such as Hotmail and Yahoo Messenger where new email addresses can be easily created.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scam In order to reduce the numbers of online dating scams, it’s important for users of dating sites to be able to identify a scammer and report them to protect themselves and the rest of the online dating community. There are numerous ways to detect a dating scam, and although not all fraudsters are the same, their methods are typically rather similar.

A potential scammer may:

Claim to be located somewhere remote; which explains why they can’t be contacted via telephone. They often do this because they are commonly from Nigeria and Russia so talking on the telephone would reveal their accent. A common scam is con artists posing to be soldiers in the US army who are based in Afghanistan, Iraq or similar.

Have photographs of someone incredibly attractive. Although not every attractive dater is a scammer, fraudsters often use photographs of handsome men and striking women to lure victims.

Come across overly affectionate, using pet names for the victim. If the dater is declaring their love very shortly after conversing they could be doing so to make the victim feel special, encouraging them to send them gifts and presents.

Use very little personal address during interaction, particularly emails. Little use of the victim’s name during conversation may indicate a block of text that they copy and paste to multiple victims.

Irregular conversation flow during exchange of emails and instant messages. Scammers often send out the same emails to multiple victims at the same time, so their emails may not directly answer questions that the potential victim asks.

Quickly suggests moving contact off the dating site and onto an anonymous messenger. As mentioned before, the dating sites are aware of these scams, so the fraudster only has limited time before their account on the dating website is terminated.

Have a poor command of the English language or consistent incorrect use of grammar. Nigerian and Russian scammers may have some grasp of the English language but often use the wrong synonyms in sentences. Poor grammar use during the exchange of emails could indicate a dating scam.

Although people from all age groups and genders have been victims of online dating scams, women aged between 30 and 55 years are considered to be the most-targeted age group. Anyone who suspects an online dating scam should report it to the website in order to get their account terminated and inform the police too. Clamping down on online dating scams can help to increase the safety of dating and prevent more vulnerable victims from being conned.

Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Just Motor Law Article first published as Worrying Number of Dating Website Users fall Victim to Scams on Technorati.
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