Dating site scam victims lose £2, to fraudsters - BBC News
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. In story of a woman connecting with a scammer on a legitimate dating site. so he's going to lose the deal and all the money he and his family have invested. Stories exist of victims parting with their life savings to obtain funds for the scammer. New research on who gets scammed on dating sites.
They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come.
Dating & romance | Scamwatch
They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.
They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money.
Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love. Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear.
Examples of What Online Dating Scammers Say to Trick You
But there's a type of dating site scam that's far trickier to spot, and the people who operate it claim to be making thousands of dollars every month fooling vulnerable men. It details how scammers operate fake dating site profiles in order to con men out of money.
The guide isn't available for free, in fact, it was being sold for Bitcoins on a deep web marketplace. It's not just guns and drugs that are up for sale on deep web sites.
Vendors also list guides on how to commit other illegal activities. The documents are often sold for small amounts of money, but the price barrier, the need to pay with Bitcoin, and the fact that they're only available on the deep web prevents the guides from being circulated widely.
A copy of the dating site scam guide being sold on the Crypto Market deep web siteCrypto Market The document, titled Adhrann's Updated Dating Scamlays out a method for creating fake dating site profiles, ensnaring men in conversation, and then pressuring them to send money. Adhrann Adhrann advises people following his guide to take care in the way they set up their dating site profile. They should have a burner phone, he says a disposable phone that can be used for temporary tasks and then discarded.
Potential scammers are also advised to use virtual private networks and proxy services, both of which can help hide the scammer's real IP address and location in case law enforcement get involved. So how do you know if someone is trying to scam you? Another way to spot whether an account is fake is the selection of photos that it uses. Adhrann's guide says that scammers should "look on the Internet for a bunch of pics of a cute girl" and select someone who is "not a top model, but a normal sexy girl.
This screenshot shows a user of a hacker forum being advised that a quick way to find sets of photos is to automatically download them from Facebook: Black Hat World Even before a scammer messages you, you can spot they're fake by checking their photos.
Performing a Google image search for an account's profile picture will show you where on the internet the image appears — sometimes you'll see it attached to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts with various different names. That's a sure sign that the account is fake, as the photo must have been circulating on the internet.Online Dating Scams - A Must Watch!
Step two in the dating scam guide deals with "developing a virtual relationship.