Is Love Nothing But A Scam?

Roses are red, violets are blue, romance scammers are out to get you!

‘Tis the season for L-O-V-E. And with that comes the F-A-K-Es. That’s right - dating scammers. We can’t guarantee you much in life but if you’re using dating apps, social media or any other platform to connect, we promise you’ll encounter a scammer. 

And before you think this just happens to women, hear this: men are actually way more often scammed than their female counterparts. 

So how can you tell if your cyber sweetheart is swindling you?

If you check more than 3 of these common romance scam red flags, they might love you NOT

Receive A Text From A Stranger

It's just a wrong number, right? Don’t be so sure. This dating scam is actually SUPER common! Check out this video below - “Kristi” randomly texts with the hope that someone will respond. Many people are on dating apps, so she knows someone will eventually take the bait…like Scott did. 

Profile Seems Too Good To Be True

If they look like they're straight out of Swimsuit Illustrated or Men’s Health, chances are the photos are fake and the people aren’t real. Well, they’re real - they’re just not who you think they are and you will never actually meet them. 

Too Generic Names

Think about it…how many people do you know who are named John Williams? Jane Smith? None, probably. 

Immediately Moves Chat Elsewhere

Scammers want to get off the dating app so they are not monitored or worse caught. This is why they will immediately ask for your phone number or email address to continue the conversation.

Relationship Is Moving Way Too Fast

Scammers try to build up trust upfront by giving you a lot of their personal information to make you comfortable in sharing yours. They will also send you love notes and messages full of flirts and compliments so that you fall for them, and quickly. After all, the clock is ticking to get your money!

Dead Spouse

Scammers love playing into your emotions. And what better than a deceased spouse to get you feeling all the feels. If it’s not death, it’s divorce! 

Out of Country

The ‘ole expat trick. Scammers will tell you that they live in your country but are away for business or  tending to a sick loved one which is the reason why they can’t see you. They will also use this lie when they then pitch you an emergency they are having that will only resolve itself if you send money (but we’re foreshadowing a bit here…)

Has An Emergency 

Scammers tend to hit you with “feel-sorry-for-me” stories. This can be literally anything from their bank account is frozen to they’ve been robbed to they got hurt. Whatever the dire situation, it all leads back to you sending them money.

Asks For Money

At some point using some variation of techniques, the scammer will ask you for money in some way. That can be in the form of cold hard cash, gift cards or even gifts.

Breaks Promises

Scammers will say and do almost anything to get you to do what they want - which is often to send them money. Don’t be disappointed if Mary never came for your birthday - she never really had any intention of seeing you in the first place.

Test your LOVE IQ

Which red flags can you spot? Watch this video to see if Jack is the real deal…or not.

 

Tips To Avoid Romance Scammers

Your bank account isn’t the only one hurting after a scam - you may feel heartbroken, depressed or even embarrassed after someone you trusted scammed you. Here’s 8 tips on how to avoid romance scammers.

Know the red flags

Simply knowing how a romance scam works can help you identify and avoid one. 

Evaluate your online presence

The more you share, the more scammers know about you…and how to lure you.

Go slow

Who doesn’t love love? But this is the internet - where you can be whoever, wherever, whenever. Steady the pace and be sure to vet your new heartthrob. 

Google, google, google

Start by searching their name and any information they provided you about them. Second, do a reverse search of their profile picture (and any pictures they have sent you). Google will show you where it pops up online. NOTE: Scammers are getting pretty savvy and can send computer generated images that bypass reverse search. That’s why it’s always best to…. 

Set up a video chat ASAP

All you need to know if a person is real or fake is by seeing their face. If they seem dodgy about hopping on a call, they’re likely a scammer.

Don’t send nudes

Learn it from this guy in the video below - he lost his company half a million dollars from a scammer who blackmailed him from compromising photos. Eeek.

 

Never send money to anyone you haven’t met

No matter how bad they make the situation seem, do not give them money, send them gifts, buy them gift cards or provide your financial information. EVER! 

Stop communication and report the scam

If you think you’re being scammed, cease communication immediately, block their number and email, and report the scam.

 

How To Report A Romance Scam

We're sorry to say that it’s almost impossible to recover your money. There are actually scammers out there pretending to be lawyers or law enforcement just so they can scam people who are trying to recover their money from another scam! Wild, we know. That's why you should never pay money to someone who offers you help to recover your money - chances are you’ll be scammed again! Instead, here's what you can do:

  1. Contact your bank
  2. Collect any records of your online relationship
  3. File a police report

For more information on romance scams or to join a support group, check out RomanceScamsNow.com.

 

Bottom Line

Before you get swept off your feet, make sure you know who you’re jumping into love with. And educate yourself about common scams. We have many Security Awareness Training Videos that you can watch for free.