New Dating Scams
When an average person thinks about romance swindlers, they usually imagine a slick mustache-twirling charmer who preys on lonely women in bars. Though frequenting pubs might have worked in the past, scammers have found a new way to extort money from single people. The reason behind this lies in the internet. Shopping, banking, schools, and work have all gone online, so why not love and dating?!
Frauds are like viruses: they constantly evolve and they too have adapted to the new digital frontier. Once the con artists discovered countless masses of people looking for love online, they started rubbing their hands. They used their old tricks and transferred them into a new digital format. Nowadays scammers employ a network of dirty tactics to create a modern dating scam. Unfortunately, you can fall into their trap with just a click away.
Social Media Landscape
If you think that a dating hoax happens to a few poor lonely individuals, that’s a gross misconception. Romance fraud is massive. 2020 reports estimate the financial injury from online dating scams went up as much as $300 million. This number represents the damages from reported cases only. In fact, actual losses are much higher since the victims tend not to report their horrible experience.
The vast number of fraudulent cases directly stems from social media. These networks keep us connected to our loved ones and they enable us to meet new people. Unfortunately, the same technology exposes us to ploys designed to extort money. Nowadays, almost everybody has at least one social media account. What’s more, we are accustomed to a constant stream of notifications and messages. Meaning, if we get a text from a cute stranger that doesn’t seem so menacing.
Scammers will build fake profiles designed to attract their targets. Most of the time, the account presents a story that would make the fraud seem innocent. It could tell a tale of a widower, noble soldier, single mother, etc. Scammers will practice elaborate social engineering to build an illusion that their persona is authentic. They might even involve accomplices, called the shills. With such an intricate web of lies, they can trap anyone.
Military Man out to Scam
When it comes to intriguing cover stories, there has been a rise in scammers that present themselves as military officers. This tactic has become so widespread that the US Army Criminal Investigation Division has taken measures against this problem. Of course, these fake soldiers can originate from any country. In the end, they are usually just a front for a whole team of fraudsters from Romania or Brazil.
This mask has several elements that make it so effective. Firstly, it presents a man who is in a foreign country, which makes him exciting but more importantly unavailable. Secondly, he is devastated by war, and they want out. This makes him noble and kind-hearted. Lastly, by wanting to escape, he needs help which makes the target more susceptible to the idea of giving away their money.
Old Tricks New Face
The scam in itself is no different than any other online dating fraud. The fake soldier will take their time establishing trust. As a rule, they shower the target with attention and heart-warming compliments, and quickly enough they proclaim their love. Once the scammer has established an emotional connection they start asking for money loans.
These requests usually come with the explanation they need funds to leave their post so they could reunite with their online love. It’s also common for the soldier to be entangled in legal drama, and the victim has to give additional funds to help them out. The con people siphon as much cash as they can, and they vanish into thin air.
The cryptocurrency market is riddled with all kinds of scams and fraudulent platforms, which also include romance schemes. It seems that crypto traders and bitcoin owners are also searching for love, and the scammers will exploit that. Con artists who are trying to embezzle cryptocurrency sometimes use a romance scam to trick their victims. The only difference between a regular online dating scheme and this type is that the fraudster is trying to get cryptocurrency instead of money.
I’ll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours
Long-distance partners will admit that cybersex is a normal way of practicing intimacy. In a way, a romance scam to its victim may seem like a long-distance relationship. It just happens that they have never met their lover in person. Very often, scammers will encourage cybersex in order to get an additional chance to score more money.
The scammer and their target might be exchanging steamy texts as a way to consummate their faux love. Then they want to go to the next level and exchange nudes and sexy photos. If the target accepts, woe is them – the scammer’s camera is malfunctioning! However, they encourage their target to send sexy pics of themselves. Of course, this is a very intimate and vulnerable act, but the victim trusts the con person.
Once the schemer gets the racy video materials they immediately switch the game. They start blackmailing the victim by threatening to expose incriminating photos and videos. Parents, work, and even spouses might come into the mix. The blackmailer is counting on the target’s fear of social stigma and the dread that those private nudes may destroy their reputation and lives. In most cases, victims yield and they keep it a secret due to a debilitating sense of shame.
Hot Singles in Your Area Looking to Scam
Scheming organizations are trying to cast as wide a net as possible. They have made a plethora of fraudulent platforms to dupe people: fake gambling sites, fake trading sites, fake banking sites, and of course fake dating sites. The last example is especially insidious for several reasons.
Firstly, dating sites are highly popular and they attract a large number of people, which means more people can get exposed to scams. Secondly, by very nature, these platforms require you to divulge personal information. Scammers can make online dating fronts that only exist to extract a person’s financial and private information. An unsuspecting individual can give away all the data necessary for identity theft.
Lastly, a dating site is supposed to connect its members, so when a victim receives a message from a charming cute stranger they don’t see it as unusual. As victims are openly willing to get in touch with new people, they are opening themselves to a romance scam.
Code Verification Scam
The majority of online portals ask us for some sort of verification step to strengthen security. Scammers are such a crafty bunch that they have managed to abuse safety checkups in their favor. A person may get a message that impersonates a dating app like Tinder, Grinder, OkCupid, etc.
The text states that they need to perform a routine identity confirmation for the safety of their account. The message instructs the target to click on the link to start a process. As we are accustomed to security verifications, many people think nothing of it, and they follow the instructions. They are usually sent to a fake site that looks authentic enough, whose purpose is to extract information or install malware. This way scammers are trying to get enough data to commit identity theft.
The dating scene is difficult enough without all the scammers attempting to get your money. Unfortunately, people who are trying to open their hearts might end up opening their bank accounts to lying crooks. We hope that our article has given you enough pointers about modern romance schemes to protect you in your quest for love.
What to Do in Case of a Scam?
It’s important to understand that you are not alone. Our professionals have helped countless romance scam victims. You shouldn’t wallow in regret and shame but make your first steps in recovering your money and your dignity. Contact Funds Recovery our professionals will hear you out without judgment. Get your free consultation now.