Signs of Online Dating Scams: What to Watch For

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Signs of Online Dating Scams: What to Watch For. Private internet access port forwarding openvpn
Signs of Online Dating Scams: What to Watch For. Private internet access port forwarding openvpn

Even when one adopts rigorous safety measures while utilizing dating applications—such as adopting pseudonyms or installing a VPN —individuals who frequent these apps continue to confront an escalating threat.

It has been nearly two years since the riveting Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler, took the streaming world by storm. The captivating narrative of the Tinder Swindler and his trio of victims shocked and enthralled viewers.

In this article, we will delve into the realm of romance scams you should be wary of, strategies for identifying a dating con artist, and recommended steps to take if you are, unfortunately, a victim.

What exactly are online dating scams?

Online dating scams typically involve an unscrupulous individual adopting a fabricated persona on a digital dating platform, a deceptive practice commonly referred to as “catfishing”. This fraudulent individual feigns romantic interest in their unsuspecting victims with the primary objective of swindling them.

These con artists meticulously work to gain the trust of their victims, often by professing feelings of love and affection. Once they have successfully earned the victim’s trust, they initiate their duplicitous scheme.

This could involve asking for financial assistance under pretenses or pressuring the victim into sharing intimate photographs. These images can later serve as a form of collateral, enabling the scammer to blackmail or exploit their victim further

Navigating Safely Through Online Dating: A Guide to Detecting Scams

In this digital age, the arena of online dating is fraught with innovative and persuasive scammers, making it a challenge to discern genuine seekers of love from those who are simply out to deceive you.

Engaging with someone through a dating app or site can be a double-edged sword, and it is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers. This guide provides you with valuable insight into discerning the authenticity of a dating profile and identifying the concealed motives of the user.

  1. Their account only showcases a single photograph and lacks substantial detail. The absence of a distinct profile description and an expression of interest might signal that they are a scammer or simply uninterested in investing effort, both of which paint a dim outlook for a potential romantic relationship.
  2. Their conversation seems to revolve exclusively around cryptocurrency and financial discussions. If they consistently steer the conversation towards topics of investments, cryptocurrencies, and other finance-related matters, it could be a telltale sign of a bot or a scammer.
  3. They send you a questionable link shortly after making a match. Such a link might be a ploy to lure you into a phishing trap that seeks to extract your personal information or infiltrate your device with malware. It’s advisable to refrain from clicking on such links.
  4. They express a need for assistance or financial help. You should be wary if they request to borrow money or seek help in other ways, as this is often a characteristic trait of scammers.
  5. They are inclined to immediately transition the conversation away from the app. A scammer will attempt to extract personal information, such as your phone number or email address, as swiftly as possible. It would be prudent to remain within the confines of the app for conversations until you feel comfortable sharing your details.
  6. They display an overwhelming amount of affection prematurely. Excessively affectionate displays, also known as “love bombing,” are a common manipulative tactic used by scammers to lure their victims.
  7. Their conversations lack a personal touch and sound generic. Be on high alert for language that appears overly generic or devoid of personality. Such generic sentences might indicate that you are interacting with a bot.
  8. They make overt sexual advances. A scammer might attempt to procure explicit images, videos, or messages from you to use them for blackmail later.
  9. Their profile appears too polished and glamorous to be real. If their profile is replete with professional photographs and images of them with luxurious accessories like expensive cars or private planes, you might want to question their credibility. Scammers are known to commonly use stock photos to depict a lavish lifestyle.
  10. They consistently evade opportunities to meet in person. This is one of the most significant red flags. If they keep making excuses and postponing your plans to meet even after weeks of chatting, likely, that they are likelyn’t who they claim to be.

Examples of Online Dating Scams

Romance fraudsters primarily prey on individuals seeking romantic partners and enduring relationships. With the prevalence of such scams on the rise, here are some of the most frequently encountered love-related scams to be vigilant about:


Catfishing involves the creation of a counterfeit online identity to deceive unsuspecting individuals. The person behind the act, known as a catfisher, usually appropriates photos of someone else and concocts a fabricated identity to establish relationships or manipulate others to their benefit.

Cryptocurrency Romance Scam

In this online dating scam, an individual feigns romantic interest while covertly planning to swindle their target out of their cryptocurrency or tempt them into investing in a sham cryptocurrency enterprise. This scam capitalizes on the popularity of cryptocurrencies and human greed to manipulate victims into parting with their money.

Intimate Activity and Photo Scams

In this scam, a fraudster establishes trust and rapport with their target, persuading them to share intimate photos or messages. The scammer may also record intimate video calls with their victims. The ultimate goal is to blackmail the victim, threatening to expose the sensitive material unless they receive payment.

Emergency Assistance Scam

In this scenario, a fraudster masquerades as a genuine person seeking love. Upon gaining their target’s trust, they simulate an emergency, a medical procedure, or travel expenses. The infamous Tinder Swindler is a prime example of this type of scam.

Military Romance Scam

Here, the fraudster impersonates military personnel stationed abroad. As the relationship progresses, they manipulate their victim into transferring money to cover travel expenses, meals, or accommodation.

Malware Scams

In this scam, fraudsters send an ostensibly innocuous link to their target or embed a link in their dating profile that appears harmless. Upon clicking the link, the victim’s device unknowingly downloads malicious software, which could lead to data theft.

Deceptive Dating Site Scams

In some instances, scammers create an entirely bogus dating site or app that mirrors a legitimate platform. The intent is to dupe victims into providing personal or financial information.

Sales Scams

In this scenario, an individual on a dating site attempts to persuade targets to purchase goods or services through them. While appearing to be interested in dating, they are merely acting as a salesperson, possibly earning commissions for each sale.

Professional Dating Scam

Professional daters are individuals who exploit dating apps to find people willing to treat them to a free meal or other luxuries, assuming their date will foot the bill. These individuals have no intention of pursuing a relationship unless they perceive further opportunities for exploitation.

Dispelling Four Common Myths About Online Romance Scams

Do you consider yourself astute enough to elude an internet dating swindle? Let’s delve into some widespread misunderstandings about online fraud to ensure your defenses are up to par.

Misunderstanding #1:

Dating Apps Are Frauds Contrary to popular belief, established dating apps themselves are not fraudulent, though they may host users who are scammers. Online predators utilize these platforms to identify and interact with their potential victims. They may even set up counterfeit dating websites that look strikingly similar to authentic ones.

To guarantee the genuineness of an app, always download it directly from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Misunderstanding #2:

Women Are More Susceptible to Scams While media narratives like The Tinder Swindler often feature women as victims of dating scams, research indicates that men are doubly prone to falling for online romance fraud.

Misunderstanding #3:

Victims Can Recover Their Money Regrettably, recovering money lost to online fraud is often a challenging task. After being swindled by the infamous “Tinder Swindler,” Simon, three of his victims launched a GoFundMe campaign to recoup their losses, raising $217,000. However, not all victims manage to recover their funds.

Misunderstanding #4:

Scammers Operate Independently While some fraudsters may operate solo, investigations show that romance scammers often operate as part of organized criminal networks.

Guidelines for Addressing Romance Scams

Should you have reason to believe you are being ensnared by a romance scam, it is imperative that you adhere to the following procedures:

  • Capture screenshots of any discussions wherein the suspected scammer has directly requested financial contributions.
  • Immediately report and block the scammer, cutting off all possible points of contact.
  • Without delay, get in touch with your bank to initiate a transaction reversal if you have compensated the scammer via credit, debit, wire, or cryptocurrency transfer.
  • File a report about the scam to law enforcement agencies

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