How Do Romance Scams Work?

Everyone thinks they are too smart to fall for a romance scam — until it happens to them. Most dating scams happen through dating websites and apps. According to Pew Research, 3 in 10 American adults have used an online dating app. 

Anyone can create a fake online profile and defraud honest people looking for love. Fortunately, you can protect yourself if you know how these scams work. This article looks at the steps of dating scams you should know.  

The Fake Profile

Dating scams involve gaining the trust of unsuspecting victims. It is mainly done online through fake profiles. Most profiles usually feature attractive photographs.

Female profiles often have beautiful photos that resemble a model. The profiles often indicate that they are looking for a long-term relationship. In most cases, it is the scammer that initiates contact. 

The Grooming

During the grooming stage, the scammer gets the victim to trust them. They do this by showering their targets with love and attention. Such attention can get in the head of anyone, especially when they are lonely. 

As time goes by, the victim develops a deeper connection with the scammer. It usually doesn’t take long before the scammer professes their love for the victim. This is usually the first sign of danger if you are on the lookout. Unfortunately, most people never see it. 

The Obstacle

The obstacle is another hallmark of online dating scams. Despite repeatedly professing their love, these people are never physically available. A typical example includes working on an oil rig in Alaska or deployed overseas as a high-ranking soldier.

The scammer will often ignore any request for video chat. If you insist, they may even get mad at the victim’s lack of trust. They can promise to marry the victim as soon as they overcome their “trust issues.”

The Con

This stage is where they ask for money. They cook up an emergency like a sick relative that needs money for a procedure. Some scammers are even willing to send their victims gifts to motivate them to return the favor. 

If you don’t respond immediately, the scammer withdraws their attention and cuts the victim off. Should they fail, scammers resort to blackmail, especially if there are nudes or compromising videos of their victims.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helps you to avoid dating scams. To protect yourself lookout for red flags such as professing love too soon, the person is in a rush, and refusing to meet in person or video chat.

If you suspect you are dealing with a scammer, stop all communications immediately. And if you are a victim of  a dating scam, report the issue to authorities.

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