It can be hard to discern a genuine person from a con artist. Romance scammers will earn your trust before they start trying to manipulate you.
However, there are several common signs that the person you are talking to is an online dating scammer. Keep reading below to find out more about some of the typical dating scam red flags.
Dating Scam Statistics
In 2019, the second most reported crime to the FBI was dating scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of reported romance scams has tripled since 2015. In 2019, over 25,000 people filed reports of romance, with about half involving social media, including Facebook and Instagram.
In 2015, people reported losing $33 million to dating scams. In 2019, people reported losing six times as much at $201 million. According to the Better Business Bureau, online dating scams have cost victims in Canada and the United States over $1 billion in recent years.
Dating Scam Red Flags
The first sign that you might be a victim of a dating scam is if they come on too strong, too soon. They will act like they are trying to get to know you by asking you super personal questions right off the bat and might even claim to be in love with you before you have even gotten a chance to meet.
These are all manipulation tactics they will use to get you to divulge personal details that may help them get into your online profiles or bank accounts. So be cautious if you find someone online that seems to be rushing things because chances are, you are part of a dating scam.
Switching Communication Methods
You should also be cautious of people who try to convince you to switch from talking on a dating site to emailing or messaging.
In theory, it might sound like a good idea to get off the dating site you met on and use a different, more convenient method of communication. However, the real reason scammers will ask you to leave the safety of a platform like a dating site is to gain access to your phone number or email address.
Remember, you should avoid giving out personal information, especially to someone you just met online. If you have to talk to someone outside of the dating site you met them on, try using an app that is not linked to your personal phone number or email, or set up a second email account that you can use to talk to them.
Claims of Emergency and Financial Need
Another major sign that someone may be a romance scammer is if they claim to be having some kind of emergency and ask you for money. They might claim to be sick and in need of money for their bills, but they will most likely ask for money after they claim they want to come visit you and have no way of doing so.
Sadly, this is especially true of international relationships or people who meet online from different countries. It seems innocent enough to find someone and you want to believe in the best in people, but that makes it all the more believable that they want to meet you in person and are desperate for money. Do not send money to people you talk to online, especially if they are someone you have only met virtually.
If, for any reason, you have already sent money to someone you met online, you should contact your bank and file a report. Depending on how much of your personal information they have, they may try to come after your bank account.
Excuses to Not Meet
Another red flag of an online romance scammer is if they always make up excuses for why they cannot meet you. They will probably make claims that they want to visit you or may even come up with a travel plan, but then they will cancel at the last minute and blame it on an emergency.
Often, they will even say they could not visit due to a lack of funds and ask you to send them money for the trip. If they do this, you should be suspicious. You may be the victim of an online dating scam.
Avoid Dating Scams in Ukraine
When it comes to online dating, you should always conduct an independent online search to learn what you can. Make sure their name and location are legitimate. If they do not have any social media accounts outside of their online dating profile, they are more than likely a scammer; especially if they refuse to video message you with today’s technology.
If you are worried that you are the victim of an online dating scam, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and report your experience to the social media site or dating site you used when you met this person. Not only will it help you, but it may help stop other people from becoming victims as well.