How To Avoid A Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites
April 27, 2018 15:39 By Fabiosa
With more than 1,500 dating sites, the Internet is filled with romance — and rip-offs. How can you protect your heart, as well as your wallet, from a charming prince or princess who seem too good to be true?
Here’s what you should know to protect yourself avoid being scammed online.
General information and statistics
49 million Americans have tried online dating. Unfortunately, the scammers in the online dating world have a high rate of success.
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According to the FBI, the greatest money loss of any scam that affects individuals is investment fraud, second is romance fraud.
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Online romance victims in the United States and Canada lost nearly $1 billion in the last three years. Scammers can operate anonymously from anywhere in the world.
43% of people who reported losing money through a romance scam lost on average over $21,000.These scams not only lead to a hole in your wallet, they also cause a significant emotional harm that can break families.
How does online dating scam work?
Scammers use their victim’s emotional vulnerability in order to take their money. Their scheme can sometimes take a long time, even years, to develop as they have to build a strong connection with the victim before asking money.
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It could be anything - from helping to cover travel costs to needing money to cure a supposed illness.
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Scammers usually approach their victims on the legitimate dating websites before moving to less safe-guarded places like emails.
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How to avoid being scammed online
There are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to online dating:
- never share your personal information or photos with the person you don’t fully trust;
- watch out if your online admirer asks you to communicate outside the dating website;
- if you are serious about online dating, seek for paid online dating websites but don’t assume they are free of scammers.
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And remember the most important rule: “Never, ever send money to a stranger”.
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