Red Flags: Avoid Romance Scams
Yes, there ARE romance scams going about on the Internet, and if you’re signing up for online dating, you ARE at a greater risk of falling prey to the machinations of these scammers.
You don’t have to get scammed.
There are ways of protecting yourself from these bad apples. The biggest and most important way you can protect yourself is by finding out about which scams are the most common. Once you know that, you can immediately start spotting scams BEFORE they get you.
You must protect yourself from scams instead of trusting that you’ll be protected or that the law will do something. Remember that the rise of Internet crime has been exponentially faster than the rise of laws introduced to stop Internet crime, which means that you’re at a far higher risk of being robbed online than you are of being robbed in person.
We’ve all heard of the Nigerian prince scams.
This is one of the oldest scams in the book, and it goes like this (for those of you that have been lucky enough to have never been targeted):
1. You get an unsolicited email rom someone claiming to be a Nigerian prince or princess.
2. They claim to need to transfer funds out of the country, into your bank account.
3. They say that if you help them by letting them put the funds in your bank account, you’ll get to keep 30% of the profits.
4. You send bank account information, and the trap closes—they take everything you have.
While it might seem surprising that anyone would fall for this obvious scam, it’s still alive and well—and about 16 percent of the credit card online happens in the UK.
Even if you’re good at recognizing the Nigerian Prince scam, there are still a lot of other scams out there that can be difficult to recognize if you’ve never faced them before.
You have to be vigilant, or your days spent online are going to be less fun and more a saga of fending off creditors and those wanting to know why your account is currently overdrawn.
You’re not stupid.
We know that you know the basics—no one old enough to be dating is so young that they think sending strangers on the Internet money is a swell idea on any level.
However, forgive us if we’re not thoroughly confident in the ability of the average male to distinguish a scam from a legitimate opportunity to find a woman in his bed. We know quite a few men, you see, being men ourselves, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to find certain situations compromised in favor of the possibility of sex.
The possibility of sex is not worth your money.
The most common scam is the Long-Distance Girl:
- Lovely when you first meet her.
- Claims to live near you.
- Funny, witty, charming.
- Very interested in meeting you.
- “I’m so sorry, I’m stuck out of town at the moment.”
- Claims she needs some money to get home.
If you send her ANY money, you will never, ever meet her. Any woman who asks you for money before you meet is likely not a woman at all, but a male scam artist who wants your money—but not your love!
Don’t give anyone access to ANY of your accounts, to be safe. Even on a streaming site, even for something innocuous, NEVER give up a password to ANY of your accounts, to anyone.
Scams are getting sneakier by the day.
British dating scams are getting more and more difficult to pinpoint and stop, because the criminals are getting sneakier all the time. If you want to keep yourself safe, you must be EXTREMELY vigilant.
This is one of the biggest reasons to stick to a paid dating site instead of using a free dating site—the paid sites have FAR fewer scams, and you’ll be able to much more easily spot the emails that aren’t legitimate where there isn’t so much spam to wade through.
Stay alert, report scammers to customer service, and never give out any information. And if you ever find yourself standing in line to wire funds, you’ve been scammed!