Online dating scams: How to protect your heart and wallet - n3ws.info
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They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature.
Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.
They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.
Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money.
Dating & romance
Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love.
Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear. You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye.
Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. Call the Fraud Watch Hotline, The scammer will often say he or she is from the United States, but is traveling or working overseas, and will quickly profess his or her love for you. The scammer then will claim there has been an emergency and he or she needs money. Victims include everyone from doctors and lawyers to CEOs and cops, Sluppick says. Your love interest may be an impostor How can you protect yourself?
Be aware of the risks and be alert for red flags. Experts warn that the scammers usually want you to immediately leave the online dating website, and instead communicate by email, phone or instant message.
Online dating scams: How to protect your heart and wallet
If a friend voices suspicion, the scammer will say the friend is jealous and tell you to stop talking to your friend, she says. Experts said the scammers will operate in teams and may work off scripts. Their correspondence may contain spelling and grammatical errors. They work around the clock, and will keep you up all night communicating, she says. Army Criminal Investigation Command has issued warnings about scammers who claim to be military members.
Spokesman Christopher Grey says the Army receives several dozen calls each week about scammers who purport to be in the military.
Dating & romance | Scamwatch
Even senior Department of Defense leaders have had their identities stolen by these fraudsters. Please, keep your webcam off and your pants on. Other tricks include getting you to smuggle drugs or launder money unknowingly.
For example, Joseph Byron Martin, a year-old retired pastor in Maine, was released from a Spanish prison in In reality, the package contained about 2 kilograms of cocaine. How might you be lured into money laundering? The scammer might ask you to open a new bank account. The scammer transfers stolen money into the account, then asks you to wire it out of the country, the FTC warns.
You also can copy portions of emails a love interest has sent and use an online search engine to see if the text appears elsewhere, because many scammers work off scripts, Nofziger says. Also, copy his or her photo and do an image search to see if anyone else shows up with that photo, Nofziger says.