Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. As if all that isn’t bad enough, romance scammers are now involving their victims in online bank fraud.Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims.
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And if the person’s online profile disappears a few days after they meet you, that’s another tip-off.
Here’s the real deal: Don’t send money to someone you met online — for any reason.
A romance scam, dating scam or catfishing is a swindle where someone tries to lure another into giving them money through a dating site, email romance, or otherwise dating-related contact.
If you are concerned that you are currently being scammed, please check the Signs of a Dating Scam, first.
Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.
Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake.After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account.The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country.Don't answer their phone calls, block all of their emails (or send them to a folder reserved for future litigation purposes), and don't reply to their instant messages whether in a chat program, on your cell phone or at a dating site.Make hard copies of everything the dating scammer gave or sent to you, and keep them in a file or binder for safe keeping.Learn more about how to protect yourself with About.com's Guide to Identity Theft.