If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.
Internet Dating Scams | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia
While those reports accounted for only 1. Swindlers will often use fake or stolen identities to attract unsuspecting victims, a process known as catfishing. They lead their targets on, sometimes for long periods, building up trust only to abuse it. The number of reports more than doubled over a three-year period, too, to more than 21, last year.
A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults use online dating websites or mobile applications. As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud. Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress. It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.