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Finding love online is becoming more and more commonplace. In fact, you probably know at least one couple who met online. However, the rise in popularity of online dating has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of romance scams taking place. Dating and romance scams are nothing new, but with so many people looking for love online, they have become that much more attractive and accessible to online criminals. Plus, the countless real online love stories only serve to make this scam even easier for criminals to pull off. Victims are often too embarrassed to come forward, so these numbers may be grossly underreported. However, there is some good news.

Even so, there are often tell-tale signs that a potential love prospect is not being up front.

Dec 21,   Romance scamming is such a big business that people even profit off of writing scripts for criminals to follow. One UK woman was jailed for two years for writing such scripts. Not all scammers will bother paying for original content and things like poetry and romantic verses can easily be lifted from the rhodeshotel.net: Aimee O'driscoll. In , almost 15, complaints categorized as romance scams or confidence fraud were reported to IC3 (nearly 2, more than the previous . Dec 19,   How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer. This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. Online dating scammers tend to target people who have a large amount of information in their profiles, and the scam is usually based 97%.

Here are some of the signs to look out for:. Online dating scams typically involve someone creating a fake profile, be it on a dating site or a social media platform. Many will claim to be from a Western country but currently working overseas. Scammers will often create multiple profiles using the same stolen images.

American hypnotherapist, Dr. Steve G Jones has had his identity stolen for this purpose multiple times. Scammers use his videos and images to create fake online profiles.

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Some also use his real name and personal information. His images have been used so many times, he decided to create a PSA to let everyone know and warn them of the dangers of befriending strangers on social media.

Scamalytics scans many of the most popular dating websites to find out what the most common scam profiles consist of.

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A typical male profile would be in his late forties, be a widower, and have a high-paid job. A typical female would also be well-paid, but be in her late twenties and never married.

Additionally, certain Facebook groups dedicated to raising awareness flag scam profiles. Some people suggest trying to arrange a meeting as early as possible, although this seems risky.

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A better option might be to try to arrange a video call early on and see how they react. Scammers often work in groups posing as a single person.

He says hotspots for online romance scammers include Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. "They often portray themselves as who is on the ground in Nigeria," using the ruse about being a U.S. soldier to have money sent there. Today, in fact, the U.S. Defense Department has only a small contingent of personnel in Nigeria: fewer than Internet fraud is the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them. Mar 01,   Fraudsters in Ghana show us how they use internet scams to steal thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims all over the globe. - While Nigeria's scammers may have written the book on Author: VICE.

Romance scamming is such a big business that people even profit off of writing scripts for criminals to follow. One UK woman was jailed for two years for writing such scripts. Not all scammers will bother paying for original content and things like poetry and romantic verses can easily be lifted from the internet.

When it comes to online public profiles, you should be very cautious about the pieces of information you divulge. For people conducting these scams, this is often their full-time job. A British Columbia man was in an online relationship for just six weeks before he started handing over money to his suitor.

Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel

One romance scam victim described the feeling as similar to being brainwashed. This can start out very innocently. But it can quickly ramp up.

A common request for money can involve the scammer coming to visit the victim. They might say they need money for flights or other expenses.

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Other large sums might be requested for investing in a business or for medical costs. The urgency of these demands tends to ramp up and can even become threatening.

One common request is to send money for fees with the pretense that the victim will be compensated with additional often huge sums of money. She believed she was set to receive a sum many times higher than that in compensation from the Nigerian court system.

There is some good news in that companies like Western Union are being held accountable for helping scammers.

Scam Artists Documentary on Real Scammers Documentary

As such, they are becoming more strict about the transfers they allow to go through. Of course, there are always other ways to transfer money. But this stuff happens all the time during online dating scams.

Internet dating scamming

No one wants to think they could be taken advantage by an internet dating scam, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are every single year.

Postal Service has created a video about the same topic on its FakeChecks.

So how do you avoid falling prey to an internet dating scam in the first place? Take heed of the following red flags and you'll be much more aware, prepared and ready should someone try and take advantage of you.

The common scam pattern

Have you ever exchanged emails with someone you met through an internet dating site, just to wonder if its the same person who is replying to your messages each time? Or perhaps you've briefly thought to yourself that the person on the other end of the communication really needs to employ a spell-checker.

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Neither of these email discrepancies is cause for alarm; a lot of people aren't very good at spelling and grammar, and they may be writing English as a second language. But if more than one of the following email discrepancies pop up during the course of your communications, it may be an internet dating scam. It can be very heady to have an ongoing email chat with someone who is focused entirely on you. In fact, this is a great sign that the person on the other end of the conversation is truly interested and invested in learning more about who you are.

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Africa Command. Check out the AARP Fraud Network for tools and resources to detect the latest scams and a hotline to report the ones you recieve. Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.

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Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free to search for ways to make a difference in your community at www.

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Share with linkedin. Share using email. Getty Images. Be suspicious if the person with whom you are corresponding wants you to mail anything to an African country.



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