Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

Today we focus on online dating dating scams. Although some of these scams are certainly predictable, others are less so especially the third and fourth scams. Naturally, we offer tips to help you protect yourself from these online dating scams. Could your soul mate be waiting for you somewhere out there in cyberspace? And if so, how can you avoid dating scams that might lurk there as well? An Online Publishers Association study showed U. Online dating scams range from minor white lies to outright thievery. Here are the four most common dating scams and what you can do to avoid them.

Asia’s Top Internet Scams and How to Stay Safe

Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits. Common methods of identity theft What scammers do with your personal information Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Before stealing your identity scammers will target your personal information. Watch out for the following signs.

Be aware of the most prevalent and predatory fraud schemes being carried out on online dating sites.

Attorney Byung J. This is a stark reminder that users of online dating websites should be aware of such scams and exercise extreme caution if asked for money by anyone online or over the phone. Wiley, Sr. According to U. Romance scams are a type of online fraud in which victims are targeted by individuals posing as potential paramours. The fraudsters create fake online dating profiles often with photographs of attractive men or women and use these fake personas to express a romantic interest in the victims in order to trick them into sending money to them or their co-conspirators under false pretenses.

Romance scams frequently target vulnerable individuals who possess significant financial assets, such as retired widows or widowers. The indictment alleges that at the end of November a Virginia woman, who had a sizable trust, met a person through an online site.

About Gift Card Scams

James Doubek. The Federal Trade Commission is celebrating Valentine’s Day by reminding people to not get scammed when looking for love. Romance scammers often use online dating sites and create fake profiles or use a real person’s identity, the FTC says. Scammers also cultivate targets on Facebook and social media sites not specifically designed for dating.

Victims of these “romance scams” report they became involved in an online Victims may encounter these romance scammers on a legitimate dating website or.

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Americans who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet. While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money. According to the Better Business Bureau, victims in the U.

Older users, in particular, are more often targeted by this type of scam — and most don’t realize they are a victim until it is too late. We also have information about how to report a dating scammer if you or someone you love has fallen victim to one. Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing. Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you. Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time.

Scam Glossary

Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal.

What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U.

Online dating sites such as , and take the traditional matchmaking process online and allow people to meet Ensure that you keep your internet security software up to date. These are always scams.

Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military. Victims of these online military scams often think they are doing a good deed by helping a military member. Instead, they have given their money to a scammer, sometimes losing thousands of dollars, with very low possibility of recovery.

The U. Unfortunately, the people committing these scams are often overseas — using untraceable email addresses, routing accounts through numerous locations around the world and utilizing pay-per-hour Internet cyber cafes. See examples of fake documents used by scammers. There are a variety of words and phrases used by scammers to hook unsuspecting men and women into relationships. Here are some examples:. Scammers tend to use similar stories to convince men and women that they have a legitimate need.

Here are common answers to those questions:. Never send money.

Here are the Top Online Scams You Need to Avoid Today [Updated 2019]

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

4) Online Dating Scams. You meet someone through a dating website or chat room, you start to get to know each other, and it can feel very real. However, you​.

The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge.

They can be motivated by the desire to live vicariously through a fake persona, to extort money from a victim, to make mischief or any number of other intentions. Other sinister cases can involve sexual predators or stalkers who use this online anonymity to get close to their victims. There are several truly bizarre examples out there, like the girl who was catfished twice by another girl who posed as two different men.

Your date looks like a supermodel Online dating scams usually start with an attractive person initiating contact through social media or dating sites.

Top 6 Online Scams: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

They are used to bilk unsuspecting people, or to gain information or power. With the rise of the Internet, these scams have become more prevalent, especially since scammers can send out millions of emails, casting a wide net in hopes of hooking a handful of people. Phishing is by far the most common, and potentially the most dangerous scam.

Scams on Instagram happen when people create fake accounts or hack into They’ll engage in online relationships claiming to need money for flights or visas.

Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.

This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app.

Catfished: Why Online Dating Hoaxes Are Alluring