Online Dating Scams
Looking for Love in All the Online Places May Land You a Scam Instead of a Love!
If you are active on online dating websites, or via classifieds, chat rooms and forums, beware. Some reports indicate that as much as 30% of the personalities are scams. That beautiful woman (or handsome guy) may be in love with your wallet or purse, not you! Here are some of the typical scams:
- Hard core scammers set out to con you into sending them money;
- fake profiles intended to redirect you to another website (porn, gambling or even another dating website); or
- real people looking to date... but they are not who they claim to be!
Even the biggest and oldest dating websites, such as Match.com, eHarmoney, POF (Plenty of Fish), AOL, etc., are not immune to scammers. Dating has changed since the advent of the internet and you have to be knowledgeable and have you guard up to find true love, instead of a real scam!
How to Recognize an Online Dating Scam Artist
The relationship may not be what you think, especially if your suitor:
- wants to leave the dating site immediately and use personal email or IM
- claims love in a heartbeat
- claims to be from the U.S., but is traveling or working overseas
- plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event or a business deal gone sour
- Scammers also like to say they're out of the country for business or military service.
- Asks for money (ESPECIALLY via Western Union Moneygrams - that is ALWAYS a sign of a scam!)
What You Can Do About a Dating Scam
You suffer heartache, but you don't have to lose your savings, too. Never send money! Scammers often use these excuses to ask you to send them money to cover:
- medical emergencies (for them or a family member)
- hotel bills
- Unexpected business expenses which they say are not covered by their business or insurance
- hospital bills for a child or other relative
- visas or other official documents
- or losses from a temporary financial setback
Don't send money to tide someone over after a mugging or robbery, and don't do anyone a favor by making an online purchase or forwarding a package to another country. One request leads to another, and delays and disappointments will follow. In the end, the money will be gone along with the person you thought you knew.
Here are visitor-submitted reports of dating scams. And here are some key points to remember about the scams.
Also see this page on Russian dating scams.
Actual scam emails received:
What can you do to avoid being scammed on dating websites
Scammers are present everywhere on the dating websites. Even if you use established dating websites, like Match.com, eHarmony, etc., and even the women say they live in your own country, you may be scammed.
Before you invest your emotions into a long distance relationship, compare what they say against common sense. Someone who claims to be in love without, sight unseen, never having met you in person, is mostly a scammer or simply unbalanced.
Apply the same common sense rules of safe dating online as you would in person.
- Let friends or relatives know where you are going and when you expect to return when you meet someone from a dating website.
- Always meet in a public place.
- Never send money to someone you met online.
- Especially, never, ever send money via Western Union.
Miscellaneous dating scam reports from consumers / victims:
Scammer of POF.com (Plentyoffish), Received February 14, 2014:
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2014 11:14 AM
--------------------- COMMENTS -----------------------------
Met a guy on a dating site. We chatted for a while. He claimed to be fairly wealthy don't know what business he was in because. I believed he was just exaggerating. Well. Because it was the holiday weekend. He said he was going to add me to his corporate account. And to call a number so they could set me up for him to be able to transfer money directly from his acct to me. He said he was in Dallas. For the weekend. So he wanted me to take the money he sent me and get a plane ticket and come sending me. But the minimum am the could send would be 5000$. So when I called the number. The lady said for me to get a money Pak card for 500 dollars. And call her back and give her the number. For collateral damage they can't load money on a card with a zero balance and there had to be 100$ for every 1000$ trying to be loaded. That did not make sense because I know if I purchase a money Pak whoever I give the confirmation number to can remove the money and load it onto a card themselves. So I google searched the number. And it came to be a virtual assistant number I was dialing. When I called the 877 number back to ask more questions. The operator. Got very upset at my questions. About it not making sense to me And noticed it was the same person I had talked to before even though she gave a different name. When I questioned him. He got very belligerent. All I have are the two phone numbers. But. I know these two are probably scamming all over the Internet. And have their script down pack
8667118822. Push 1 for customer service.
The guy I met. Told me his neme in Jordan. 9729669665.
The site info where I met him. Was Pof .com.
His profile name was Manofpower77 hope I can stop someone else from being scammed out of their hard earned money
Isingles, Olusesan Ashaye, Received April 9, 2008:
I have been chatting to a man who contacted me from the website www.isingles. I believed he was an american living in England. He then said he was away on business in West Africa. We have been chatting for several weeks and he was very convincing. He was a widow with no family and just one son - Nelson. However, when he said he was returning to the UK he said he had run out of cash and could I send him some, asking initially for '500 and when I said no asked how much could I send. I led him to believe that I would send '50 and these are the details that he gave me:
Western Union Money Transfer
Agent name - Olusesan Ashaye
City - Ikorodu
State - Lagos
Country - Nigeria
Zipcode - 23401
Text question - best colour
Answer - blue
His email address is email@example.com
mayordavies, Received March 31, 2008:
this is a dating scammer which his name is mayordavies firstname.lastname@example.org i met him of 18-60s dating over 3 months ago he has spoken with me as he was supposed to american but he is nigerian he also knows my home address and worried in case something happens he emails me every day and chats on yahoo messenger i last spoke to him yesterday and got quite angry demanding money by western union i have not sent any but with him knowing where i live im concerned thank you i would say i have heard in the background there is a big ring of them working together please do something for me im worried
HornyMatches.com, Received March 31, 2008:
Recently i joined a dating site by the name of HornyMatches.com, it cost me in total 85 euro to join and there is a fixed fee of 35 euro a month . I have recently discovered that many of the profiles with pictures on them are taken from other sites on the net and not just dating sites. Also when i tried to communicate with someone i always got a one line answer, almost as if it was automated. This aroused my suspicions and i investigated the matter and found numerous complaints of hard done by consumers who were dooped by this scam, People were saying that they never met anyone and that there was always some excuse,one person even said that he had a lot of difficulty cancelling his account, so to avoid this problem i changed my credit card. Now, i just want to highlight this in the hope something can be done about it, the company is based in Belgium, well thats what they advertise, and i believe they have a team of people who are pretending to be the person that is in the profile, responding to emails from unsuspecting customers, keeping them on a string as to extract money from them, It even says that when you cancell the account the membership will terminate immediately even if you have paid until a certain time that has yet to expire.I found this very strange and can think of no logical reason as to why they do this. I believe this is quite a vicious scam as they are stealing from people who are looking for a partner. Anyways, Please let me know if you are familiar with this site and what can be done about it. Thanks.
becky thomas, Received March 28, 2008:
this to do with dating scamby becky thomas and a old lady saying shec is her grandmoter the grand mother is in nigera and becky is suposto be in uk there using the immigrationg to do this ghe gets a boyfriend than say she coming to meet him ihan later says she stuck at immergratins and needa money to get out thats hosw she cought me i ihought ise was real yhere in thre uk because she had a guy saying he wae from imergrations when i called him and when he called me he told me he was imergrations wnd kneeded six hundred dollars to let her cross the border her grand mother goes by the name on lara bush or lara bush 3 on the internet they scamed me for 18hundred dollars becky gos by owo omo show
Report relationship scams to:
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!