How Not to Be a Victim Online Dating Scams
Online dating scams are becoming more and more common. People are falling victim to online dating scams like never before – despite the huge amount of publicity Internet dating scammers are getting.
Unfortunately, there will always be victims of online dating fraud and deception, just like in all walks of life. As someone famous once said, there’s a sucker born every minute.
What are the main reasons men and women fall foul of the online scam merchants? The sad, number one reason is loneliness. This is especially true of older women and men looking for love on the Internet. Perhaps they are old and not as mobile as they used to be, and see the Internet as a great way to meet up with potential partners. Baby boomers and older generations are embracing Internet dating websites as the last chance they have of finding a romantic partner.
A recent study has shown that a large percentage of people have been victims to online dating scams in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The survey showed that – just like with the banking, lottery and all other types of fraud – the Internet dating scammers are basing themselves in Nigeria. That fact alone should be enough to warn anyone that these guys are crooks. This online dating survey revealed that a large percentage – up to 40% – of older women who responded as being dating victims had indeed sent money to their Nigerian Romeos in the vain hope that this would lead to a real-life romance. Sadly, the money leaves these trusting souls’ accounts, never to be seen again. And most often, these are pensioners and retirees who can least afford to lose money to dating criminals.
In many cases, online dating scam victims are not even members of a dating website! They are approached by spam emails, and are given promises of adoring love and devotion in return for some small favours. It is disgusting the way these bastards operate. Preying on the elderly and vulnerable like this is an awful crime, but unfortunately there seems to be little or no hope of ever recovering the money sent to the non-existent cyber boyfriend and girlfriend. I must point out that although it is mainly older people who are stung by these guys, there are in fact online dating victims from all walks of life and all age groups.
The best way to use the Internet to meet women and men for romance and potential love is through reputable, long-established online dating services. These are ones that have been around for many years, perhaps advertise on television (eHarmony, RSVP Australia, AdultMatchMaker Australia etc). These dating services have procedures and practices in place to help protect people from getting burned by fraud. Of course, there is never any 100% guarantees in love, as with everything. The best form of protection is to exercise a high degree of caution and scepticism. If someone who is drop-dead gorgeous suddenly sends you a wink, message or whatever before you have approached them – be on your guard, even when dealing with the best of the best online dating services. They do their utmost to ensure the bad guys are kept out, but they cannot be doing FBI style identity checks on every Tom, Dick or Harry that joins up.
Just make sure you never send any money to a woman or man you have never clapped eyes on – that at least is a basic rule to follow to be at least financially safe.