Have you ever been in love? Unfortunately when that love is found online, it’s not always as it seems.
People have been using this scam for a long time. They will sign up for dating sites under a fake name with photos that are not of them. These are the worst kind of social engineers, completely heartless in nature. They want you to open your heart so that they can promptly open your wallet as well.
How does it happen?
Most commonly (but not always), it will be someone from another country posing as a beautiful woman / man on a dating site. They find lonely and vulnerable people and begin to chat with them. Once some connections are established they will begin to tell you about their problems.
They will tell you that something bad has happened to them and they need money to solve it. For example: they will say that they were arrested and need money to be released or that they need money to keep a roof over their head often offering to repay it.
Then comes the milking…
You don’t just pay it once oh no, once they realize you will send them money…
They will ask again.. and again.. and again. A bit like a broken record you could say.
Take a look at this person who lost a bunch of money to this scam: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47222958
How can YOU prevent this?
The internet is such a big place with so much going on. For every one good thing here, there are multiple dangerous and shady things.
I’ve devised some ways to ovoid this happening to you, and if I can help just one person ovoid this scam I will be happy. Here they are below:
Always verify who you are talking to is who they say they are:
The best way to do this is by talking over a video chat, where you can see they are the person in the picture. You can get to know them more as you speak.
Be wary of anyone asking for money online:
I’m not saying that you can’t help anyone, I just advise you make sure that the reasons are just.
Never spend more than you can afford, even when it comes to love.
It hurts me so bad to see that some poor people have lost their whole life savings to these scams, I wish there was more I could do to help them.
The best prevention is preparation in my opinion. The more you know about how this is done and the methods they are using the better you can protect yourself.
When in doubt, ask a friend.
Sometimes people fall for this because they are blinded by love. That’s exactly what the scammers want. If you start to feel like something may be wrong in your online relationship, ask a friend to advise you. An outside prospective may just save you.
Those were some points on how I think once can protect themselves.
Have you been a victim of this, or believe you may be? Let me know. I would love to hear about it, or possibly help in any way that I can.
As always, be safe out there friends.