If you are a regular users of the Internet, you have probably come across or at least heard of one of those Internet “scams” – those surprise letters from Nigeria or Russia that pop into your e-mail inbox every once in a while.
Unfortunately dating and personals sites have also been targeted by these unscrupulous scammers. Like the infamous “Nigerian letters”, the primary sources of these scams (generally spread via unsolicited e-mail or spam) are from Africa and Russia. Of course, BEWARE, the scammers can be from anywhere in the world.
What is dating scam and what you can do to be safe?
Both the dating and the “Nigerian” scam e-mails are usually easy to identify. The Nigerian letters usually tell you of some hidden booty that somebody would like to transfer to you. All you have to do to get those millions of dollars is to give them your bank details so that they can easily transfer funds to your account, the letters say. If only being rich was that simple…
The dating scams typically involve a slightly different approach: kind and affectionate letters from a person you don’t know very well yet, slowly invoking a sense of sympathy with some tragic tales, and finally a polite request for money. Simple as that. The urgent money requirements could be to meet the needs of a dying aunty, to arrange for a ticket to meet up with the special you, pay for the Internet, have an urgent surgery, etc. Professional scammers regularly fool lots of gullible Internet users. Don’t let your guard down, and be alert to their advances.
Another scam involves money orders. A person from another country or someone claiming to be an Australian temporarily visiting an another country will ask for help cashing a postal money order. This person will claim that he/she will be charged exorbitant interest in the country he/she is in, and will ask to send you the money order so that you may cash it at your bank and you send back the money via Western Union. Do NOT fall for this very common trick. The money order is almost certain to be counterfeit, and once the bank where you cashed the money order determines that it is fake after some weeks you will be personally liable for paying back the money from the cashed fraudulent money order (and you cannot get money back sent via Western Union).
Another scam is to tell you they have XXX dollars to travel to see you and if you could only send a “few” dollars more they can get their passport/visa etc. They will offer to put you in touch with their travel agent who will arrange all the details and tell you where to send the money. What you don’t get told is they don’t actually HAVE the money they say they do. It’s all a con!
Here are three very simple tips to help you against falling prey to these scammers on our site:
Identify scam: If you get any letter, particularly from Africa or Russia (of course, anywhere else too) that offers you large amounts of money or asks for your bank details, you are most likely being targeted. Or, if your pen pal starts talking money and asks for some after a few tender letters, let your suspicions be aroused.
Avoid scam: This is very simple. DON’T SEND MONEY to anyone until you have met him/ her in person, and have gotten to know the person very well, and you are convinced the person is genuine. We advise you ask the person to have a photo taken holding a sign with your name on it. This ensures they are the person they profess to be.
Keep in on the site you are on for as long as possible: One of the most common things scammers will do it to try to get you into a yahoo chat….this is because they can’t be monitored by anyone. It gives them carte blanche to give you any story they want.
To the men don’t think with your penis no matter how good the offer sounds
To the women, don’t let your heart rule your head when it comes to matters of finance!
Remember not everyone who has a profile on an online dating site is there for the same reason as you. Do you homework and use more reputable sites who have systems in place to weed out the scammers.
Do not let this put you off finding love online….just play it smart and you have every chance of finding the love of your life online.