With the freedoms and opportunities of the internet, one can find and do just about anything they
want using the information and resources available to them. With just the touch of a button,
people can do things that would have taken hours or have been nearly impossible to do just fifteen
years ago. For many people, this means a new and viable way of finding love. While voice mail
dating and newspaper personals have always had a certain stigma attached to them, the breadth
and availability of the internet has made dating sites a popular and stigma free way to meet your
true romance. Unfortunately, with the advent of all this freedom and availability has come an
influx of internet dating scams, waiting to turn your eagerness to meet someone new against you
for the sole purpose of stealing your money. Here are some things to look out for in order to
avoid the most common version of this scam.
Here is what will happen in the course of a typical dating scam. If you recognize this pattern begin
to take shape, run-do not walk-away from it as soon as possible. The first thing that will occur is
your joining of an internet dating site and creating a profile, along with information about yourself
and a photograph. This is fine, and the way almost all of the legitimate dating services operate.
The scam begins when you are contacted by someone that seems to want to begin a relationship
with you. At this point, everything seems fine, and everything may in fact be fine. The proof of the
scam comes later.
What will happen next is that you and the interested person (the scammer, in this case) will begin
to have an online relationship. This is the “confidence” stage of a confidence game. The person
will seem nice, and will seem like someone you would want to meet up with and explore the
possibility of having a real relationship with. You will become friendly to the point that you will
take your communications off of the original dating site, preferring to communicate via instant
messenger and your personal email. All of this is fine, and the way a genuine relationship typically
begins over the internet.
The scam comes when the person begins asking for money. These scammers are patient and
thorough. You may have seen pictures of them, you may have talked to them for weeks. You may
have even spoken to them over the phone. You will feel little reason to doubt their sincerity. But
when the money issue comes up, it’s time for you to call it a day. The money may be supposedly
for a plane ticket to come see you, or perhaps it will come in the form of a family emergency.
Whatever the case, once the money issue comes up, you can be sure you are about to get taken if
you don’t wise up quickly.
The lure of a burgeoning romantic relationship can make it difficult to say no to these requests. If
you do find yourself unable to say no, you will probably see that the requests do not end with the
one time donation. Soon a second request will follow, and the scammer will milk you for all that
you are willing to give. It would be best to nip it in the bud before it starts, and avoid becoming a
victim of another internet dating scam.