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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.Online dating websites aren’t the most secure Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison (targeted primarily at cheating spouses) has been hacked.However this is a far more serious issue than has been portrayed in the press, with considerable implications for user safety., so sharing any sensitive information might be a bad idea anyway. That’s almost a sure sign that you’re talking to a scammer.Again, both men and women can and have fallen victim to online dating scammers, but women tend to be targeted more aggressively.Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.They’ll hit you with the full force of their charm; they’ll say sweet things, compliment you a lot, and talk about how perfect you are for each other within the first couple weeks.
If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary.
Of course, just because someone is younger doesn’t mean that they’re a scammer; it’s just something to keep in mind.
Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.
Many scammers will be prepared to answer these and even more complicated questions, but if you can’t get answers from a suitor, you should be suspicious.
While there are online dating scammers from all over the world, a significant number of them come from non-English-first-language countries, which means that sometimes there will be communicative markers that indicate your suitor isn’t who they say they are.