July 1, 2022

Wed, Feb 9th 2022 02:25 pm

Submitted by the Better Business Bureau

Online dating sites are popular, as many use technology to find a match. But behind some dating profiles lurk scammers who are ready to dupe users into believing they have found love.

Don’t let your quest for love blind you to the realities of romance scams.

Online dating and social media make it easy to meet new people and find dates. Unfortunately, it made scammers’ work simpler, too.

Con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities to trick victims into falling for someone who doesn’t exist. This form of deception is known as “catfishing.” Sometimes a catfisher is a lonely person hiding behind a fake persona, but often it is the first step in a phishing scheme to steal personal information or to trick victims out of money. In some cases, victims have been tricked into moving illegal money from other scams (“money mule”), which is potentially a crime.

Read more in “Online Romance Scams: A BBB Study on How Scammers Use Impersonation, Blackmail, and Trickery to Steal From Unsuspecting Daters.

How the scam works:

Most romance scams start with fake profiles on online dating sites created by stealing photos and text from real accounts or elsewhere. Scammers often claim to be in the military or working overseas to explain why they can’t meet in person. Over a short period of time, the scammer builds a fake relationship with the victim, exchanging photos and…

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