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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over 855,555 ($955,855) through online dating sites. She got nothing. In 7566, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming industry was worth over $55 million, but it s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate. People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they ve been duped. It s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. Don t become one of these numbers! If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself. Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.

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The AARP also says that seniors are a common target of these scams. 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. The profiles of online dating scammers can exhibit some clear signs that something is off you just need to know what to look for. Most scammers choose victims that are older than they are, for example, so if someone who is significantly younger than you says that they re interested, it could be cause for concern. 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. Even if someone s profile looks legit, there are other signs to keep an eye out for, especially during the beginning of your communication. These methods give them better access to you and can help them gather additional information that they can use to con you. Don t fall for it: there s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site. Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things and they start it fast. They have a lot of victims to get through, so they re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible. 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. Think about if you would find it strange for someone to be acting like this if you just met in real life. If someone was expressing over-the-top love and passion within a couple weeks, you d be worried. Or what do you do for a living? If the person you re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag. 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 the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs.

Even if they say they live near you, they ll say they re out of town and won t be able to meet. They might even set up a time to meet and then say they were held up by something else. If they ask you for money, run. That s almost a sure sign that you re talking to a scammer. The most common reasons that they give for needing money are not being able to afford a passport, visa, other travel documents, or plane tickets (often to come see you) an emergency stay in the hospital that requires a huge sum of money getting robbed while traveling or not being able to access their money from abroad. There s a huge variety of reasons that you could get. The point isn t that the reason for needing money is strange it s that they re asking you for money at all. Because the profiles that scammers create often say that they make a lot of money, many people get caught by thinking that they ll be reimbursed after loaning their suitor the money. A decent salary may look like a sign of trustworthiness, but remember that you don t have any proof that this person is who they say they are, especially if you haven t met. Most of the time, you can spot an online dating scammer by trusting your instincts if something looks off, be extra wary. It all seems obvious in hindsight, but people want to believe in other people, and that can get in the way of our better judgment. Always be on the lookout, and be extra wary when you meet new people online. If you have suspicions, don t ignore them. Taking these precautions can help save you thousands of dollars and even more heartbreak. Have you been the victim of an online romance scam? Are the signs obvious in hindsight? Share in the comments below! Image credits: by solar77 via Shutterstock, The Telegraph, Goodluz via Shutterstock. Com, wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock.

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Com, Orange Line Media via Shuterstock. Com, Ajaptp via Shutterstock. Com, ArtFamily via Shutterstock. Com. How had you video chatted a few times on Hangout with her? With text or the spoken word? Usually the scammers are using prerecorded videos of a nice woman, and are playing that video for you. And always it is some trouble with the webcam's microphone, so you could never conversate with the spoken word with her. You could easy check if the Hangout is in realtime. Ask her to put her's one, or both hands somewhere on her's face. If she wouldn't do that, or ask if you don't trust her, then she is surely a guy playing with your feelings. Hang off. And don't get involved in further converstion. Remember also that when you are showing yourself on webcam, the scammer is surely recording you, to use your video to scamm other people, possible a lonely women. So take precasuion that she is not prerecorded, before show yourself on a webcam. She is a scammer I should know I have used by a guy using ericrodi559 on instagram for money he has destroyed my life My name is Debbie from NY if you just want to talk my instagram is princessme69698896 send friend request tNobody called me. Ericrodi559 is a scammer from Lagos Nigeria who has hurt me deeply his real name is Eric Olu akande. He is not white like what he said my name is Debbie on instagram I am Missghettoville if you want to reach meDude the worst for me was a Ghana chick, or being on Victoria Hearts. Now my own profile is being used to scam women. And I hate that.

DON’T SEND ANY MONEY and if things got as far as they did for me without money, imagine what will happen to you if you do in fact have money. I've just been scammed by a guy he payed me compliments and told me he loved me and I believed him I fell in love with him stupidly had cybersex with him and told him a lot of info I got suspicious after he asked for money and he kept saying his phone battery was dying and he often left the conversation after I would not give him what he wanted the money the I tunes card he so wants I told him I can't afford to and I was depressed from him blanking me and making me feel guilty don't fall for it it's all crap block them please don't them get in to your heart and do what it's done to me I'm now so depressed and heartbroken a mess save yourself before it gets to seriouswhat's to check? It's a scam. Don't send him anything cut off all communication with him. I've been asked by 65 different guys in the military from different places have asked me to send them $55 itunes cards. Is this a scam. Soldiers make enough money. . They should not ask for money. I used to be one. I know this, and we have financial assistance. Try and explain the name “Mark Walker “ when that was my Legion Etrangere name. I get blamed as being a scammer and even blocked sometimes. But it is also a really good way to see if a woman rembers my real name. I've had a very similar experience. My scammer is in the Italian Army based in Poland on deployment until next November. They asked me for an iTunes voucher for $655. I sent nothing and stopped all contact. I've also reported this to the online fraud team here in the U. K.

, informed the dating app company and put a watch on all my accounts and data for the next two years. And closed down all my social media accounts as they had some personal data about me. Don't send any money and block / end all contact with the scammer asap. OMG, I think you and i were scammed by the same guy. This guy had salt n pepper colored hair and a goatee. He had a son daughter. He says. Scammers are looking for female victims, you say? Most scammers that have victimized me have been young females. I met girl online skout app she gave me phone number I rang her she real she gave telegram messenger app we text each other all she wanted my money I look up Facebook no profile She want me transfer money into bank account she said she loves me want me is she scamming me moneyI'm writing because I have concerns that my aunt is currently being romanced by a scammer. She's 69, overweight, been divorced over 65 years, and hasn't dated at all in that time. She does have a 69 yr old daughter and has prob poured her time into that. But, she started talking to a guy on Our time. Com last week. Within a couple days of making a profile. She's never been on a dating site before. He is supposedly 69 (looks like mid 55's to me), wife died of cancer, has a son, and lives a couple hrs from where we do in Alabama, BUT he is currently in Michigan for work b/c that is where he is from and has a business there. He also has told her he will be traveling to Mexico soon for work. I think she said he has a scrap metal business. Within a day or of meeting online he told her he was taking his profile down b/c he had met the woman for him.

He then sent her a YouTube video of a song called God Sent Me You or something. She ate that up. I was like you've given him your address to send you a Teddy Bear and even if he is the guy in the photos he could be a criminal, convicted sex offender, etc. She says he's so genuine and honest.

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