Online dating scams catfish




Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact. They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.


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Clues for spotting fake profiles. Example to chat privately.

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They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging.

They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.

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The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.

Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. What the Profiler Revealed - Duration: Phil continues his conversation with Cheryl and Jane, whose children are missing, and Di, whose son was shot and killed while driving in a quiet southwest Bakersfield neigh Ryan says he filed for divorce from his wife of four-and-a-half years, Danielle, because he claims she worked as a sugar baby, had an affair, and engaged in sexually deviant She says Dana was a member of her secret Facebook group of designed to help women with depression and an But Are They Real?

Kelly says her family is in crisis. She says her year-old daughter, Alicia, is suffering from many debilitating health issues as a result of her PTSD. According to Kelly, Ali This item has been hidden. Popular uploads Play all 4: After the victim has left, the merchandise is returned to the vendors and the pro-dater and their various accomplices take their respective cut of the take.

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Dating & romance | Scamwatch

As the pro-dater is eager to date again, the next date is immediately set up with the next wealthy foreigner. The supposed relationship goes no further, except to inundate the victim with requests for more money after they return home. Another variation of the romance scam is when the scammer insists they need to marry in order to inherit millions of dollars of gold left by a father, uncle, or grandfather.

A young woman will contact a victim and tell them of their plight: The woman will be unable to inherit the fortune until she gets married, the marriage being a prerequisite of the father, uncle or grandfather's will. The scammer convinces their victim they are sincere until they are able to build up enough of a rapport to ask for thousands of dollars to help bring the gold into the victim's country.

Romance scam

The scammer will offer to fly to the victim's country to prove they are a real person so the victim will send money for the flight. However, the scammer never arrives. The victim will contact the scammer to ask what happened, and the scammer will provide an excuse such as not being able to get an exit visa, or an illness, theirs or a family member. Scammers are very adept at knowing how to "play" their victims - sending love poems, sex games in emails, building up a "loving relationship" with many promises of "one day we will be married".

Often photos of unknown African actresses will be used to lure the victim into believing they are talking to that person. Victims may be invited to travel to the scammer's country; in some cases the victims arrive with asked-for gift money for family members or bribes for corrupt officials, only to be beaten and robbed or murdered.

A rapidly growing technique scammers are using is to impersonate American military personnel. Scammers prefer to use the images, names and profiles of soldiers as this usually inspires confidence, trust and admiration in their female victims. These scammers tell their victims they are lonely, or supporting an orphanage with their own money, or needing financial assistance because they can not access their own money in a combat zone, etc.

The money is always sent to a third party to be collected for the scammer. Sometimes the third party is real, sometimes fictitious. Funds sent by Western Union and MoneyGram do not have to be claimed by showing identification if the sender sends money using a secret pass phrase and response. The money and can be picked up anywhere in the world.


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Some scammers may request Bitcoin as an alternative payment method.

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