Online dating and social media have made it easier than ever to meet new people and find dates. Unfortunately, it has made scammers’ work simpler too. Con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. This form of deception is known as “catfishing.”
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 you in person. Over a short period of time, the scammer builds a fake relationship with you, exchanging photos and romantic messages, even talking on the phone or through a webcam.
Just when the relationship seems to be getting serious, your new sweetheart has a health issue or family emergency, or wants to plan a visit. No matter the story, the request is the same: they need money. But after you send money, there’s another request, and then another. Or the scammer stops communicating altogether.
Special thanks to Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma for the video.
Tips to Spot This Scam:
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.
To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams”.
Last reviewed: March 2, 2017