Love is in the air!
This time of year makes it easy to get swept off your feet and fall in love... or what looks like love. With the growing popularity of dating apps and websites, it can be hard to determine what (and who) is real and what (and who) is fake.
So, how can you tell if you’ve fallen for a dating scam? Here’s what you need to look for:
Wanting to move “off” the site
A lot of websites, such as Match.com and eHarmony, monitor activity and remove members if they show signs of problematic activity. Many scammers know this and may try to take you off the site for further communication.
This allows a scammer more access to your identity. They may say things such as, “My membership is about to be up, let’s take this conversation off the site.”
Be sure to do other users a favor and alert the site of this suspicious behavior.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
Most scammers target men and women in their 50s and 60s. They also target people who are recovering from an illness or who are overweight. Scammers know that these individuals may be more vulnerable and anxious about the possibility of finding love, making it easier to prey on them.
If you feel as though something is amiss, you’re probably right. Use your logic. If it feels almost too good to be true, this might be the case.
Photos that indicate wealth
If your love interest has a lot of photos posted of luxury cars or romantic foreign settings, this may be a red flag. Some scammers will create the illusion of wealth so that if they need to ask you for money, you’ll think it’s just a loan. They want you to feel secure that you’ll get your money back if you see that they have money themselves.
If you feel as though a photo may be suspicious, try searching it. This is the best way to determine if your love interest simply got the image off the internet and used it as their own.
Not willing to meet in person
Scammers may say they are close by, but then, in actuality, they may be across the country or even across the world. If they are not willing to meet you in person or consistently give you excuses for why they are unable to meet, you may want to end the relationship.
Pulling at your heartstrings is a strategy a lot of scammers use. They may concoct a story about an accident or how a family member is really sick and needs money.
Whatever it is, the goal may be to manipulate the situation by playing on your emotions. Be hesitant to send money if you feel uneasy about the situation.
The Simply Money Point
The red flags above are tell-tale signs that you may be getting scammed. So trust your gut; sometimes it’s more reliable than your heart.