Here's a fictional story illustrating how a scam may play out on a dating site: Jessica, an Australian businesswoman in her forties met a man called Martin on an online dating website. Martin's profile said that he was an Australian, but stationed in Ghana as an aid worker. He was a widower with a 10 year old daughter. Martin's photo showed that he was attractive, well-dressed but not too formal. He looked friendly and about the same age. Martin's interests were not very specific but of a type that fitted with Jessica's own, namely sports and other outdoor activities. Both were after a serious relationship and looking for a warm and loving partner.
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. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.
Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year.
The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you.
If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.
We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help. If you do determine that they're not using their own photo, consider calling them out.
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This may reveal more suspicious behavior. Look closely at their side of the conversation. When communicating, scammers' messages will be full of inconsistencies, often getting their own name or your name wrong.
These messages may be badly written or repeat themselves. Watch for these other signs: Their command of language deteriorates with time. They may even start out having no clue about grammar or punctuation.
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They make mistakes in that their "story" begins to contradict itself. Alternatively, they never provide any personal details about themselves. They mention things that seem entirely unrelated to the profile they've built up of themselves, or that seem too revealing and even unbelievable. Ask them to meet up.
Scammers will never meet you in person, and they will usually express reluctance to do so when asked. If the person with whom you're talking either outright refuses to meet you or bails on your plans multiple times in a row, they're most likely a scammer. Alternatively, the person may ask you to pay for their ticket or means of transportation. Ask to contact the person via video or voice chat.
If the person isn't willing to meet up, consider asking if you can contact them at their number never your own or via a voice- or video-chat app such as Skype. If they agree to this, pay attention to their tone and use of language; if their demeanor seems to contradict what you know about them, it's best to walk away. Again, if the person outright refuses to talk to you over an audio or video connection, they're most likely a scammer.
Watch out for the catch. When scammers think they have you on their hook, they attempt to reel you in. This is usually when they will "agree" to meet up or talk to you, but their plans to do so will usually be interrupted by a financial emergency.
As a general rule, if the person to whom you're talking asks for money in any context, they're a scammer.
Jun 22, Australians lost over $ million to scams in , according to the latest Scamwatch report from the consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). According to the. Dating and romance scams are very destructive - both financially and emotionally. In , more money was lost to dating and romance scams than any other type of scam, with over $25 million reported lost in Australia - $ Million from NSW alone. Unfortunately, the scammers have a high rate of. Here's a fictional story illustrating how a scam may play out on a dating site: Jessica, an Australian businesswoman in her forties met a man called Martin on an online dating website. Martin's profile said that he was an Australian, but stationed in Ghana as an aid worker. He was a .
Don't fall for phrases like "For this to work, we both have to trust each other" or "I thought you loved me"; this is a form of emotional manipulation. Part 2 of Keep your profile as private as possible.
One of the first steps in making your profile scammer-proof is limiting the amount of information they can see. Most services require you to display your age, a description, and a picture. Outside of those items, you should keep the rest of your profile blank. Scammers require quite a bit of information about you before they can attempt to reel you in, so limiting their leverage from the start decreases your odds of being targeted.
Don't give potential scammers leverage over you. As such, avoid sending messages that reveal who you are, at least at first.
Avoid sending photos or videos that show friends or family, or that give away your location. Keep your discussions on the dating site. If you're using a dating site that has a built-in chat option as most doyour safest bet is to keep your conversations with the other person limited to the dating site's chat.
If the other person suggests moving to email or texting, decline. This will usually allow your selected dating site to review the contents of your messages if you decide to report the other person as a scammer. Keeping discussions within the dating service will also allow you to block the person later if needed without having to block them in your email or on your phone as well.
Avoid giving out your real phone number. If you must move the conversation over to your smartphone, don't tell the other person your number.
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This doesn't mean that you have to give someone a fake number; there are plenty of free mobile instant messaging services-WhatsApp, Skype, Google Voiceand Facebook Messenger are only a few examples-that can be used to message someone freely without having to compromise your real phone number. If the person to whom you're talking refuses to use any mode of conversation except your phone number, there's a decent chance that they're more interested in the number than in the conversation.
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Document your interactions with the person. If you suspect that the person with whom you're conversing is attempting to scam you, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have evidence against them: Refrain from deleting conversations or other forms of communication.
Take screenshots of the conversations.
Stop talking to the person if need be. There's nothing wrong with cutting off contact with someone, especially if you think that they might be a scammer. If you have a bad feeling after interacting with a person online, you don't owe them your time.
Many dating sites will allow you to block the person to whom you're talking. As long as they don't have your email address or phone number, doing this will prevent them from being able to contact you at all. If the person becomes unreasonably outraged or sends threats your way, be sure to take screenshots and report the person's profile to the dating service. Report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Naturally, you should also report the scammer to the site on which you were scammed.
Scam Online Dating Conversation. What should I do if a man asks for my full name and address so he can send me gifts from overseas?
Dec 19, Romance scams are the leading cause of lost money due to scams, and somewhere around 12 percent of people who use online dating have reported running into a scammer. X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nokeitaiplus.comofit organization dedicated to 93%(30).
Not Helpful 26 Helpful Pay careful attention to whether there are any inconsistencies in their stories. Also, beware of anyone who addresses you with "Dear Not Helpful 33 Helpful Should I trust my gut when speaking to a someone through an online dating service?
You shouldn't trust anybody online until you have met them in person. This is especially for dating sites. Make this a condition for you two to talk any further. If you pursue this conditional stance, and the other person gets mad or says he's hurt, walk away. Not Helpful 17 Helpful My online suitor for eight months would like to transfer his account from another country to my account.
It's a big amount. I haven't met the guy before.
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I don't believe he could easily trust me since we met only online. Is there a sign of fraud in this? He would need your account info. Once he has that, he can withdraw money from your account. Have him open an account with your bank, and transfer the money to that account. Once that is done, and in time, he can add you to that account.
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Once you see that all is good, then you could have him transfer it to your account, but I would encourage you to keep separate bank accounts, just in case things don't work out. My gut though, is telling me he is a very patient scammer.
Not Helpful 23 Helpful Can they still be scamming you even if they don't ask for money? Do they contact you once you call them scammers?
Some scammers find ways to get your money without asking for it. Some scammers will disappear if you call them scammers, but some will try to convince you otherwise. Not Helpful 27 Helpful Should I trust a girl who won't give me her phone number or let me see her Facebook account?
If she contacted you first that might be a red flag, but if you contacted her first, she might be trying to be cautious.
Look for other signs. Not Helpful 10 Helpful Online isn't the best place to hand over your number.
Suggest a meet-up in a public place instead. Not Helpful 3 Helpful There have been reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims. Watch out: If an online admirer asks to communicate with you outside the dating website, such as through a private email address or over the phone, watch out - they could be trying to avoid detection. If you are considering meeting in person, choose a public place and let family or friends know where you are at all times.
Search: Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided. Report: If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.