(February 2, 2012) To launch the second annual “Online Dating Safety Awareness Month” (every February), Online Dating Magazine has released a video giving a quick overview of romance scams. Did you know that romance scams generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue a year for scammers? That makes it one of the most profitable scam ventures in the world. And who are the victims? Those who participate in online dating and buy into the clever lies and web of deceit spun by the scammers to get you to fall in love with them.
How far will romance scammers go to profit from you? They’ll convince you they are “real” by having phone conversations with you in addition to your online communications. After the video, we’ve posted some things to be aware of to avoid romance scams.
Romance Scams Video
Tips to Avoid Romance Scams
– Don’t communicate with someone who says they are in the military/army/navy and currently stationed overseas.
– Don’t communicate with someone who says they travel a lot.
– Don’t continue communication with someone who makes excuses for not meeting you in person.
– Be leery of someone who tries to move the relationship with you forward via the computer.
– You may think that an overseas scammer wouldn’t pursue the scam on the phone, but that’s not the case. The scams have advanced to the level of phone conversations to help get you to fall in love with them.
– Romance scammers don’t ask for money right away. They wait until they know you have fallen in love with them then they create a dramatic, yet believable “emergency” requiring them to ask you for money (or something like a “new laptop”). Because love is blind, the scams are extremely successful.
– Scammers lie about everything. Their photos are fake, their profile is fake, their job is a lie, etc. If you allow yourself to start developing feelings for a “persona” you are communicating with, then that is a major red flag that you are susceptible to the scam.
Some college students at the Community College of Denver got together to write, produce, and star in a video about online dating safety. They call it an “Online Dating Safety Public Service Announcement”. The video, audio, and acting may not be up to par with what you are used to viewing, but the information is good and the students definitely did their homework before producing the video.
Online Dating Safety Public Service Announcement
Susan Jones was a victim of an online dating scammer and in this video she tells her story on how her first try at online dating ended up with her meeting a scammer who romanced her with roses, easter baskets, and other gifts before the scammer made his move. Her victimization also ended up creating other victims as she relates…
The following news report interviews people who have been taken in by online dating romance scams. The news report says that these scams bring in $15 billion a year. And with much of that money reinvested into making scams better, it’s always important to be alert. Here are a few things to remember:
1) If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
2) If they ever ask for money and you haven’t met them, they are a scammer – even if you’ve been communicating for months.
3) Playing off the last tip – they aren’t afraid to spend months cultivating a “relationship” with you before asking for money. And they aren’t afraid to use the phone and mail to help cultivate the fake relationship.
Here’s the video (audio is a bit off)
The following short “FAQ” video provides some quick guidelines for online dating safety. The tips include:
– Use paid services to help avoid identity thieves and scammers.
– Don’t initially share identifiable information with those you communicate with.
– Use a separate anonymous email address for your online dating activity.
– Learn how to use the privacy settings of the site you are using to control who sees your profile.
Online Dating Safety Guidelines Video: