· How Online Dating Scams Work—and Who Gets Targeted - WSJ Business Journal Reports: Technology How Online Dating Scams Work—and Who Gets Targeted If a · WSJ: Describe how an online dating scam usually begins. DR. DHILLON: Usually, the search by the scammer for a victim starts on one of the many dating platforms. More · A typical strategy online dating scammers will use is saying they have an emergency and need you to send them money. It could be that their mom just found out · Here are some of the most common online dating scams we’ve found in our research and how to avoid them. Once you’re in the know, the power is in your hands. 1. They ... read more
Both realize too late—it was a scam. To better understand why some people become victims of online dating scams, and what can be done to prevent it, The Wall Street Journal interviewed Gurpreet Dhillon, chair of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity at the University of North Texas.
Dhillon has researched such fraud and considers it a major online security concern. WSJ: Describe how an online dating scam usually begins. DHILLON: Usually, the search by the scammer for a victim starts on one of the many dating platforms. More recently, scammers also have begun targeting the more ethnically oriented dating sites as well. Scammers typically target older, poorer, less educated and single people. They also scan dating and social-media profiles to find people who idealize romantic partners and relationships and so might be more gullible.
WSJ: What typically happens next? DHILLON: The victim is usually presented with a picture of an attractive man or woman. Typically, a perpetrator emphasizes his or her credibility and social attractiveness. Scammers often present themselves as individuals with some sort of authority, such as an influential businessperson, military personnel, a research scientist, etc. Typically, a scammer also creates a false identity, not just on social media but by acquiring an identity document.
In our research, we found many occasions where the eventual victim had asked to see an ID while in the online phase of a romance, or in person if the romance advances to that point. But scammers are savvy about creating authentic-looking fake IDs. If the person is too quick to share his or her ID, it is more likely to be fake. WSJ: What other techniques do perpetrators use? DHILLON: Scammers sometimes use doctored pictures to show themselves with famous personalities.
Scammers will often research their victims to see whom they admire. In one case in our research, the perpetrator claimed to be a nurse working at a military base in the Middle East and sent pictures of what she said was herself dressed in scrubs.
At one point she sent pictures of herself with a purported Army general she said was visiting the base. Based on information gathered during the grooming stage, the scammer expresses enthusiasm for individuals or institutions in which the victim may place trust—alumni networks, church or celebrity connections. The more successful scammers spend significant time and effort on the grooming stage before engaging in an actual fraudulent act. WSJ: How does a scammer establish trust? DHILLON: In one elaborate scheme, a scammer reached out to the victim via Facebook , then used the publicly available information there to investigate friends and connections of the victim.
The information was later used to establish social connections with the victim. Online interactions resulted in face-to-face meetings, a false promise of love and eventually a story of financial trouble and the need for help.
WSJ: How does the scammer persuade a victim to turn over money? DHILLON: The scammer may send a small gift or flowers to the victim. In return, the victim may comply with a request to send a small amount of money.
Research suggests that when people comply with the first request they are more likely to comply with subsequent requests. In one case, a year-old woman was scammed by a perpetrator who posed as a high-ranking military official. The perpetrator was quite knowledgeable about military jargon and the subtleties of the job.
The woman began trusting the scammer since her dad was a veteran. After establishing trust, the scammer started sending small gifts. All along, the victim kept believing in the individual and was confident that he would return the money.
Oftentimes, online dating scammers tend to stick to the same cookie-cutter methods when deceiving their victims. However, there are more than a few that are more widely used and should be looked out for. Today we are going to go over the top online dating scams, so you know what to look for and add a few ways that can be put to use if you suspect you may be at risk of becoming a victim yourself. This will also give them the ability to send one to the victim when asked.
Using this will allow you to view every website that has that photo in their database, giving you the ability to see whether or not that photo is connected to more than one name. If it is, then it is almost certainly stolen. Most online dating scammers are located within another country from far away overseas, which means they have an accent.
This, however, cannot go on forever, so if they continue avoiding phone calls over the course of weeks, then this should raise a red flag. They also avoid phone calls because they will not have a local number, and if they do, it will be an online VOIP number, which would cause suspicion to the average person.
They go to the airport ready to hop on a flight, yet when they arrive, they suddenly find out that they lack funds to pay for their Visa. Some may even explain that they need a minimum bank account balance, so when asked to send money for this reason, block and report them right away. It could be that they simply use overly extravagant words, or that they try too hard to sound perfect.
In other words, they attempt to sound extra formal. Most online dating chats are casual at best; especially after a few messages have been exchanged. These are words typically not used in casual chats and are definitely very commonly used by scammers trying to overcompensate and deliver.
It may not be a surprise when we say that online dating scammers do not want to meet you in real life, at least in most cases. Most of the time, these individuals will create a false emergency almost every time the victim asks them to come and visit. This may be hard to notice at first, especially if the scammer is using a good script.
However, if they do this more than once or twice, this is obviously a scammer trying to find another victim — unless, of course, he is the unluckiest person on earth. This would be a great opportunity to video chat with them, so that you can judge his responses when you ask hard questions that may be difficult for him to answer using scripts while on a live call.
We usually recommend in some of our guides to request a video chat to people who may suspect they are talking to an online dating scammer; and with reason.
This gives you the ability to really pay attention to their facial expressions and responses, thus giving you the ability to judge their responses and determine whether or not they may be using a script. Video chatting can give you the opportunity to ask hard questions, which can make a scammer slip up due to the script failing to have a proper response. Scammers know this, which means in almost all cases, they will avoid it at all cost. Simply asking for a video chat and being denied multiple times is a dead give away that you are chatting with a scammer.
Anonymity and security is something all online dating scammers love to have, and this is something they cannot get on most online dating websites. Usually within a day or so, they will request that you both move over to email or another platform, such as Google Hangouts , to continue chatting.
Beware, though — this only gives the scammer a much less of a chance of being banned on the dating website and gives him a bit more privacy.
If someone asks you to move onto another platform to continue the conversation where it left off, this should immediately raise a red flag. However, if asked to move to Snapchat or Instagram, this may not necessarily be a scam; but this is where proper judgment should be used. We find that it is extremely common for online dating scammers to quickly fall in love with their victims.
These individuals try their best to fast forward things as quickly as possible so that they can take money from you sooner, rather than later. Sadly enough, victims do not usually notice this, as most victims of romance scams are already vulnerable, although definitely not all. If you are told by someone on an online dating website or even social media that this person loves you and it has only been a week, this should undoubtedly be cause for suspicion.
This is by far the most known scam and is a very popular method used by those looking for new victims. This will initially begin with an individual being contacted by the scammer, who will then explain how he is deployed overseas, for example. This is used because Americans tend to trust their Military — for good reason.
However, when you are contacted with someone claiming to be in the Military right off the bat, this should raise a red flag for most, although like with others, some good judgement is required. After all, there are millions of service members. Almost all online dating scams involve money in one way or another. Sometimes they may ask very quickly within a week, for example. However, sometimes they may wait for months to ask for money in order to gain your trust; especially if they plan on asking for a more substantial amount of money.
The most common scammers will typically ask for smaller amounts at first, but will suddenly begin asking for much bigger amounts. These online scammers have numerous amounts of scams that they use and sometimes they can be extremely creative when making them.
A large weak point that is very typical of online dating scammers is their social media. More often than not, they forget to both build structure such as lack of friends, page likes, posts and photos.
Sometimes, they even have a personal social media account that has their real name and photo. Most online dating scammers like to use stolen photos taken from other social media accounts; and may even use a stock photo.
Typically, if more than one name is connected to that photo, then it is stolen. Anonymity is something almost all online dating scammers want, which means in almost every circumstance, they avoid video chats at all cost.
Online dating scams are one of the most common types of scams today, particularly in India. Although many people seem to argue that dating scammers are easy to spot, more and more people fall victim to financial dating poachers every day. Dating scammers, in the majority of all dating scam cases, target people older than themselves. This age group is considered to be richer and more venerable in the eyes of the dating poachers, and therefore they are ideal for scamming.
They are also presenting themselves to be pretty young and handsome, which is clearly a huge pink discrepancy elephant in the room. This storyline makes an ideal setting for financial scamming. After setting the perfect backdrop for a scam, dating poachers usually start asking for phone conversations with their target.
Luckily for the victims of online dating scamming , this is the perfect way to unravel a fake persona. If someone is telling you that they love you, miss you, and want you after just a few weeks of chatting without actually meeting you, you should be very alarmed.
When the scammer thinks he or she has their target hooked, they start to reel them in. Dating scammers ask their victims for a money loan , which they claim will pay back when they meet up with them. Top Dating Sites India - Online Dating Scams How Do They Work? Online Dating Scams How Do They Work? But how do dating scammers in India achieve this? They Target The Elderly Dating scammers, in the majority of all dating scam cases, target people older than themselves.
· WSJ: Describe how an online dating scam usually begins. DR. DHILLON: Usually, the search by the scammer for a victim starts on one of the many dating platforms. More · A typical strategy online dating scammers will use is saying they have an emergency and need you to send them money. It could be that their mom just found out · Here are some of the most common online dating scams we’ve found in our research and how to avoid them. Once you’re in the know, the power is in your hands. 1. They · How Online Dating Scams Work—and Who Gets Targeted - WSJ Business Journal Reports: Technology How Online Dating Scams Work—and Who Gets Targeted If a ... read more
DHILLON: Usually, the search by the scammer for a victim starts on one of the many dating platforms. Others believe they are being let in on a savvy investment. Express Emotions Strongly and Quickly Do you believe the love at first sight, online? They have numerous reasons to ask for money from you. HOME BIO BLOG ABOUT EDITING ABOUT WRITING CONTACT. WSJ: What typically happens next?We usually recommend in some of our guides to request a video chat to people who may suspect they are talking to an online dating scammer; and with reason. Could You Be A Victim Of A Romance Scam?! Most of the scripts that are used by online dating scammers include certain keywords to use when they are grooming their victims. This will initially begin with an individual being contacted by the scammer, how do online dating scams work, who will then explain how he is deployed overseas, for example. Romance scammers usually portrait themselves as talented and how do online dating scams work and to be traveling all over the world. Switch to Private Messaging With trust constantly built between two parties, scammers will suggest talking via private tunnel like phone, email, social media, or instant messaging apps.