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Welcome to the ProtectMyID Blog

Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.

 

Beware of Sweetheart Scammers

Feb 12

Online Dating

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many singles may find themselves turning to dating websites in an effort to find true love.  Sadly, what a few may find is anything but because scam artists are turning to dating websites for identity theft purposes. 

How this scam works is a fraudster will create a fake profile designed to match a certain kind of person; employed, seemingly affluent, and trusting. This profile created is perfect in every way and this fake person has the same likes and dislikes as you. 

Once the fraudster makes contact with you whether it’s through a chat room, instant messaging or through emails it slowly becomes clear that the fake person is staring to dig you.  That is when the scam escalates.

What happens is the fraudster is trying to get you to develop enough trust in him or her to steal your identity.  One form of this scam takes place in situations where you have been having long distance communications with a potential date and it’s time to finally meet him or her. Your true love won’t have enough money for the trip and will sweetly request you write a check for a plane ticket with the hopes of paying you back which ends up never happening. Another common variation of this scam is either your fake online person becomes sick or has a relative or child that needs medical attention. This ploy works well because the money is needed quickly and is asked for in a roundabout way, relying on the fact that you won’t have time to think about it when you’re writing a check or providing your credit card number out of love. 

Warning:  Never send someone money that you have never met yet or give them your credit card, banking account, or any other financial data online.  The same goes for passwords and user names.

If you fall for it, you will end up dealing with both heartache and wounded pride.

1 Comment Add your comment

  1. PMID_Alvin
    Feb 25 at 16:38

    Hello Jamie and thank you for your question. I’d have to say that is a really good one to ask. Unfortunately, there is really no definite way to know who you are corresponding with on the end in these dating services. All you really have to go by is a picture and a brief description.

    However, the red flag that a con artist may be on the other end is if they start giving you a sob story and need your financial help. Another red flag would be the person on the other end is constantly trying to evade a meeting with you. The person will have all these excuses of why they can’t meet you. If they really liked you then they would be willing to meet.

    Furthermore, and I can’t stress this enough, never provide any personal/account information when you barely know the person and have not met him or her yet. Those kinds of sensitive information should only be shared after you have walked down the aisle.

    [Reply]

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