Fake girlfriend/boyfriend scams
The one thing that seems to bring the strongest emotions is love. One day I was at the gym working out with my best friend when he excitedly told me about a girl he’d just met. I was so happy for him that I wanted more details. That’s when he told me that he met her through Facebook but had not met her in real life. He stated that he made plans to fly out to where she lives so they could meet. On top of that, he was already planning to buy a gift for a girl he barely even knew.
That’s when I thought to myself, it’s actually “money and love” that brings the strongest emotions out of people and when you combine the two it’s not always a good thing. That’s the risk you face when you meet a potential boyfriend or girlfriend online. Dating online runs the risk of actually falling in love with an identity thief who will lure you into cash trading, sharing sensitive information about yourself, or providing account information.
One tactic of how this fake girlfriend/boyfriend scam works is when your fake girlfriend/boyfriend one day sends you a message that they’ve lost their job or their car has been stolen and they need your financial help. The fraudster then lures you into providing your credit card information and thanks you for your help. Soon after, you start hearing less and less from your fake girlfriend/boyfriend and before you know it you don’t hear from them at all. Furthermore, the fake girlfriend/boyfriend deletes the online account you used for contact and you are left with no method of contact. So, you’re out money, your pride (and heart) is bruised, and the fraudster has enough information about you to commit identity theft.
If you happen to have met someone online that you are dating, it would be a good idea not to disclose any personal information until after you have met. Also, if you’re online girlfriend/boyfriend starts asking you for financial help that should be an immediate red flag that the person on the other end may be a fraudster. It’s better to be cautious so you don’t end up not only losing out in love, but your identity and finances as well.