Online dating scams have existed for many years. However, with the large rise in popularity in recent times, online dating websites have the perfect atmosphere for these shady individuals to muster up a plan to target their victims.
Online dating scammers have very unique ways of reeling in victims and some even use scripts that have been refined over and over again in order to be extremely effective; and sometimes they are.
This is why we have decided to create this help guide, as it may be hard to detect which scams you may be most susceptible to in Cyprus on your own. This guide will explain the most popular Cyprus dating scams and what you can do to prevent from being a victim of these scams yourself.
Cyprus Dating Scam: Common Formats
This scam typically starts out with casual conversation over a dating website or social media, usually consisting of basic talk to feel each other out. However, the scammer is wanting to feel this person out in an entirely different kind of way than the victim is.
Moving To Another Platform
After the scammer has enough confidence that they have dragged this person into a deep enough romance trance, they will request to do an explicit video call on another platform such as Skype. Once the intimacy begins, the scammer will record the entire act until the victim has completed.
The Extortion Begins
When the victim had finished the explicit acts, the scammer will tell the victim that they have recorded the entire season and to pay up a large sum of money in order to avoid the footage being sent to family and friends. Word of advice? Never do anything online that you may regret in the future.
It is no surprise to us that we found this to be the most popular scam within Cyprus, the classic “Emergency” scam. This will start with as talked about earlier, a basic conversation over a dating website or social media platform. The scammer will, however, initiate a very romantic conversation within the first week.
This individual will state that he has suddenly had a terrible accident or that a relative needs life saving surgery; and will state that he cannot come up with the money in the. He will start mentioning that he will not be able to come up with the funds in time. However, this will suddenly change if you have not offered him assistance yet.
Funds For Life Saving Surgery
He will quickly begin asking for money for this emergency; it may be a small amount at first, but may quickly grow in the amounts that is asked for. If the victim follows through and sends the money, the scam will only continue using other methods.
A classic scam; knowing these basics can prevent falling for this!
We found this to be a very popular scam within Cyprus, very possibly because of it being a low income location. As most online dating scams begin, the victim and scammer will both chat initially using social media or an online dating site — but this scam takes a bit of a different turn.
They May Wait Longer To Ask
In many cases, scammers are quick to ask for money; usually within the first two weeks. However, we found that with this scam, they usually wait for at least between 3-5 weeks, probably because this scam requires a bit more trust, as the scammer is asking for a considerably larger amount of money. This is as opposed to the usual smaller sum, like money for a household utility bill such as electricity.
Once the scammer is confident that the victim has been groomed well enough, they will begin asking for help to pay their tuition, often a college or trade school payment. These can sometimes be very pricey. They will state that it is last semester and that they plan to visit you after they have finished. Innocently enough sounding to most; however, it can drain your bank account very quickly and leave you broken hearted.
Do Not Share Personal Information
Personal information is meant to stay personal; it is not meant to be sent to an online romance. In almost every case, when asked for personal information on an online dating website, this is certainly a scam. Giving a stranger any personal information can lead to many legal issues, so avoid this at all cost.
Sending Money Is Off Limits
Online dating is specifically meant to have a brief conversation to see if it may be worth meeting up; so if you are asked for money on an online dating website, take it as a warning and block this person. Following through with this almost always leads to becoming a victim, so avoid doing so.
Beware Of Keywords
Most of the time, scammers use scripts, or at least use very cookie cutter grammar and expressions. If you are told within the first week or two that the both of you chatting is “destiny” or “fate” and other similar keywords, then this is most likely someone trying to drag you into a romantic trance to quickly and easily gain your trust.
Preventing Cyprus Dating Scams
Taking advantage of Social Media can give you a huge edge, because not only will you be able to check if their identity is the same as their dating website profile photo, but you can also look at their engagement and page structure. If they have low engagement and a very low amount of friends, this is not a good sign; make sure to check account age too, as a new account is a huge red flag in the majority of cases.
Using video calls in a non-explicit way can greatly help you distinguish whether or not this person is being honest with their identity intentions. Request a video call and notice their response. If they decline multiple times, a major red flag. If they accept, ask hard questions and pay attention to their response. If the responses seem cookie-cutter or scripted, then this is a red flag also.
Google Reverse Image Search
Using Google’s reverse image search feature can greatly help you when trying to determine if someone is being truthful about their identity as well. Simply uploading their profile photo will instantly search billions of websites and show you both the photo and the location. Make sure the photo is not connected to more than one name; if it is, then this is another red flag.
Explained by the FBI, a woman around the age of 50 years old fell victim to a romance scam. She stated that everything seemed normal, and that he was “saying all of the right things.” Fast forward past a bit of time, and the woman would end up losing a whopping $2 million dollars. This is a classic story that is not unique, and while most romance scams may not involve a hefty amount like $2 million dollars, most romance scams can involve many thousands of dollars stolen. Make sure you take the necessary precautions and never trust anyone online, especially when it relates to money or sensitive information. The possible great outcome is not worth the potential destruction you may be faced with if you get hooked by a dating scammer. Stay vigilant!