Protection online is very important, especially when it relates to online dating. Many scams happen every year because of a lack of precautions, so let’s take a look at what you can do to protect yourself from this dating scam.
Online dating has substantially increased in popularity within the past decade. While the majority of online dating websites are legitimate and bring near zero risk, there are still risks out there that may catch you by surprise.
The one which we’ll be covering today is the ‘discreet dating approval scam’. Most online dating scams involve the scammer directly asking the victim for money. This usually happens after the scammer has worked to make the target gullible enough to fall victim.
The ‘discreet dating approval scam’, however, works a little differently than most of the common scams. Let’s take a look at them, and learn what you can do to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
Discreet Dating Approval Scam Explained
This dating scam usually starts with the target being contacted online. The conversation will likely be just as normal as any other conversation, probably with a lack of proper grammar, although this is not always the case.
Once contacted, the scammer will talk to the target for a little while, likely for a few days. This is beneficial for the scammer, because it allows the scammer to gain a little bit of trust from the target.
The conversation may include casual talk, like future goals, ambitions, or any other conversations relevant to online dating. His main goal is to make you vulnerable for his deceitful tactics, making it much easier for him.
Asked To Visit A Website
After a few days, when the scammer feels that he has gained enough trust, he will ask you to visit a website to confirm your identity. He may mention that it’s needed because of various online dating scams, and that he used it as a precautionary method to prevent this from happening to himself.
At first look, this request doesn’t seem all that bad. You see him just trying to stay safe; understandable right? However, this is where the scam begins.
He’ll send you the link to the website, only for you to be hit with a confirmation screen. This screen will request various information; most importantly, a credit card or payment service that is connected to your name.
After entering your personal information and payment info to “verify your identity”, you’ll be notified by your bank that a transaction has occurred. The amounts come in all kinds of different amounts, but expect it to be $100 or even more than that.
This charge is never mentioned, so now you’re stuck with a huge loss of money. This may even be a monthly deduction. Some scammers may also empty your bank account. This is why money and online dating should never meet each other.
This loss can easily be avoided by simply keeping money out of the equation. If you’re ever asked to confirm your identity on a dating website, particularly from the prospect himself, block this person and report them immediately.
Proper Precautions against Discreet Dating Approval Agreement Scams
The best assist often used to verify potential scammers is social media. This service give you an edge, allowing you to flip the card and do a little verification yourself.
If you feel that you may be a target of this scam, acquire the name of the person who has you skeptical. Search this name on all of the major social media platforms. If you see a match, look through the profile.
Pay attention to the profile photos, friends and engagement. If the profile has a low amount of friends, poor engagement, or a lack of photos, then you should use caution and possibly reconsider continuing the conversation.
This is a great way to help you avoid falling victim, because it requires the prospect to show himself to you, avoiding any photoshop opportunities. This also prevents him from stealing photos, only to state that it’s actually him.
Casually ask “Wanna hop on FaceTime?” and if all is good, he’ll do it, if you receive an excuse, especially more than once, this is usually a huge red flag. If this person was actually serious about the both of you, he’d easily jump on.
Some people have honest excuses, so pay attention to his response if he denies. If it’s something like “I’m at work” , others try again. If you are told it’s because he has no “webcam” for example, be extremely cautious.
Google Image Search
This method begins by grabbing a photo of the person you’re talking to online. After you’ve obtained this photo, you upload it to Google’s reverse image search feature. Doing this searches the entire database of Google for that particular photo, or ones that very similarly match it.
If you search for matches, take a look at how many you see, what websites they’re on, as well as the quality. If you see one or two photos that match the one you’ve uploaded, that’s a great sign. However, if you see 5 for example, this is almost certainly a scam.
Nonetheless, you could always try to contact the person by visiting the website the photo is on, to check out any facts that may have been told to you by the scammer. For example, if the scammer said he’s a lawyer, yet the profile connected to the photo you uploaded states he is a developer, it’s obviously a scam.
This scam is quite complicated, as they’re are so many different variations in terms of ways the scammer approaches you. This could be through email, online dating websites, or through social media.
This scam involves you being redirected to another website, where it will request that you input your personal information, such as: birth date, full name, address, credit card details and more.
This not only sets you up for a money scam but identity theft as well. Sometimes, it may even be a bit that is communicating with you, which is why our ‘proper precautions’ list is so helpful. Never send money or give anyone any personal information online.