Dubai is one of the most luxurious places that one can call home and visit in the world. Filled with skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, this place is the very definition of luxury. Dubai is even home to the tallest skyscraper on Earth, the Burj Khalifa.
Dating scams have existed for many years, and with the growing popularity of online dating in today’s world, this gives dating scammers the perfect environment to groom their victims. There are numerous dating scams out there, but today we are going to go over a few popular ones that very often happen within Dubai.
The most common scam we found that occurs in Dubai is the Romance Scam. Let’s go over a few important things to look for and what you can do to prevent this from happening to you.
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Dubai Dating Scams: Typical Scam Formats
The Dubai Romance Scam
Romance scams are a widely used tactic across the globe; and Dubai is no exception. In the beginning of the scheme, you will be contacted by the scammer, usually on a dating website or some sort of social media platform. Aside from him living in Dubai, nothing will seem unordinary at the time when you begin.
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Falling in Love At Warp Speed
After you both have chatted for around a week, you will notice that this person begins mentioning that he has fallen in love with you; and that it is “destiny” that the two of you meet. This is a tactic used to bring your guard down.
A Sudden Emergency
Eventually, though, he will notice that his tactics have worked enough and will feel comfortable to begin the real scamming process. He will mention something like his horses need immediate medical care, a business that needs an investment to open, or simply a random emergency that’s normally time-sensitive, such as life saving surgery for a family member.
Since the scammer has created this false romance and the victim is nothing less than in love, the victim proceeds to send the money without hesitation. If he plays his cards right, the victim will continue being scammed for months or maybe even years.
Once the victim has built up enough courage to admit she may need to look into this person further and contact authorities, she will receive the unfortunate news that she has fallen victim to a romance scam; and that it is unlikely to see any of the money she has sent this scammer ever again.
This scam takes a turn and the scammer may not actually take your money, but give it to you. Let’s explain. This scam will begin like most others — being contacted online within a dating site or a social media platform.
Falling in Love quickly
They will pull the usual card and begin quickly falling in love with you after a week of two. In a typical scam, this is where the scammer will start to ask you to send him money. With this particular scam, however, it’s a bit of a different process.
A terrible accident
The scammer will mention that they have had some sort of settlement due to an accident, such as a car wreck, and will explain that they would like you to create a savings account in your name so that he can place his settlement inside. As a so-called return favor, he will allow you to use some of the money.
This however is not what it seems, as he is only wanting to place the money in your account so that he can send it elsewhere. This is a typical money mule scam used to clean stolen money for the scammer, using you as the middleman. He will proceed to ask you to send it elsewhere, or at least most of it. This is simply to put more checkpoints in-between the scammer and the original location of the money; look at it as allowing the scammer to be less traceable.
Preventing Dubai Dating Scams
A weak point that scammers too often forget to strengthen is their social media profiles. Social media is a fantastic way to help you determine an online romance honesty. Start by looking at the friend count; if it’s low, this is not a good sign, especially if their page likes and overall engagement is low — like comments and likes. Make sure you look for any other relationships this person may have had previously in the recent past, as this could give you a helpful clue.
Google Reverse Image Search
This option is best used when they are hiding their identity. Google reverse image search allows you to simply upload a photo to Google, which will then proceed to search billions of websites for the photo. When the results are available, make sure there isn’t more than one name connected to the photo. If there is, this is very likely a stolen photo. Contrary to that, if you only see one name attached to the photo, this is a great sign.
Undoubtedly a great option to take advantage of, video calling can almost immediately help you determine their legitimacy. Video calling can not only allow you to verify their identity to ensure it matches their profile, but also allow you to watch their live responses — such as scripts. When you request a video call, pay attention to their response. If they say no, specifically more than on one occasion on separate days, this is not a good sign and may be something to be wary of.
Important Things To Remember
Don’t Give Personal Information
It should go without saying that sending anyone online your personal information is absolutely off-limits. This is sometimes overlooked, though, as scammers are very deceptive and know exactly what to say to gain your trust. When asked, block them and report them to the authorities. Following through and sending them this information can lead to many legal problems — such as bankruptcy issues, identity theft, and even jail time.
Falling in Love Too Quickly
This is the case with almost every romance scammer. They typically announce their unmatchable love for you within two weeks. While it’s a nice feeling for someone to be in love with you — do not let them deceive you. This is a widely used tactic and allows them to bring your guard down quickly to follow through with the scam. Keywords such as “I love you” or “My love” should be taken as a warning if received within a week, especially if this person is not local. A genuine love almost never happens this fast.
Honest People Don’t Ask For Money
The majority of the time, when asked for money online — specifically from an online romance, take this as a warning. Throughout my research, I have yet to see a single case of this phenomena ending on a positive note. The potential risks that you can encounter when sending money online has a much larger and negative outcome than simply denying their request for money.
This scam began with the Dubai scammer contacting the victim on a dating website, leading to the typical quick keyword “I love you.” Early on, nothing seemed unordinary. The lady thought the man was innocent and was simply looking for a relationship in a bit of an odd situation. After some time of reeling his victim in, he began calling her to ask her for money.
He would even create fake loan documents in order to prove to her that this was legitimate. She proceeded to wire money over to this person. Unfortunately for the victim, she continued this for a period of three months, sending over $500,000 to the scammer. That went on until her bank alerted her that she may be a victim of a scam. This should go with saying that sending money to someone whom you don’t trust is absolutely not worth it. Many scammers use scripts that have been refined over many years by many people, and they can sometimes be extremely effective. When asked for money from someone you don’t know very well on the internet, block this person immediately; it is not worth the potential disaster scenario. To read more about this scam and others like it, click here.