As you further your reach in the online space, the risk of you encountering scammers will increase. Sometimes when a scammer tries to target you, their attempt will be weak, and you will easily evade them. Other times, advanced and more cunning people might focus on you and catch you unawares. One popular platform where these scams happen is on Google Hangouts.
This article will look at the various patterns that many scammers use so you can quickly identify them, and how to steer clear of Google Hangouts scams.
How Google Hangouts Scams happen
As millions of people trying to make extra cash to support their lifestyles in the current economy, some result in get-rich-quick schemes that involve laundering money from unsuspecting victims. Similarly, many people hope to find love and friendship online. These two reasons are enough to motivate frauds.
Nowadays, you will encounter some scammers that you can identify quickly, even without having much experience. Red flags pop up all the time as you deal with them, and you can escape their attempts. Other times, you won’t find any reason to fall for their scams because you have nothing to gain.
1. Switch to Google Hangouts
One of the most common patterns involves people telling you to change from using your favorite social media platform and diverting your communications to Google Hangouts. You can be on Twitter, Facebook, name it, but you meet someone new and start chatting and private messaging.
This trend is particularly common among women, as they engage unsuspecting men. Even so, some of these scammers are men posing as women. As men seek love on social media, such as Twitter, they get to receive a message from a lady who is ready to get into a relationship with them. Soon afterwards, they invite you to keep communications on Google Hangouts by asking for your Gmail email address.
Google Hangouts is relatively unpopular, and for someone to get you from the most influential platforms into that, it must be pretty suspicious. If the con is quite witty and cunning, they will convince you to switch over to Hangouts.
They might give you an incentive you cannot refuse, and if you are in search of a partner, you might even be desperate to do so. They take advantage of this desperation then. They will be consistent in the story they present of themselves, and some will sound genuine and true. They will use images of themselves and send you videos of themselves, making you believe that you can trust them.
2. Asking for Money
As soon as you like their personality and want to meet them, they take it as a cue to ask you for money. This is a red flag! It is easy to have feelings for the person as they will sound like they have everything you need in a partner. The scammer will pitch to you that they are in urgent need of your help. This act will be blackmail since they pose it in a way to make you think that by sending them money you will prove your feelings for them. Although you do not know them, you end up giving them the benefit of the doubt and agree to send them money via gift cards, bank account transfers, or even buy them something with your credit card.
An experienced fraudster speaks naturally and is very calculating to make you gradually get to trust them. They create social media platforms that have multiple and consistent photos of one person. Moreover, they will ensure they will talk about stories which match with their bio descriptions. This way, no one suspects that they are potential victims of Google Hangouts Scams.
Once the victim sends money to the scammer for whatever reason, sometimes the scammer disappears. In other cases, the scammer goes on conning the unsuspecting victim depending on how easy one is to agree with sending money. Some people lose tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars sending money for their online partners to go to the hospital, buy gifts for their nephews, or even get spare parts for their cars. A scammer will come up with any excuse to convince you to send them money.
How to steer clear of Google Hangouts Scams
The most important way of avoiding Google Hangouts Scams is by taking note of any red flags that present themselves over the course of meeting someone online. Although the scammers you will come across might be highly experienced, they usually follow similar patterns. It likely a scripted procedure that will give off at one point or another.
The first step of verifying your online partner is by checking up their social media accounts on various sites. Try confirming that the photos are consistent across all types of social accounts. If their stories and bio descriptions do not match up, stay cautious, and accept the possibility that you might be dealing with a scammer.
When looking for romance, avoid people who tell you they have feelings for you suddenly after you start chatting. Even in the physical world, that is an unrealistic event. Also, though it takes time for them to claim that they are in love with you, take caution and think of whether you can spot other red flags.
If someone makes up excuses if you suggest that you should meet before you send them your money, then they are likely to be scammers. As with Google Hangouts Scams, it is difficult to trace back to the scammer, and thus they will ensure that you do not meet. If you suggest to meet them and they say that they live in remote areas and it would be hard to meet physically, then you should avoid sending them money.
The most crucial step to remember is to never send money to a stranger you just met online. Even though their profiles may be complete and be in use for a lengthy time, it does not necessarily mean they are real people. Some scammers spend years building convincing profiles using information from other people.
It is important that you perform a quick background check on who you are actually speaking to on the internet (you can do that here). The common questions that spring to mind are:
- Are they using fake identities?
- Am I really speaking to a real person from the USA?
To help the users of this site we have partnered with BeenVerified so you can check exactly that. This checking service reveals everything about this would be romance scammer and if they are a real person!
Helpful Information Available on BeenVerified:
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- Email Addresses
- Phone Numbers
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If you have the slightest doubt about who you are speaking to… Please use this service!
This article has explained the most popular patterns among internet fraudsters that divert your communication to Hangouts. Since they are virtually untraceable over Hangouts, they will ask their prey to send them money and then disappear.
Most importantly, do not send money to people you don’t know. Stay focused as you chat online and take note of the red flags, and you might avoid being a victim of these online scams. If you want to make sure you are speaking to a real person, make sure to perform a background check.