The amount of online dating scams have skyrocketed in the last decade; and they are getting more deceptive by the day. Online dating scammers almost always quickly fall in love and ask for money within weeks.
In order to help you combat this, we have created a help guide that includes three of the most popular Republic of Benin dating scams. Online dating scammers can be very creative, as they do this for a living and spend many hours grooming their victims.
This means that it may be hard to distinguish an honest person from someone trying to take advantage of you. Let’s continue and learn more about these scams and what you can do to prevent this from happening to you.
Republic of Benin Dating Scams: Things To Know
Visa Fraud is actually a pretty common dating scam happening in the Republic of Benin. In the beginning of this scam, you may be contacted over social media or an online dating site; and eventually asked to move to another chatting platform, even e-mail. The scammer will quickly fall in love with you in what could be less than two weeks.
After the next few weeks have passed and they feel they have gained your trust, you will be told by the scammer that they are attempting to find the funds to visit you, but they are having a bit of a difficult time doing so. The victim, in such a heavy romance trance, sends the money. However, it doesn’t stop here.
The scammer will explain that he has arrived at the airport but lacks funds for his Visa, so yet again, you send the money. Excited, the scammer proceeds through the process and is told that he needs a minimum of $1,000 in his bank account to leave the country. Because the victim has already sent so much money to them, they send the funds for that too. These individuals will lead you on for as long as possible!
We found the inheritance scam to be a popular choice among those looking to take advantage of their victims. Once you both have chatted online using social media or a dating website, you will be asked to move onto email or another platform, such as Google Hangouts.
Like most other scams, the scammer will have this unmatchable love for you in a very short amount of time; and may even use keywords like “fate” or “destiny” as the reason you have both met online. After you have both chatted for a while, typically after a month, the scammer will mention that a relative has passed away and that they are going to receive an inheritance — but with a catch.
The “catch” here is that the scammer needs funds to pay lawyer fees in order to unlock the inheritance, and if you do not volunteer to pay for this, you will be asked to. They may even tell you that they will pay you that money back and more. This, however, is not the case; when you hear the word inheritance in this kind of context, stop wasting your time and hit the block button.
Initially you will both begin chatting on social media or some dating website. Nothing may seem unusual at first, but these people tend to fall in love very quickly; usually within weeks. Occasionally you may even be asked to move over to email to continue the conversation.
In a typical case, these kind of scammers like to wait around 3-4 weeks at a minimum to gain the trust of the victim; but the talk can become very serious. Some may even plan to have kids or get married, for example. Nonetheless, after this time has passed, the victim will be notified that the scammer has an emergency.
This emergency could be anything from a car accident that he has been involved in, or even a relative that has had an emergency. In both cases, the scammer will claim that he needs $1,000, for example, in order to prevent from being sued, pay an insurance claim or pay for surgery that will prevent paralyzation.
Republic Of Bening Dating Scam Prevention
Google Reverse Image Search
This method is best used when you suspect the person of using a fake identity. This works by heading over to Google’s reverse image search feature and uploading the photo of the person whom you are suspicious of, then viewing the results gathered from billions of websites. If you see more than one name connected to the photo, this should be a red flag. On the other hand, if you only see one name, then this is a good sign.
Many scammers forget to make their social media look legitimate. When looking at their social media, pay attention to the engagement. Lack of comments, likes, page follows and even photos are a huge red flag. If they have solid structure and engagement, though, then this is a fantastic sign. Try to look for the age of the account. Most often, scammers make new accounts for each victim; so an individual with a new account may be up to no good.
This is the most underrated method, yet works great when put into action. The vast majority of the time scammers use false identities, such as their name and profile photo. Asking them to video chat with you can be a huge help when determining their honesty. Ask hard questions that require complex answers so they cannot use a script; and pay attention to their response. If they keep noticeably slipping up again and again, then this isn’t good. However, if they decline this video chat altogether, especially after multiple requests, this is not a good sign either.
Things To Keep In Mind
Never Send Money
It is understandable that some people may feel inclined to send money when asked by what seems like the perfect match, but when asked for money this should always raise suspicion. Throughout our research, we found that sending money to online romances almost always ends in heartbreak, both due to the realization of the scammers true intentions and of your now empty bank account. Never send money to an online romance.
Keep Personal Information Private
Oftentimes, scammers may ask for banking details, social security information or even your address. They can use this for multiple purposes, ultimately leading to yourself falling into bankruptcy or even legal issues in some cases. Always keep personal information personal.
Pay Attention To Keywords
Many scammers use a script or have been taught by others of which keywords to use when reeling in victims. Words such as “fate” or “destiny” should immediately raise a red flag for anyone, particularly if used within the first week or two of the initial conversation. Pay attention to the way they speak to you and do not allow romance to blind you from this.
According to the U.S Embassy in Benin, they receive many reports of victims reporting online dating scammers every day. They also noted to be aware of overly sexualized photos, and to be cautious when someone asks for money. In some cases, scammers may steal an account of a legitimate person and change some of the information, and yet keep the original profile photo. This would give you the perfect opportunity to reverse image search it using Google to see if that photo has been uploaded to another Facebook account. They do this specifically to prevent you from being suspicious of a new Facebook account, hence them stealing it. If you suspect you may be a victim of a romance scam, immediately block this person and report them to the FBI.