If you think a romance scammer has scammed you, continue reading to discover common ploys used by these lowlifes every day.
Online dating has thrived in popularity lately, unlike the world has ever seen. People have grown accustomed to spammers contacting them seemingly every time they log on.
Despite this, there are still, unfortunately, several people who fall victim to online dating scams. The scammers are continually altering their strategies, but the general idea stays the same.
Today, you’re going to learn what to look for if you think you’re being taken advantage of by a scammer, to put it lightly.
If you believe you are being scammed, stop all communications immediately.
Main Signs You’ve Been Swindled By A Romance Scammer
1: Stock Profile Photos
The first element that romance scammers work to cover is their profile photo. Most scammers in general live in third-world countries where it’s not easy to understand American trends fully.
This causes the scammer to have a poor understanding of imagery, causing them to use stock photos. Stock photos often have a white or black background, showcasing a clean-cut model.
The scammer assumes that this is more attractive to his victims, but in reality, it makes it all the more noticeable, mostly if you’re made aware of it first.
You should also make sure the photo isn’t stolen, which can be done by using Google reverse image search.
By doing this, you can determine if the person in question is who they claim to be. If the results show other names connected to the photo, then it’s likely a scam.
2: You’ve Assisted Financially
The central goal of most romance scammers is to make money from you. If you’ve given them money in any way, it’s not looking good.
There are specific scenarios to look for, though; not everyone who asks for money is a scammer.
Most notably, if you’re asked to send money for the following, it’s probably a scam:
- Cellular Data
- Business Startups
- Plane Tickets
Most of the time, they try to stay passive. They’ll create a fake life, family, and career and make the scenarios specific to that life.
If you are asked more than twice for money throughout our years of experience, it’s a scam, period.
3: He Makes Excuses
Romance scammers very commonly create extravagant excuses as to why they cannot meet your request.
For example, if you ask him to video call you, he may say that his data connection cannot support it. Yet, low-quality video chat can become a reality even over dial-up connection speeds.
He may also attempt to convince you he doesn’t have a camera. None of these excuses are feasible nowadays.
You may hear that he has to work or is too “busy.” Ask yourself this question, even if he were honest, would you want to date a man that was too “busy” to video call you?
Once or twice isn’t anything to worry about, but it’s a massive red flag if he does this continuously.
4: He’s Fast Moving
Romance scammers move fast with their victims, mostly because it’s their profession. It’s widespread to be told kind words within a week or two, such as love, fate, destiny, and so on.
This is going too fast, so it’s essential not to fall into this hole if it presents itself. They are often working with a script and view you as a number, so the more victims they get, the more profits.
In some cases, the scammer is an employee for an illegal operation, which splits a certain percentage with the scammer for his “excellent work.”
He may even start talking about marriage after a few weeks, and in some cases, may offer to fly you to his home or for him to come and visit you.
Either way, the goal is to have you send him money to pay for a plane ticket.
5: He Has An Inheritance
The tried and true attempt of online dating scammers: their “inheritance.” It’s nothing that is unexpected in the real world.
Inheritances occur every day. However, we’ve never known of anyone who was truthfully asking others to pay them money so they can unlock an inheritance.
Typically, the scammer will explain that a relative or friend has died who was “wealthy” or even a “prince” and has left him a large sum of money, locked by a paywall.
They commonly state that the paywall is due to “unpaid taxes” or deposits to open a banking account to place the inheritance in. If you hear this, block him ASAP.
6: Random Medical Emergencies
This tactic never surprises us anymore. It’s used because it takes advantage of people’s kindness and makes them vulnerable.
They know that declining to help during an emergency makes the victim feel guilty, which is why they love it.
The most common “emergencies” that they use are the following:
- Wrecked Vehicle
- Jailed Yet Innocent
- Needs Life Saving Surgery
- Needs Rent – Is At Risk Of Eviction
- Stuck In Another Territory – Lost Wallet
These types of questions are typically asked with urgency; commonly, after a few weeks have passed, and they’ve gained your trust.
Let me tell you from my experience; this is never true and is always a scam.
The last person someone is going to ask such a request for is someone on Tinder.
7: He Claims High Status
It’s thought to be normal to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer in the United States by scammers, which we suspect is due to the portrayal of this in Hollywood.
This is likely why it’s so common to be told by the scammer that he’s a “doctor” or lawyer,” among other high-end professions.
Although it does happen, most people in such professions have enough education to speak and phrase English well. If you’ve ever wanted to judge someone, this is the time!
In some cases, the scammer will insist on being a prince in Nigeria, which is extremely far fetched. If you are told by the scammer that he has a high-end profession, ask him a hard question.
If he says he went to college “XYZ,” asks him which classes he took; if he says he took “123” classes, yet the college has never offered those, block him.
8: He Has Visa Issues
Many scammers use visa issues as a bridge to squeeze money out of their victims. This commonly occurs from a few weeks to a few months after the initial contact.
This is typically where the discussion begins in terms of meeting each other, if ever. At this point, the scammer will state that he wants to visit you.
However, he’ll quickly run into a problem; no money for a visa.
You’ll be asked to wire it over, either directly or passively, by him merely making it known. This scam is very common in the Philippines.
It may sound similar to this: “I’ve arrived at the airport, and they will not let me through without paying for my visa, but I do not have enough money!” hoping that you offer to pay for him.
He’s come this far, so if you’ve paid for someone’s visa, and he has either ghosted you or perhaps is still giving you the runaround, “I have to return to work,” you’ve been scammed.
9: You’re Providing “Favors”
Not all scams cause you to go bankrupt overnight, or ever. Nevertheless, many romance scammers prefer to drain their victims slowly; keyword: slowly.
They may ask you for $20 here and there to help them with food or bills.
It’s a small amount, sure, but it adds up assuming they ask fifty other victims. You may also be requested to pay a bill occasionally.
In some cases, they will ask you to receive money and even let you keep some of it, as long as you send back most of the money to another person or bank.
This is called the “money mule” scam. Essentially, you’re the middleman who is receiving illegally sourced money, sending it elsewhere, taking all of the legal blame.
10: He Avoids Phone & Video Calls
The easiest way to ascertain if your new online crush is being honest with you is by requesting a video call.
Any scammer knows that they cannot succeed in answering questions truthfully on video.
He’ll likely try to convince you that he doesn’t have a webcam or perhaps lacks the bandwidth, as previously stated.
He may even say that he’s too shy or that it’s best to do the video call another time. If this continues, he’s not worth your time anyway, so block and move on.
The inherent risk of staying “just to see what happens” is too high. This is their job, and they’ve faced just about every situation.
If you’ve found yourself unfortunate enough to be a victim of a romance scammer potentially, you’re not alone.
Romance scams are one of the most significant financial losses in the United States today.
The concept of romance scams has been around for a while. In some areas of the world, the scammers work at a physical location.
They’re often even placed on hourly pay; to say that you’re just another number is an understatement! Stay watchful!