Scammers: the phenomenon of dating websites


Statistical figures speak for themselves

More and more people these days, who are lonely and new to the world of the online dating are burned by scammers or people who use online dating websites (especially those of them, aimed for mature dating online) as their way of getting money out of unwary people. For example, judging from a new report into targeting scams, about one-third of the total amount of $90 million, swindled in Australia in the past year was received from people looking for romance and love via the dating websites. One out of every three victims lost between $100 and $499, while one in 10 lost more than $10,000. More than 91,000 complaints were made last year, that’s a four-fold increase from the year of 2009. But the most recent survey, undertaken by an Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that Australians lost nearly $1.4 billion to fraud – more than 15 times the loss reported last year.

The schemes of this illegal profit may vary, but in some cases they are roughly the same as it happened in case with David (the name was changed), a retired carpenter of 66 years old. When he met another woman online at first everything seemed to be alright, the way they exchanged messages, the topics they discussed. They even exchanged phone numbers and spoke for hours. Everything was perfect until a few weeks later that woman started asking David for money. First time she asked to lend her about $500, and then it ended up in a total sum of about $9,500 David sent her. The point was he believed that was going to develop into a real relationship and eventually he was lost without money and broken-hearted.

However, again, the story of David is almost typical among thousands of Australians who were nicely left by scammers, who are very good at tapping into people’s emotions. As it turned out, people are most likely to fall for health and medical scams. Then come the convincing online shopping and psychic or clairvoyant schemes.

Beware – how to check out a scammer

1) You are not going to see or meet them in real life. A potential scammer will tell you anything to prevent your face-to-face meeting, no matter in person or through a video chat.

2) The photos in their profiles are as a rule stolen from real people to make an appealing look. Always run a Tineye or Google Image search on the photos of people, who are suspicious.

3)You don’t know much about them: they get to know you but very unwillingly give you any information about themselves.

4) Don’t be naive, when someone asks you to lend money online.

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