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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.Of course, just because someone is younger doesn’t mean that they’re a scammer; it’s just something to keep in mind.Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.Many scammers will be prepared to answer these and even more complicated questions, but if you can’t get answers from a suitor, you should be suspicious.
While there are online dating scammers from all over the world, a significant number of them come from non-English-first-language countries, which means that sometimes there will be communicative markers that indicate your suitor isn’t who they say they are.These methods give them better access to you and can help them gather additional information that they can use to con you.Don’t fall for it: there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site.The most common reasons that they give for needing money are not being able to afford a passport, visa, other travel documents, or plane tickets (often to come see you); an emergency stay in the hospital that requires a huge sum of money; getting robbed while traveling; or not being able to access their money from abroad.