July 14, 2024

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Romance Scams: Where Do They Happen, Common Signs and How To Avoid Them

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With an increase in the use of online dating, from websites through to apps and people meeting on social media, unfortunately that has also come with an increase in romance scams. So, we’re here to talk a bit about them, where they happen, common signs and what you can do to avoid them and keep yourself safe.

Where Do Romance Scams Happen?

Romance scams can happen anywhere online, from dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble, through to dating websites, forums and online gaming sites. Usually they involve someone approaching you with a message and then conversation starts from there.

Common Signs Of Romance Scams

There are some really common signs of romance scams:

  • Wanting to move away from dating apps: dating apps have software built in that can pick up on malicious intent behind conversations, so often the hacker will encourage you to move away from dating apps and onto other platforms that aren’t monitored
  • They will not want to have a video call and although you may plan to meet up, it won’t come to fruition
  • They try to establish a bond quickly and are very over the top with compliments
  • They may even claim to be in love without ever meeting or seeing each other face to face
  • They will likely play on your emotions, such as say they need medical help or they’re stranded, or perhaps they need money to come to see you
  • They avoid answering many questions about themselves and instead ask a lot of personal questions about you
  • They may have minimal photos available
  • They mention money in any capacity, especially any hints they’re struggling or need financial help
  • They may say that they have important jobs that keep them away from home, whether it’s a director of a business or something like working on an oil rig or in a mine

How To Avoid Romance Scams

The best way to avoid romance scams is to make yourself aware of the common signs above and as soon as you feel suspicious about anything, stop communication. The biggest red flags to look out for are if you never meet them in person and especially, if there is any mention of money. No one who is genuinely interested will be asking you for money or talking about difficult financial situations, especially not before you’ve met or in the early days of dating, so this is definitely something important to remember. Often discussions of money will lead to them guilt tripping you into sending them money, resulting in a bank scam.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a romance scam, firstly you need to get in touch with your bank to see if the payment can be stopped or if they can help. If they can’t get in touch with investment fraud lawyers like WRS who also can help you to recover the money you’ve lost. You should also report the incident to Action Fraud to help prevent it from happening again.

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