Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come.

They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.

The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.

Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money.

6 signs that your online date can't be trusted

Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help. Phishing Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits.

Dating & romance statistics

Not Helpful 14 Helpful I have a friend that uses a dating site and the women he's speaking to lied about their age. Now apparently her father is making threats to him unless he sends money via Western Union. The phone number is on the other side of the states and she is threatening to get the law is involved.

What should he do? He should report this threat to the site and see what they do. Then, it's best to get him to tell police or another family member on the issue because he is a victim of extortion. Help him to see he is not the one in the wrong. Not Helpful 23 Helpful Can they still be scamming you even if they don't ask for money? Do they contact you once you call them scammers? Some scammers find ways to get your money without asking for it. Some scammers will disappear if you call them scammers, but some will try to convince you otherwise.

Not Helpful 22 Helpful Should I trust a girl who won't give me her phone number or let me see her Facebook account? If she contacted you first that might be a red flag, but if you contacted her first, she might be trying to be cautious. Look for other signs. Not Helpful 9 Helpful If someone I met online is always spending money on me, and then asking me to send them money in return, could these be signs of a scam?

Scammers don't usually spend money on their victims, rather they demand money from their victims and it never stops. However, spending money on you and then turning around and asking for money could be a case of bait and switch to lower your guard, so be careful. Ask why they need money so badly if they are spending it on you, as it'd just be easier if they kept that money for their own needs!

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Not Helpful 25 Helpful Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips Unfortunately, encountering online scammers is a very real possibility. Romance scams are the leading cause of lost money due to scams, and somewhere around 12 percent of people who use online dating have reported running into a scammer. Refraining from answering this question or saying something snarky like "I work" will often dissuade them from pursuing your profile.

Searching for a person on job sites like LinkedIn may help you find the person or people on which a scammer is basing their profile.


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Certain speech patterns could indicate that they are a scammer. Poor English and nonsense words indicate that they probably aren't in the United States. Warnings Remember the Golden Rule of online interaction: Never give out your dating service account password. Even employees of the dating service will not ask for your password. Do not accept packages or payments from potential scammers, as doing so may involve you in money laundering. Article Info This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Avoiding Dating Scams In other languages: Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Debbie Shall Nov 21, This basically is what I have been going through, only I haven't been asked for money yet. He has sent me 3 gifts from Shutterfly with a picture of him and his daughter. Your advice tells me it might be a scam.

FG Fred Gerrior 7 days ago. Stout Jun 6, I am currently playing along with a scammer who is pretending to be a beautiful woman who is very much in love with me. But had to go take care of mum in Africa. She says I'm so handsome I'm not and wants to see me in person and hear me. But her cell phone seems to be faulty and her old laptop doesn't have a built in camera. She wants me to send money to buy one via her money transfer account.

Dating & romance

I told her I'm doing a background check. She keeps on trying. Really appreciated the tip about the Google Search image. It identified a man who said he was Roden Miller actually Jeffrey Miller as a scammer. He said he was a widower with a 14 year old son. He is in the army stationed in Houston Texas but is currently on a peacekeeping mission in Libya but would be returning soon. He friend requested me on FaceBook. DB Dawn Burton Jun 17, I refuse to give my number or email and insist on staying on that site.

I also enjoy toying with these scammers with elaborate stories of wealth, success, and loneliness. This keeps them busy from victimizing another. SA Sarah Anderson Sep 4, ST Suzanne Taylor Oct 19, Met a man, ages similar. He was well-educated and spoke with a beautiful French accent. Scammers are good at making you believe that you are the one. Probably gave out information that I shouldn't have.

He got no money. Claire Sep 7, TT Tracy Turner Aug 5, I didn't start asking the right questions until it was too late for me and my money. Please take the time to read this and also take the advice given very seriously on the dating sites. SA Stephen Austin May 17, Warning about using terms of endearment very early on in communication was also helpful.

I'd like to add that scammers often send quite lengthy, detailed messages at first. Phillips Feb 23, Also learned don't tell him you love him not before you meet him in person! JN Jackie No Sep 7, Sadly, I gave too much info and I believe out of three, two are fakes and likely the other guy I liked texts and talks at all hours supposedly when he was overseas? He had my telephone number but I didn't have his!


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PD Patricia Dickenson Jan 1, Things that have been said ring true! I just hope other ladies do not get trapped, it is as has been said: DO David Obrien May 18, Some first hand advice about a couple of sites. I have proven it many times. Thankfully, I am smart, no money was exchanged. ML Mili Lee May 5, Saved me from a scammer trying to me a parcel from the U.

After reading this, I told him, "I won't be able to pay". AS Ann Smith Jul 12, I might have continued the relationship; I'm grateful for the advice. FF Felicidad Ferro Aug 24, I now know I stupidly fell for a scammer from the UK. Thanks for your help. I now know what I need to do. TA Toni Alexander Jul 20, I only wish I had done research on this previously because I was scammed.

Fake Online Dating Website Caught By Police - Man And Women Got Arrested By Cyberabad Police -

I have spoken to numerous scammers on each dating site I have tried. MK Missy Kuhn Jul 10, This was very informative. Glad I found it so I can help my friend who I suspected was getting herself into a dating scam. CB Claire Brown Jun 23, I have done a lot of studying about scammers, this was new. PW Pam Walker Jun 27, Just what you said scammers do step by step I see, but I draw the line when they ask for money.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer - wikiHow

A Anonymous Jun 10, It really helps, now I have an idea how they work on a scam. Thank you very much. I don't think I'll go so far as to check the military database, I'm convinced he is a scammer. LC Linda Cox Apr 27,