A romance or a rip off?
Meeting someone on the net has never been easier. The proliferation of dating web sites where single men and women can find true love are riding on the crest of lonely hearts trying to find some happiness in this world. Alas, not everyone has honorable intentions and some really shady characters are more than willing to make money out of someone who is willing to wear their heart out on a sleeve. Looking for love in some shady alley can cost you money and a bad taste in the mouth.
The rise of online dating scam one night stand sites has prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to issue a press release warning the public of its danger. There are certain scam sites on the internet that promise you to hook up with one night stand partners but instead scam you for money. Sites like online booty call and many others have been under suspicion, but don’t listen to anyone and decide for yourself whether online booty call is any good or not. Genuine reviews are available here, which can help you make a decision about onlinebootycall.com being a legit site or not. If you are looking for love, it’s wise to know that scammers troll the net hoping to find romantic victims.
Online scammers create fake profiles and try to lower their victim’s defenses by appealing to their romantic or compassionate side. These emotional triggers slowly erode the victim’s defenses. Once trust is gained, they start asking for money, gifts or banking information which will be used in some illegal purpose.
The Warning Signs of a Bad Romance
1. Scammers start asking favors. – After having established rapport, scammers will start asking little favors. They will ask you for banking details on the pretext that they want to send money to someone and share part of it with you. Please beware: Do not agree to transfer money for someone else. You can be embroiled in money laundering activity which is a criminal offense in most parts of the world. You should ask yourself, are these favors in a normal relationship? Listen to your gut feeling. Chances are, you may be dead on the money.
2. Scammers ask for money. – This is the defining character of all online scammers. The US Consular Office has officially issued a warning to never send money to anyone you have not met in person and whose identity you have not verified. Many online scammers will claim that they have fallen ill; have been involved in a serious accident or need money to pay the bills. If you give in to this insistence, you could end up losing a lot of money which is impossible to recover. It is reported that online and dating romances cheat Australians of millions of dollars every year.
a. Victims have reported that if refused, these scammers will insist and beg and their requests will have a note of desperation to them. Some will even have accomplices who will pose as doctors from hospitals informing you that the victim indeed does need money to pay for this and that. Don’t give in.
3. The scammers claim to be from the US but possess a thick accent or very bad grammar. – Many of these scammers will claim to be from the US but when you communicate with them their English is difficult to understand. They will also send messages or emails that have bad grammar or wrong spelling indicating that English is not their native language. These “one night stand scam sites” will have someone contacting you out of nowhere even though you have not had any pre-arranged agreement to meet or chat. They don’t offer much personal information and work on what you just normally offer. When you encounter someone online claiming to be from the US but have a hard time expressing themselves in English and doesn’t offer much about themselves, beware you may be communicating with a scammer.
4. Scammers have recently impersonated military personnel outside of the US. –Recent reports have shown that scammers have started impersonating US soldiers stationed outside of the US. They reportedly asked for money because they are in dire situations that require them to receive treatment or they need the money to buy laptops or cell phones so that they can continue with their romance on line. The US Army’s Criminal Investigation Command receive hundreds of reports every month from people claiming to have been fooled by military service men prompting CID’s spokesman, Chris Grey to issue a statement that people should stop sending money to persons they meet online and claim to be US military.
5. The scammers claim that the US embassy won’t help them. – Assisting overseas American citizens in distress is the US Department of State’s top priority. No one is turned away. Consular officers are available for emergencies 24 hours a day and contact information is available on the US embassy website. According to the US Department of State, should you insist on sending money, consider an OCS Trust instead of Western Union or MoneyGram. OCS Trust are routed from Western Union through the US Department of State and the funds are directly deposited with the nearest US Embassy or overseas consulate for pick up by your loved one.
a. Note: Please verify the citizenship of your intended beneficiary. If he or she is not an American citizen, the transfer cannot be processed and it will take more than a year before your money is returned to you less fees and charges.
6. Scammers blackmail you. – A recent report from the International Crime Complaint Center has revealed a new online dating fraud: dating extortion.
a. Scammers bait online members into intimate conversations then threaten to expose them if they don’t pay. Victims are provided links to website where their names, photos and telephone numbers are posted along with an option to view the sexual conversation for a fee. The victims are then prompted to pay a larger amount to have their information removed from the site.
b. According to an update from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is yet no indication that the information in question was ever removed.
7. Scammers target the vulnerable. – An estimated 70% of online victims are female with more than half over 40 years or older reports the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The perpetrator will spend time trying to build a relationship and in the process try to determine what makes a person tick. The victim having legitimate feelings will always be inclined to offer help or support once the connection is made. There are also reports that widowers and people with disabilities are special targets for the con as they are believed to be receiving financial support from the government.
Once you notice the following warning signs above, consider the possibility that you may be the target of a scam.
Try to distance yourself emotionally even though how caring they may seem. Talk it over with a family member or an independent friend and think twice before sending money. Should you agree to meet in person with someone you met on the net, tell family and friends. Never give credit card information online and be careful as to the amount of personal information you share on your social media account. If you believe that you have shared banking information with a scammer, inform your bank immediately.
Choose paid dating sites over the free membership ones as the former will always have credit card information on record and therefore easier to trace. Be proactive in digging up information about your new found friend; try to Google his email-address and pictures. Chances are, if they have been involved in some online fraud, there will be reports of them over the net.
If you have been the victim of scam one night stand sites or you notice one online, immediately report it to the authorities. Spreading the word is the best way to effectively stop these online predators from doing more harm to others.