How to Spot and Avoid Romance Scams – A Step- by-Step Guide


How to Spot and Avoid Romance Scams – A Step- by-Step Guide

What are Romance Scams?

Romance scams happen when victims are tricked into "fake" relationships by criminals who intend to steal their money or personal information. Criminals often use fake profiles to carry out love scams.


What are the signs you’re being scammed?

Fraudsters can be experienced in spinning stories to lure victims. However, there are some red flags that can help you spot them.

These include the following:

• They prefer to keep communication on dating sites. They may suggest switching to instant messaging, texting or phone calls instead

• They ask a lot of questions about you

• They avoid answering personal questions about themselves. The details they tell you are made up or not. For example, they may say they studied at university, but their spelling and grammar are poor.

• They try to make connections quickly. For example, they may give you a cute pet name or tell you that they have never experienced anything like this before.

• They are asking for financial assistance. They may also talk to you frequently about financial matters in hopes that you will help.

• You will never meet them in person. They may promise to meet with you, but always cancel or give an excuse to delay the meeting, such as financial problems.

• You browse their profile picture and it looks like someone else's


How to protect yourself from scams

Dating websites and apps can be useful tools for meeting someone new. However, it is wise to be careful when discussing things that can lead to sex.

Here are some things that will help you avoid getting scammed:


How to Spot and Avoid Romance Scams – A Step- by-Step Guide

• Do not share personal information

If you share personal information like your full name, date of birth and home address with someone you don't know, you may not know what they will do with it. 

Also, try not to share personal data online with people you know - you could end up sending it to a scammer impersonating them. You should also be careful when choosing your username on a dating site - don't include personal information such as your status.


• Do not send or receive money

Do not send or receive money from anyone you meet online, even if their story is interesting. This applies to money and your bank account, credit card or other financial information. If this request is from someone you think you know, check them offline to make sure it's really them.


• Use trusted dating sites

Fraudsters often want to remove their criminal activities from popular dating sites as soon as possible. They will likely try to convince you through social media or text messages. This is how dating sites have no proof that they are asking you for money. If you interact with someone on this website, contact them through the site's messaging service.


• Do not share your personal details

Use a website that will allow you to keep your personal information private until you are ready to share it. These include your contact details, such as your phone number, email address or home address.


• Think carefully before using your webcam

Be careful when using your webcam on a new love online, even if it's someone you think you know. This image may be used against you. This applies to all cameras and devices, from computers and laptops to smart phones and tablets.


• Trust your instincts

If something seems wrong to you, it probably is. Be careful.


How to Report a Romance Scam

You can report fake dating profiles on the website where they are posted. This will help the site to shut down any fraudulent accounts. If you've lost money to a romantic scammer or think they may have stolen your personal information, you can contact Action Fraud, the reporting and privacy service.

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