Masters of manipulation
Millions of people sign up for online dating sites, and the scammers take advantage of that fact. While some of them actually meet their dream partner, others end up losing tens of thousands of pounds. As a result, online dating romance scams cost more than any other fraud. According to recent figures, the losses from these kinds of schemes will reach a record $304 million by 2020.
A new study by Atlas VPN shows that online dating romance scams are up 40 percent through the pandemic. The study was conducted using data from the Federal Trade Commission. It revealed that a lingering pandemic gave fraudulent suitors a cover to cheat and con unsuspecting potential mates. During the pandemic, fraudulent suitors fleeced hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting victims out of money, gift cards, and cryptocurrency.
Online dating-fraud tactics
Many scammers pose as citizens of the victim’s country and pose as a high-paying job overseas. For instance, they might claim to be a military officer, a doctor at an NGO, or a worker on an oil rig. They may also ask for money through a specific payment method. While it can be difficult to spot a scammer, you can use your common sense to protect yourself and your money.
The scammers are becoming more sophisticated and shrewd, and targeting seniors and people of lower socioeconomic status. While the numbers of older adults and people of color are most vulnerable, younger people are also at risk. The rising pandemic has left many people lonelier. A recent survey of 11,000 Medicare beneficiaries revealed that forty percent of them were socially isolated in November 2020. This decrease in social interaction has made people vulnerable to these schemes.
Another important thing to watch out for is the fake profiles of online dating romance scammers. They will try to switch you to email and IM to get your money. However, this is not the case, and many people fall victim to these types of fraudulent profiles. In addition to this, the scammers may even use fake profiles with the false identity of the person. In addition, they will not be able to answer questions about their personal lives, which is a major red flag.
Hiding behind a mask
Fraudsters rarely reveal their true face. Scammers are more sophisticated than ever, but it’s still a big problem. While the pandemic has made the task of catching online romance scams more difficult, it’s also made the criminals more nefarious. They may use a variety of means to get their money, including phishing for credit cards, or stealing unemployment benefits.
Moreover, scammers target a wide range of age groups, including seniors. While older people are the most likely to fall for a romance scam, younger people are the most vulnerable. They are likely to have fake profile photos, and their money is stolen through fake profiles. The number of reports has increased by 40 percent through the pandemic, with the most victims aged 40 to 69 years old.
Scammers may ask for money to get their desired love. If you are suspicious of their motives, don’t send money to them. Most scammers prefer to keep their identity secret. If a potential romance scammer asks for money, the next step is to hide their location. They may also want to use a Gmail address, which can be traced back to their identity.
Scammers can create fake profiles on dating sites and apps to lure unsuspecting victims. Most of these scammers are targeting singles in the 35-65 age range. The scammers often target people who have recently been through a personal tragedy. This is the prime demographic of these scammers. They can easily trick people by posing as someone else. The scammers may send money through Western Union.