Online dating scam search
If you become suspicious of your scammer, the fraudster may threaten to send the video to your friends, family, workplace or church if you won’t send money. If the scammers do send the video, they won’t get any cash.“Please, keep your webcam off and your pants on,” Sluppick says.
“They slowly become part of the victim’s dreams.” Sluppick’s organization provides support and education to those who lose their hearts – and often a chunk of their finances – to scammers.Other dangers: sextortion and worse If you’re all dreamy about your online love, you may be vulnerable to sextortion, a form of blackmail, Sluppick says.Don’t let yourself be persuaded to take off your clothes and perform sex acts in front of your computer, as all of this is often being filmed by the scammer.Other tricks include getting you to smuggle drugs or launder money unknowingly.For example, Joseph Byron Martin, a 77-year-old retired pastor in Maine, was released from a Spanish prison in 2016.Victims include everyone from doctors and lawyers to CEOs and cops, Sluppick says.
In many cases, they’re lonely after a divorce, the death of a spouse, or their kids are grown and have left home.
Don’t disclose your last name, your address, your place of work or other personal details until you meet your love interest in person. You also can copy portions of emails a love interest has sent and use an online search engine to see if the text appears elsewhere, because many scammers work off scripts, Nofziger says.
Also, copy his or her photo and do an image search to see if anyone else shows up with that photo, Nofziger says.
They’ll quickly weasel their way into your life, learning your favorite foods or favorite color, Sluppick says.
If a friend voices suspicion, the scammer will say the friend is jealous and tell you to stop talking to your friend, she says.
Western Union received at least 44,500 complaints about online dating and romance scams, with losses totaling at least $41 million, between 20, the FTC’s Todd Kossow says.