Scammed on a dating site
"If I can help anybody to not get caught like I did, then it's damn well worth it." Con said his desire for a family is what kept him on the hook for so long. "To have someone say that they're going to give you that, that's the really tough part.And then they pretty much stick a knife in you." Con's story is not unusual, police said.
"My advice is, if you have any suspicion, start asking questions," he said.So it’s up to you to determine how truthful a person is being in his or her profile.To recognize and avoid romance scams, follow these tips. Copy the images your online correspondent has posted to his or her profile, then run them through a reverse-image search engine, such as Tin Eye or Google Images.If the images come up associated with a person who has another name or lives in a different city, you have good reason to suspect they were stolen from someone else’s profile.And if you’ve been communicating with someone by email, check their address at a site such as Romance Scams, which compiles lists of email addresses belonging to known scammers. Type the name of the person you met online into Google or Bing and see what comes up. If you are asked to send money and feel so inclined, run the whole scenario by someone you trust.In 2018, Edmonton police investigated 11 romance scams totaling an overall reported loss of more than $1.1 million.
In 2017, they investigated 10 cases with an overall reported loss of $397,000.
(The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can’t get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs Romance Scams, a watchdog site and online support group.
According to a recent Consumer Reports Online Dating Survey of more than 114,000 subscribers, among the respondents who were considering online dating but were hesitant, 46 percent said they were concerned about being scammed. “Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says David Farquhar, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI.
Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they’ve met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.
Most dating websites—even ones that cost money—don’t vet the people who sign up.
Just really making me feel special.”But within only a few weeks, those declarations of love were soon mixed with requests for money: John told Tonya he needed money while traveling overseas on a planned work trip to Egypt.