You meet someone online and after just a few
contacts they profess strong feelings for you, and ask to chat with you
privately. If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away
from the site and communicate via chat or email.
Their profile on the internet dating website or their other
social media page is not consistent with what they tell you. For
example, their profile picture looks different to their description
of themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English
After gaining your trust – often waiting weeks,
months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for
money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.
Their messages are often poorly written, vague and
escalate quickly from introduction to love.
If you don’t send money straight away, their messages
and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send
money, they continue to ask you to send more.
They don’t keep their promises and always have an
excuse for why they can't travel to meet you and why they always need more
Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
Always consider the possibility that the approach may
be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear. Try to
remove the emotion from your decision making no matter how caring or
persistent the ‘prospective partner’ is.
Do an image search of your admirer to help
determine if they really are who they say they are. You can use image
search services such as Google
Be alert to things like spelling and grammar mistakes,
inconsistencies in their stories and others signs that it’s a scam like
their camera never working if you want to Skype each other.
Be cautious when sharing personal pictures or videos
with prospective partners, especially if you’ve never met them before.
Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material.
If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person,
tell family and friends where you are going. Scam watch strongly
recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met
Be wary of requests for money. Never send money or give
credit card details, online account details, or copies of important
personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for
up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds
transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency,It is rare to recover money sent this
Do not agree to transfer money for someone else: money
laundering is a criminal offence.
Be very careful about how much personal information you
share on social network sites. Scammers can use your information and
pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.