With more Canadians turning to the Internet to find Mr. or Ms. Right, it’s now more important than ever before to recognize the signs of online dating fraud – read on for tips on how to identify romance scams.
This type of fraud generally works because the scammer works to gain your trust, often waiting weeks or even months before asking for money. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported that Canadians lost about $17 million last year to these kinds of scams. Even more disheartening is the fact that few actually report they’ve been a victim – according to the Anti-Fraud Centre, only an estimated 1 to 5% tell police what happened, speculating that embarrassment about the situation is often to blame.
What are some of the signs of online dating fraud?
- The relationship moves a little too fast. Because this fraud is dependent on the scammer earning your trust, be cautious if you meet someone online and they claim to have fallen in love with you quickly (especially if you’ve never met the person face-to-face).
- They ask for money. If the topic of money comes up inappropriately early in the relationship, be careful. Common tactics include the scammer talking about a loved one who needs financial help, or saying that while they want to travel to see you, they lack the funds to do so.
- Their profile picture is a generic image. The profile photo of an online dating site scammer will rarely be an actual image of him or herself. Put the photo in a reverse image search (such as the one from Google) to see where else it appears on the internet.
If you have lost money to a romance scam, report it to your local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
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3 thoughts on “Too good to be true? Protect yourself against online dating fraud”
I saw a lot of this 3 years ago when I was doing online dating. I had so many men fall madly in love with me many times. It got to be a joke to see how fast these scammers would show up and ask for money. The same old story. ” I’m in Africa, I am an Engineer, its truly amazing how many bridges there are to be made in Africa, LOL. Fortunately I never had the means or the brains to give any money.
Fortunately I met my husband on a dating site from Vancouver, he’s the real deal. He has money.
This just happened to me! I am a widow, 79 and thought to try to find a companion online as I have no other sources. I soon learned that many sites are somehow connected; a man,67 contacted me and soon started to fall for me. I was flattered of course and although not sure, I went along with it. I was on guard for any questions to do with money. After about a month, I was asked,’How do you feel about charity? Oh,oh, here we go I thought. I confronted him about this strange question and he was very upset and insulted I should think such as thing. anyway the end was near. Another male, age 60 send me a flattering note. I replied that I was not interesting in a long distance relationship, so thanks, but no thanks. I was surprised to receive a long letter from him telling me all about his life. As I am reading this,I realize I have read this letter before! It is identical to a letter I received from the previous guy, only the name and nationality was different!two different sites were used
This is not a scam but be aware of men who live for their pet usually a dog or live for their grandkids. I love my grandkids as much as the next person but I don’t live my life for them. or for a pet.
One guy drove with the dog on his lap, ate with it and slept with it. No Tks. Another one wouldn’t go for coffee unless he could see his dog in the car from the coffee shop window. !