General chatter - Online dating scammers




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Novus
09-12-2013, 08:58 PM
I recently had a rather horrific (and humiliating) experience with online dating. It wasn't something I had any clue to be wary of so I thought I would share it with the 3FC community.

I created a profile on an online dating site in July. A guy contacted me and I checked out his profile and thought he seemed interesting. I was a bit hesitant because he said he lived in another state but I decided not to let that be a determining factor. We progressed from messaging on the site, to emailing, to texting.

There were a few things that maybe seemed a bit "off" but nothing that really made me think it was anything more than me being overly cautious. He sent me an email this morning and there was one line that just seemed like it must have been something from a song or a poem. Curious, I googled that phrase.

I was utterly horrified when the search returned page after page of information about dating scammers and how the line that caught my attention is one that they use. I went to one of the sites that was listed in the google search (romancescam.com (http://www.romancescam.com/forum/)) and found that it has a feature that allows you to search by name, email, or picture. I uploaded one of the photos the guy had emailed me.....and there he was. I also learned that he has a facebook account using that same picture with a different name.

According to the website:

It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian advance fee (419) scam. Instead of sending spam letters that promise millions for your assistance, these scammers are targeting single men and women who are searching for love online.

They use psychological tricks to lure their victims in, use poetry and even gifts to get them under their spell, then once you are there, will try to reach for your wallet, all the time declaring their "undying love" for you. The scam may take the form of asking you to cash a cheque for them through your bank account because they are "out of the country" and unable to cash it themselves, or they may come right out and ask you to send money to help them out of a fabricated "financial difficulty" they claim to be experiencing. These are all lies used to try to make them easy money from an unsuspecting victim.

I feel like such an idiot. :( Hope this info helps someone!


Lecomtes
09-13-2013, 02:44 AM
So sorry! Some people are just sucky! Thanks for warning everyone!

mhill0823
09-13-2013, 11:23 AM
I recently signed up for online dating and ended up getting creeped out by all of the guys who would send me messages so I deleted it. This is even more reason that I'm glad I did!
Thanks for sharing!!!
I'm glad you were so cautious and skeptical! It saved you so much in the end!


Mozzy
09-13-2013, 01:08 PM
Hugs

That's creepy!

vintagecat
09-13-2013, 02:02 PM
You are not an idiot and you are also not a victim because you were aware and savvy.

Alert your dating site about this "persona" sending all information that you have to them so they can at least cut that account off of their site. Like mushrooms after a rain, no doubt they will crop up again.

I wonder what they would do if you sent them a note asking them for money or to cash a check? I'd almost do that to be a bi-otch. No doubt they would disappear in a flash.

I'm sorry that this happened to you.

JeniH
09-13-2013, 02:09 PM
I'm sorry you had that experience as with "real life" dating people lie, it's just unfortunately easier to lie online.

I've done the online dating thing for a few years and have met a few guys. Some are creeps, some have been "normal". I met my current bf online, we've been together for a year and 9 months and are hoping to get married next year! He is amazing and we would have never met had it not been for the Internet. Never in the whole time we talked did I ever get any creepy vibe from him.

I think online dating can be a great way to met people if your current situation makes doing so hard. I've stuck to the motto of "trust but verify". I ask lots of questions, watch for inconsistencies, ask about things that feel off to me, etc. I google user names, their actual names, I am very inquisitive, asking lots of questions about where they live, where they grew up, what they do, etc. I ask them about the area they live in, what kind of things to do there, favorite restaurants, etc and then I do my own research to see if it matches. If they say they go to a certain college, what is their major, what classes are they taking, etc. You can go a reverse image search although I have not done one (Catfish the tv show has taught me that).

I suppose I could come off as paranoid but this is the way I am, I have investigated people I met in person too. Just because you met them in person doesn't mean they are telling you the truth. My mother said Im a born investigator and I should have gone into criminal justice vs social work (I agree, Id love to be a probation officer).

Trust your judgement. If they ask for money, run! i don't care what their reason is. If they keep putting off meeting you or skyping run (video cameras are cheap and most phones have the ability to take and send video). If they start with the I love yous too early (subjective) run, they are either needy or trying to pull you in for some reason (money).

One more thing. I've been on both "normal" dating sites as well as BBW sites. I've gotten WAY more creepy guys on the BBW sites then the normal ones. YMMV of course.

seabiscuit
09-13-2013, 08:20 PM
Personally, I find it both scary and shocking how the internet is unlike anything else in that there is practically no monitoring of dangerous activity, thus making it a breeding ground for scammers and hackers. I also think that it is crazy how people go to almost any lengths to try to scam people, sick.

I sold some items on eBay and advertised on Craigslist, I remember people trying to scam me. I was new to doing this and I am glad that a friend told me what was going on, I almost fell for the scams and some of these scammers can be very tricky and clever.

I also have been on and off again on a free dating site, I haven't had many bad experiences but I found it odd how I received the exact same message months later from the same guy. Once, at my volunteer work when I was chatting with some people who said that out of a lot of the online dating profiles, a high number off them are fake. That really opened my eyes to a harsh and scary reality. I watched part of a Dr. Phil show a few days ago where this woman had been duped and scammed into sending a guy thousands of dollars who she had fallen in love with all from lies.

Be careful!!

AwShucks
09-13-2013, 10:12 PM
You are so smart! Good for you for figuring out the scam. I've seen too many "20/20" and "Dateline" shows for my own good. I'm probably too cautious and skeptical. It's a bad world out there. But, good for you! Thanks for the warning.

Novus
09-14-2013, 02:18 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments and support. I was aware that there could be a lot of fakers in the online dating world but nothing of this extreme. :eek: I've gotten those scam emails and wondered, "How could anyone be stupid enough to fall for this?" This online dating angle is much more slick and it's very easy to be duped. Reading the forums on the scam website is stomach turning. I definitely hope I've helped someone by putting my story out there!

Wannabeskinny
09-14-2013, 08:34 AM
I wonder what they would do if you sent them a note asking them for money or to cash a check? I'd almost do that to be a bi-otch. No doubt they would disappear in a flash.


Yes! Do it lol! What a jerk, glad you were smart enough to see right through the scam. Always trust your intuition!

AnnRue
09-14-2013, 11:41 AM
I have come to think all dating sites have been infected with scammers and worse. Anything that is worth anything involves doing it the hard way. Going out talking to people. I would advise perhaps some meetups or going to adult classes... where you are going to meet more legitimate folks. Sorry, but I have given up on online dating.

Wannabeskinny
09-14-2013, 11:52 AM
I have come to think all dating sites have been infected with scammers and worse. Anything that is worth anything involves doing it the hard way. Going out talking to people. I would advise perhaps some meetups or going to adult classes... where you are going to meet more legitimate folks. Sorry, but I have given up on online dating.

It's not all bad. I met my husband on an online dating site but I did have to weed through a lot if shady guys first. A lot! I don't think it was less difficult than the hard way you mentioned.

Novus
09-14-2013, 01:41 PM
I wonder what they would do if you sent them a note asking them for money or to cash a check? I'd almost do that to be a bi-otch. No doubt they would disappear in a flash.

Yes! Do it lol! What a jerk...!

I almost immediately sent him a "f you" email. I wish I hadn't so I could mess with his head for awhile. :lol:

diamondgeog
09-14-2013, 05:21 PM
I met my wife through Match. There is NOTHING inherently wrong or off about Internet dating sites. You have people looking for relationships and they afford the chance to learn about one another and take it as slow as you want.

You have to be smart with any relationship. But saying a scammer makes Internet dating oh something you shouldn't consider would mean email scam should make you never use bill pay or shop on Amazon or visit websites like 3FC.

Dating sites can and do help create, well, matches.

diamondgeog
09-14-2013, 05:27 PM
I met about 20-30 different women. Some dates weren't the best, but most were pleasant I think for both parties. I asked a lot of questions about profiles and was honest in mine. I even got set up after a Match date with someone I dated for awhile because the Match date thought I was a nice guy but not right for her.

Sorry you are finding 'shady' guys. Ask questions, email a lot, meet in a very public place and things can go very well.

mzshaunna
09-14-2013, 08:09 PM
What a jerk :( I met my now bf off a penpal website and was wary at first because I had not had any good experiences in the past so I can understand where you are coming from. Good on you for following your instincts

MedChick87
09-15-2013, 04:29 PM
I have come to think all dating sites have been infected with scammers and worse. Anything that is worth anything involves doing it the hard way. Going out talking to people. I would advise perhaps some meetups or going to adult classes... where you are going to meet more legitimate folks. Sorry, but I have given up on online dating.

Met seemingly awesome guy at Starbucks: cheated on me with 3 other girls for almost a year (not to mention he constantly caused arguments).

Met another seemingly awesome guy online: treats me better than any person I've ever met in "real life". We're going on 2 years and I've never been happier.

Yeah, it's anecdotal evidence, but the point is online dating isn't all bad. Not every guy who uses it is a creep or perv. And it's definitely not the easy way out, as you seem to be implying.

sontaikle
09-15-2013, 05:11 PM
I've been online dating for about a month. I think with anything else you just have to be smart about it, you know?

That said, THERE ARE A LOT OF CRAZY GUYS OMG. I never realized. I haven't dated much before my ex at all, so while I have been meeting some nice ones, I've had to block the numbers of a few guys because if I didn't answer a text immediately it meant that I must be some b*tch or something, when in reality I WAS WORKING and thus can't answer a text immediately. I've learned quick who to give my number to and who to not give it to.

I'm also absent-minded and forget to answer texts when I'm not busy. I met a nice guy who is the same way; we laughed about it.

I have to admit I'm enjoying the attention I'm getting since I've never had attention like this from men before. I've been enjoying myself for a while, hooking up with different guys (that sounds so bad, but not for sex), but now I'm cooling it and looking for someone who is boyfriend material.

I have to say, I have met a lot of decent guys through this. I may not wind up getting into a relationship with a lot of them, but I have met people who will make nice friends (and I've already agreed to be friends with a few guys because we realized that there was no chemistry in that way).

Em Coconut
09-15-2013, 05:58 PM
Sorry for your bad experience, that's not nice...Thank you for sharing this, I think it's a smart thing to keep in mind for those who are on online dating sites or considering to join.

I have been doing some online dating myself when I was younger, and there was definitely a lot of weird guys who found me. I met some of them, and I kinda figured out that if something seemed a bit off, it usually was. So I think this is an area where good use of intuition comes in handy. There are good guys/girls on these sites, it just takes a little bit to find them sometimes :)

Wannabeskinny
09-15-2013, 09:09 PM
Oh man I only met my husband about 10yrs ago but I sure am glad we met before the texting craze!

prayersinchairs
09-19-2013, 12:25 AM
I met my current through an online dating site, though I found out we had some mutual people in common. We just celebrated our one year earlier in the month and I couldn't be happier. I dated around a little bit with people that I had met online before settling down. I met some creeps, but don't give up, there are some people that are worthwhile.