While going through Internet articles for SkaDate Dating Software Monthly Roundups, I always stumble upon a few stories about online dating scammers. These things just never go away, since new people join new dating sites all the time, and then fall into the same traps.
Luckily, it seems that mainstream media no longer blames the industry itself for this unfortunate situation, and actually understands now that scammers will find a way to con others even without using online dating services.
Still, as an owner of a dating site (running on SkaDate dating script or not), it is in your best interest to know everything about scammers’ techniques, spot them on time, and forewarn your members about potential dangers. Here’s a few pointers to share with you community.
First of all, scams are virtually unavoidable in our business. In the immortal words of Dr. House, “Everybody lies”. But there is no need to weed out every single harmless untruth about your members’ age or look – those are a part of the game. It is when things are getting serious and money talks are involved, that your direct intervention is required.
Take for instance, the infamous Nigerian Dating Scam. It boils down to your potential partner working (serving in the military) in Nigeria (any other country but yours) and asking you for the money. It might not happen right away and wouldn’t be a direct request, of course, although cases like that have been documented as well.
Once the initial online relationship started and shows the promise of growing into something bigger, the match will display a sudden urge to meet in person, but will always encounter numerous insurmountable obstacles.
Said obstacles can be removed exclusively with your help, or more specifically, your ability to send money to Nigeria (alternatively, cash money orders, which inevitably end up counterfeit). Needless to say, anyone falling for this will end up both brokenhearted and with an empty bank account in no time.
This con is so widespread that even Wall Street Journal wrote about it. The details change from case to case, but the underlying emphasis on international money transfer stays intact in each sad story.
Then there are less obvious ‘Unfaithful Spouse’, ‘Russian Bride’, or “Gold Digger’ scams, which will milk your wallet slowly, or simply drive you insane. For a more comprehensive look at all the scams going strong at the moment, check out the Official Romance Scams Website.
Here is a quick reference check-list to see if you are becoming a target of a scammer’s plot:
- Your match is quick to profess love to you;
- Your match frequently pushes your emotional buttons;
- Your match insist on communication via email or Skype (not dating site);
- Your match says they are from the same country with you (US), but are currently abroad;
- Your match is hit with a series of unfortunate circumstances;
- YOUR MATCH ASKS FOR YOUR MONEY;
In the end, everything boils down to a couple of simple rules. Stay alert and don’t let the prospect of true love sweep you off your feet – be logical. No matter how intense your Internet love affair seems to be, a person isn’t likely to ask a stranger for finances – there are friends, families, and special services just for that.
Avoid starting serious long-distance relationships if possible. And of course, never wire money to someone asking for it on a dating site. No matter how kind or trusting person you want to seem, this practice is unlikely to result in the start of a healthy relationship anyway.