Online Dating Scams

December 28, 2016

More relationships are starting online, and scammers are taking advantage of this new medium to make money. The Attorney General's Office urges you to use extreme caution when meeting people online. Criminals make bogus profiles to con people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. They do this by quickly gaining your trust and tug on your emotions and exploit that trust. Victims are left embarrassed and in financial distress.

But how do you know whether it is a fake profile? There may be inconsistencies in the profile or be suspiciously vague. Perhaps they're working overseas and can't meet in person - the biggest red flag of all.

The criminal gains your trust by exchanging basic information and quickly ask you to switch to a different medium like instant messaging, email or text. A scammer will quickly express their love, have uncanny similarities to you and claim the match was meant to be. There are many online dating success stories. But if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

NEVER send money to someone you've never met.

Do not share sensitive personal or financial information with someone you haven't met in person.

Stay on the dating site - going off the site makes it harder for law enforcement to track them down.

Use a dedicated email address for dating only. This will protect your privacy.

Be wary of coincidental similarities and inconsistencies in an individual's story. If things don't sound right, ask for details, or ask a family member or friend for their perspective. Romance scammers know that emotions can easily skew judgment and count on affection and attention to thwart your judgment.

Wiring money is like sending cash, don't do it.

Report suspicious profiles to the dating website.