Potential signs of a romance scammer | #daitngscams | #lovescams


A catfish is “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes” according to Merriam-Webster.

The South African reported on a Kwazulu-Natal woman who was scammed out of more than R100, 000 by a fake pilot in June 2023. 

ALSO READ: WARNING: New SARS scam doing rounds in South Africa

Catfish scams, or fraudsters who con victims out of money with promises of love or romance, could be on the rise.

SAPS information warns that anything that seems to good to be true, could be a scam.

ALSO READ: Catfishing scams: This is how much lovelorn South Africans paid online fraudsters in 2020

Could you spot a romance scammer?

Here are potential signs that you are dealing with a catfish, or romance scammer.

THEY CAN’T GET THEIR STORY STRAIGHT

If an online partner’s story keeps changing from one day to the next, it could be a sign that you’re really talking to a catfish.

The South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC) warns that syndicates sometimes have more than one person behind the same account. 

ALSO READ: Vishing: How to stay safe from the new banking scam in SA

While the victim may think they’re speaking to one person, the account really changes hands and might miss small details, like what you were talking about two days ago.

THERE ISN’T MUCH ABOUT THEM ONLINE

If searching for a person online doesn’t bring up much detail, they could be a catfish.

Cybersecurity provider Norton warns that romance scammers often use new accounts, and can’t fabricate years worth of internet history that a real person might have.

ALSO READ: Here are South Africa’s top scammers listed by the FBI

Someone who doesn’t have many friends or followers, or who just popped out of thin air with no information should make you think twice.

THEY ASK FOR ACCOUNT OR BANKING DETAILS

If someone asks for your account or banking details, they may be trying to catfish you.

Safety awareness from SAPS cautions against sharing personal information, such as banking details, with anyone over the internet or phone. This can include an online love interest, or anyone you have juet met.

THEY ASK FOR MONEY

Cybersecurity provider Kaspersky says that catfish scammers often ask their victims for money.

Think twice if  an online partner asks for money to visit, or makes a habit out of asking for increasingly large amounts of cash.



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