If you’re looking to meet a special someone, you may turn to a dating app or website. Setting up a dating profile often requires a lot of personal information. Think about the small details you provide when talking about yourself, trying to impress a potential partner.
When it comes to dating apps, you never really know who is on the other end of the phone or computer. “Catfishing” is becoming more and more common as con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. What makes this even more heartbreaking is that scammers are taking advantage of the quest for love.
Romance scams often start with photos and text stolen from real accounts. Usually, the person is across the country or overseas for one reason or another to explain why they can’t meet you in person. Over a short period of time the relationship seems to grow, exchanging photos and romantic messages, even talking on the phone or through a webcam. Just when the relationship seems to be getting serious, your new sweetheart has an emergency and starts to request money. But once the money is sent, they will continue to ask for more, coming up with more excuses, or cut off all communication altogether.
BBB wants you to be wary of the information you put online and in dating apps. Take note if someone constantly has excuses to postpone meeting in person or if their photos and information don’t seem to match up. Avoid requests for money, no matter how compelling the story may be. And if you do decide to meet up with someone you met online, consider meeting in a public place and letting a trusted friend know where you’ll be.