Men aren’t immune to online dating scammers

In recent times there have been huge strides taken in the online dating industry to protect the female of the species online. Not from just scammers masquerading as love-lorn singles but also from men who have a dubious past and, as they may have become social lepers, turn their trade to unfortunate victims online.

However, as much as it is fantastic to see the warning signs gradually becoming more commonplace on existing and up and coming dating sites to advise women to be careful who they’re sharing their innermost secrets and stockpiles of cash with, spare a thought for the men out there who themselves are not invincible.

Every woman I’ve ever met knows that men are suckers for a winning smile, twinkly eyes and a flash of cleavage. One word of flattery from a ‘woman’ who posts a dating site profile ticking all of those boxes pretty much guarantees that the newbie dating male will be putty in their hands; or not, as the case may be.

If all of the women in the world know this and can use these charms to great effect to get what they want – to be fair, most honest men know it, too – do we not think that the scammers of this world realise it, also? It’s a tactic that works time and again for fraudsters on dating sites: a bit of flattery, get chatting, and pretty soon they’re not only exchanging phone numbers with the blinkered male, the ‘woman’s’ number running through a relay in the US or UK to make it convincing (and many organised gangs of African scammers have got some serious wedge behind them to be able to do this, it’s so lucrative an industry), but they’re exchanging credit card numbers, too, in order to fund and overcome whatever ‘unforeseeable’ event has stopped the ‘woman’ from hopping on the next domestic flight or express train to be at the unsuspecting male’s side.

Okay, said naïve gent may not be so green as to fall for the same ploy twice (but he might); you can just imagine the tills chinging with $100 cash-transfers from the thousands of lonely men wiring money to their super-good-looking, fictitious online partner who, in reality, is a young Nigerian male wearing a shirt and tie in a small African village, juggling ten or twenty similar profiles on his laptop, all to the same effect.

Gents, if it seems too good to be true that this beautiful Nordic blonde you’ve met on your dating site wants to meet up but has ran out of cash just at the moment she’d decided to abandon her native Scandinavia to be at your side, then it probably is.

Online dating fraud – don’t fall for the lies

There is absolutely nothing worse than building up a relationship over any length of time only to find out that it has been based upon a pack of lies. This is true in online dating and in the real world.

What compounds that act is when the person who you have opened your heart to has also left you devoid of cash as well as emotion. It’s sad, but true, that this is a constant thorn in the side of UK dating sites; indeed, across the whole of the web these crooks are pouncing, buttering up singles who they choose at random or with forethought, and it is a stigma that the dating site industry, in co-operation with fraud squads across the world, are trying to rid themselves of.

We continue our report into published documentation by Action Fraud, a UK organisation who are bringing to our attention a whole set of criteria that, when recognised, helps us spot these conmen on our dating sites, with a look into the extent these swindlers will go to in order to spin a believable yarn. The sooner you can nip this in the bud, the better. The longest case on record involved one dating site member who was groomed over a five-year period; even if it is token trinkets that the masqueraders entice you to send, the longer your ‘relationship’ continues, the grander the final bill!

no excuse for not spotting a fraudulent dating site profile

When the conman thinks you are primed and ready – you may have already sent small sums or mobile phones to enable them to stay in touch – you will be asked for the big one: the letter that their months of patience have been building up to. It can come in the form of an e-mail, private message on the dating site (not likely , as they will have tried to get you to communicate by other means away from dating site security and admin checks), by air-mail or, the most likely method, by instant messenger.

There will always have been a major catastrophe which has beset them; either their cousin needs £10,000 to stop their house being repossessed, their daughter is in need of medical attention, or a tragic occurrence that has befallen them on the way with the money to repay what they have already leant and their money, which does not exist, is with a.n.other, rendering it thus inaccessible.

That third party, like their money, is mythical – by including another human element, they believe it gives credence to their story, especially if that person was the cog in the machine that was going to get your money to you.

It may sound altogether convincing as you’re reading this alongside that false image on their dating site profile but beware – none of it is real. If you have given, stop; if you’re yet to give, reconsider: just how well do you know your online love? Politely refuse and move on; it may be hard, but it will save you more than simply face and heartache in the long run.