It’s simple – never give money to your online date!

We bring to a conclusion our analysis of Action Fraud’s report on how to spot a dating site fraudster and how to protect yourself from being duped in this post. By the time you’ve read and digested this information you will be armed and able to spot a scam before you’ve read past the ‘Dear Sweetest Sweetheart’.

To the crunch – these conmen who target singles on dating sites across the world are after your money, pure and simple. Often, in order to entice you to donate to whichever mythical cause they have invented that needs your money to tide them over, they will mention the vast wealth they own that, for an equally untrue reason, they cannot get their hands on in time.

There will often be the promise that you will be paid back double, once the ‘plant’, the third party interjected into the tale of woe to instil confidence in their targeted dating site member, can get their money back to them. As Michael Stipe once crooned ‘if you believe they put a man on the moon, nothing is real, nothing is cool.’

Following investigations made by Australian fraud departments, as well as other crime fighting departments across the globe, the root of this evil is very often buried deep in African soil. There are crime syndicates who train many, many people to adopt multiple personas across singles and matchmaking sites in the US, Europe and particularly UK dating sites.

Wherever there is perceived wealth, you will find false dating profiles; often alluding to respected professions to gain your trust, they will groom you until your trust is believable and complete. Whether it be a high-ranking member of the armed forces, lawyers or doctors – all of whom will have had a back-story created to justify why they are where they are – you will be asked to send your money to Africa, more often than not.

And it will not be through PayPal or bank transfer – because of how difficult it is to trace once sent, your fraudulent online dating partner will ask you to send the cash by wire transfer. They will never ask you to pay it into their bank account, as that would mean revealing a name – this name would not match the moniker on the dating site profile, that’s for sure! Of course, this last aspect should not even arise; if you have picked up on any of the details in this series, you will not be considering sending money, full stop.

And that really is what it boils down to. Regardless of anything mentioned this week, or if your date is begging you for money in their barrage of letters before you’ve ever even met them, remember: DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE YOU HAVE MET ON A DATING SITE!

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.