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!