In 2015, dating scams cost Australians $55 million. Unfortunately, many of those who lost money had the best intentions. They were simply looking for love. Scam artists, however, take advantage of those with trusting hearts.
The majority of dating scams in Australia are related to online dating. That interaction could be on a dating site, social media or another community group. Communication between users and scammers begins very innocently. The stories they tell may paint them in a light of being in trouble or needing help. They prey on the empathy of others.
Their stories will often include reasons or objections as to why they cannot meet in person or talk through video applications. That should be a huge red flag. Until meeting in person or via video, you may never know with whom you are actually talking.
Their story is always vague as well and not easily verifiable through just an online search. This is another red flag, as most people, especially those you meet online, have some kind of digital footprint.
It’s important to pick up on cues that this could be a dating scam. Ask for proof of identity if you feel suspicious. Those who run these kinds of scams are good at winning confidence. Most con men are. Don’t allow your judgment to be clouded because you believe you have feelings for a person. The moment you are asked for money is the ultimate red flag.
Dating scams aren’t limited to just online money schemes. They also occur when a married man or woman enters an online relationship under a false identity. At least 41 percent of married individuals admit they have been unfaithful, either physically or emotionally. While these online relationships may be virtual that doesn’t mean it’s not cheating. There are even websites dedicated to making it easy for people to have online affairs.
If you are distrustful of your spouse’s online behaviour, it’s not always easy to gain access to someone’s digital activity. On the other hand, if you meet someone online that seems too good to be true then trust your gut. If the person, although real, wants to limit your interaction to virtual, this could indicate they have another life.
All of these dating scams happen every day to many innocent people. You may lose your money or your heart. The best thing to do when you can’t get answers is to turn to a professional. Private investigators know how to investigate people and reveal who they really are. If you are desperate for answers, we’re here to help. Contact us today to get the answers you deserve.