It would be a good idea to place a warning sign "Beware Scammers!" on the main page of every dating site. However, such a sign will deter many visitors, therefore warning information can be found only in the site rules that are not read by all the users. And even those who have read the warning take it carelessly being sure of their ability to identify scammers and avoid harm. Many people sincerely believe that they can't be scammed in the Internet because it is not the real life where one can steal a wallet out of a pocket or take money at gunpoint. However, the system of getting money in the Internet is quite different; it often works with even the most hard-headed pragmatists. It is erroneous to think that there are only a few scammers on each dating site, the number of them really strikes. People can't believe they were scammed not by a beautiful girl but by a team specializing in scamming. However, the victim usually doesn't know the real name of the scammer, he or she simply disappears. So, how to identify scammers and avoid becoming their victim?
How it works
Everything is quite simple. You won't be asked a large amount of money in the first message because your reaction will be quite expectable - you will refuse. Everything is much more sophisticated. People who get acquainted in the Internet to find serious relationship readily trust their conversation partners, especially when staying in touch for more than few days, for example, during a month.
Let's first consider the situation from man's point of view, as men most often become scammers' victims. You communication can be initiated either by you or a girl from a dating site. While staying in touch, you receive warm and hearty letters continuously saying she liked you from the first sight and she was searching for you for the whole life. After you have been communicating for some time (it can be a week or a month), the question of meeting logically arises. This is when the girl announces she would gladly come to you but she has no money for visa at the moment. If you really like the girl, you will most probably give her USD 200 to 300 for visa. The subsequent scenario will develop depending on the scammer's professionalism and boldness. The girl can disappear from your life forever after receiving this USD 200 or 300. Only then you will realize that you do not know her phone number or address. A bolder scammer will announce about her visa readiness but inability to buy a ticket due to her little salary and that you will need to wait for a long time till she has the necessary amount. The true gentleman will offer to send money for the ticket to see her. After the money has been sent, you will finally say goodbye to your uncatchable love. She will most probably never contact you anymore.
Don't think that paying for her ticket is the single way to get your money. Scammers can tell any story, they don't hesitate to tell even about child's mortal disease and ask money for surgery. They imitate despair very well. You can also hear a story about a vase she broke in a museum and a large penalty she needs to pay not to get in prison; about getting to hospital after a terrible accident and money she needs for treatment. She can pretend she got to slavery and was lucky to find her passport and now needs money for escape. It all can sound so true that you first intention will be to help her, especially if you have any problems with money. You will send her a money transfer and then one message after another. But there will be no answer, as after getting everything she wanted from you she will turn to processing the next victim.
Situation with girls is slightly more difficult; however, they also come across scammers. For example, a girl meets a man and they send each other tender and flamy letters, they can even call each other. When the girl says she is practically in love with him, he suddenly disappears. He appears a week later when the girl is going out of her mind with worry and writes that he was robbed and taken to another town. He has no relatives or friends that can help him with money and he has no documents with him. He has no idea how to get home. It is easy to excite pity when talking to a girl, especially when after a month of communication the person seems to be close and native. It is not difficult for her to send him USD 200 - 400; moreover he will return it as soon as he gets home. It is excessive to say that the man permanently disappears after receiving the money. There can be many such stories with ill child or parents, etc.
Don't think that all scammers can be identified from the very beginning. They are usually good psychologists, or a team that has a psychologist for these purposes. You may think that if scammers want your money they will receive it anyway. Situations when people really need money can sometimes be true, and that makes you think you are killing the last chance for a happy end with your refusal. If you follow some simple rules, you will save yourself from losing money and make your contribution into the fight against scammers. There can possibly be real situations when people actually need help, for example, 2-3 letters out of 100. If you really want to help somebody, just be cautious.
How to behave when a possible scammer asks for money
Let's see how to identify a scammer from a person that really needs money. First thing you should pay attention to is his or her profile on the dating site. Examine it carefully for discrepancies. For example, if a tall voluptuous girl from the photo writes in her profile that her weight is 48 - 50 kg, it's the first warning sign. Pay attention to details, for instance, the color of her eyes and hair, make comparison with her photos. If the girl writes she is poor and she stands against Eiffel tower on the photo, it is the reason to put her in doubt. If her photo in the profile is the only one you have seen though you've asked for additional photos many times, the chances you communicate with a scammer increase. Ask your conversation partner to send you photos with friends, parents, at home, in the city, etc., the more photos the better. It is recommended to communicate via web camera to see each other. Telephone calls will also be helpful.
Pay attention to your correspondence. Most scammers do not read your letters carefully and leave many questions unanswered. You should also be suspicious when in regular tender and loving letters the person often changes his or her tastes, hobbies, etc. This often happens when scammers process several tens of people simultaneously. Professional scammer is more difficult to catch. You should wait till he or she makes a mistake.
The next thing that should make you suspicious is when in the second or third letter your conversation partner starts telling about material problems, ill relatives, etc. It is usually accompanied with hints that you can help with your money. The only right answer in this case is refusal. If you think the person may really need your help, make the following. Tell about scamming cases becoming more often in the Internet. You believe, but you know each other for so little time. Ask for more detailed information about the problem, i.e. official documents. Say you will help as soon as you make sure the person is telling the truth. If he or she is really in trouble your request will be fulfilled, otherwise you will be accused of being greedy or the person will simply disappear because of the inability to get anything from you.
If you are searching for your destiny on a dating site, don't trust every letter you receive. Be very careful. Unfortunately, many people make cash on feelings today. Don't become their victim. Be extremely cautious if anything in your conversation partner makes you suspicious. If you have understood you are communicating with a scammer, stop your communication immediately.