It might not be you they’re after

If you’re lookin’ for love (sometimes in all the wrong places), chances are you’ll wind up on an online dating site at some point. Those who use dating sites can attest: you’ll meet some nice people there – and you’ll probably meet some weird people, too. You’ll have good dates and bad (and great and awful). And, unfortunately, as some people can attest, you might just meet some scammers.

We hear these stories all the time, and they tend to go a little like this: “I met this really nice woman on [fill in the name of the dating site]. Her membership was about to expire, so we switched to email. She’s from the US, but she’s working in [fill in the name of another country]. We connected right away, and we’re planning to meet. But things are a little tight for her right now because of [fill in reason for no money]. So I wired her the money for the ticket….”

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It really is. You’re on a dating site to meet people, and it seems like you have. But let the warning bells ring if you see or hear:

  • an immediate request to leave the site. Many online dating sites have protections in place to help protect you from scammers.
  • love at first sight. Most of us are hopeful people, but wow – love based on a profile and a couple of emails?  Hmm. Sure, explore that, but watch out.
  • any request for money. ANY request. For any reason: plane tickets, visas, a child’s (mother’s, whoever’s) hospital bill, expenses until their ship comes in…. That is a sure sign of a scam. Block and delete them and move along.
  • any mention of wiring money. If you wire money, it’s gone. Buh-bye. You’ll never see it again. Good for scammers, bad for you.

So, in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, do us a favor: keep in mind that you want someone who’s after you, not your money – and that warning bells can sound like wedding bells if you’re not listening carefully.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Sounds like a perfect place to score, and not just a date or relationship. Very useful observation! Thanks.

I'd also add if you are using an online dating site, do NOT say you are a widow or widower. I've talked with several people who have lost a ton of money to this kind of scam and what they had in common was they mentioned they had lost their spouse. I think scammers look for this.

So what happens after you've wired the money? All bets are off? Is there anything that can be done if the scammer remains out of the country? Or if the scammer shows up at one's doorstep?

Even if you wire the money within the US, it is almost certainly GONE.

the most popular date site has alot of theses scammers. One contacted me, said he was from area but working for private firm in Nigeria, email #3 bad luck, was in a wreck and need help, fortunatly i caught on quick something was wrong when i told him to go to embassy for help. next day he was off the site with at least that name. warned a girl at work who encountered the same thing different name. They are out there big time and around valentines day when peope are at there weakest.

I was on a dating site advertised on tv thought it would be safe, we went from chatting there for awhile to more private on Facebook IM. Well after a week of chatting every day 5-8 times in a day, talking about ourselves and our lives. He wanted to come home he is in the military and had to pay for the leave, telling me I would get the money back from the Army 4 days after he was home. I got forms via my email. I wired the money to the government. Thinking I had finally found my prince charming. Well then he need to pay for some accident and then he needed a ticket from London, he talked my brother into sending him the money, saying he would be Valentine's day and return every penny. Then there was no military transport till November. I said he would have to wait, I have no more money. I borrowed, the stress put me in the hospital with multiple mini stokes. Now I'm stuck with loans and such and I'm disabled.

hello i read ur story and i think i have been scammed too i met someone on a dating site also and they told me they are in the military aswell after a week he told me to delete my account on the dating site so we could talk on yahoo .we added each other and he told me he is in the us military but lives in australia .i am from australia and found this strange and asked lots of questions and he answered them all which i have recently found to be a lie .we have been chatting for 4 months and the first 3 months we talked 4 5 times aday which i also found strange he was more than willing to give me information in regards to being on patrol and other info i know soldiers wldnt be allowed to give out the first time he asked me for money was for his ticket home he told me the military dont pay for the ticket home and cld i give him the money and he wld give it back when he got home the second time was theyre food truck got blown up and he needed money for food . luckily i didnt have any money to give him so none was sent but then he told me his captain cld transfer money into a bank account if i opened one and i just had to transfer it to the nato headquarters which i found out was sum place in africa he told me he was deployed in syria .stupidly i transferred the money and funny enough one week later he told me hed been given a special assignment and didnt know when he wld be home im still talkking to him as im tryin to get this investigated

Something like what you are saying rings true for a couple of military (suppose ) had tried to get me send money for their transfer papers and they would give it back plus more when they got home. I didn't have no money to give and told them this. One is still trying to talk tome

My mother managed to lose close to $200,000 in a scam exactly like this. She had listed she was a widow...of course he was a widower. He was working in Benin on a contract job, blah blah blah. Despite months of my sister and I telling her that he was scamming her, she refused to believe us and took this man's side above all else. It ultimately ended with her broke and threatening suicide.

If someone you've never met is asking you for money, it's obviously a scam. Love don't cost a thing people.

There are thousands of men and women calling themselves or being CEO of hustling, there is a Facebook page HUSTLING, you will meet a lot of them on dating pages, saying they love you, you go out with them,then it's I need this, that, all kinds of hardships. If you want to even see them, they suck u dry.

I' have one now trying to claim his late fathers company will lend him money to get home from overseas. But he wants to wire the money to my account (to supposedly "help me" with my bills and send him the rest to pay for his flight, hotel, fix a machine(which the other day, he only needed $100 but suddenly wants to wire 100 times that into my account). Giant red flag there. and then I turn around and wire money to him so he asking me for access to my account. Sorry. No go dude. I m not stupid.

I have a friend who just gave some guy she met on a dating site several thousands of dollars, He told her he was contractor arrested in South Africa, He had been jailed due to them not liking him..I'm sure they don't they are trying to get him for fraud, he wanted to come to USA to see her,and then would stop over to see her on his way to Canada for another contractor job, I'm sure he's getting run out of town.. He delayed visits for the holidays to her and then now she has mortgage her home, she is now running behind on bills... Delays and excuses, but she still believes him.. The sad part the people she should trust she won't listen too, and the ones she does listen too rip her off..I wish there was a list of where we could find their names and their MO...She is now lost everything and is going to have to move in with her son...she had everything because the dating site would not do anything after we emailed them and told what happen they allowed it to take place..People are just stupid to think that they could find someone, but when they want large numbers in cash to save them.. it should be a Red Flag but some don't want to believe they have been lied too..

I was on a popular dating site for five months. I conversed with nine men during that time. Of those nine separate contacts, six turned out to be scams. We would visit every day for one-half to one hour a day. We would exchange semi-personal information. In the first situation, I was totally unaware of the scamming route. When he asked me for $100 I was tempted, but thought I have never met you face to face. How bold to ask for money from someone you've never met. In each of the next five scams, most were widowed, had one or no children, spouse had died, parents were dead, they were very lonely, blah, blah, blah. In each case, they ultimately gave me their sob stories and asked me to help them, using my sympathies to get what they want. In each case, once I figured it out, I discontinued any contact. They kept contacting me, but I never answered back. I am as strong as they are. I am sick and tired of being conned. It is too bad that they can continue to target people with absolutely no consequences. I thought going onto a dating website would expand my social network. The scam network is not what I had in mind. I have closed my account and will not go on a dating website again.

Said he was a widower with daughter overseas with her grammy. Said he was working in Scotland on offshore oil rig. Told me was sending me a pkg. of gift from Scotland and sent me tracking info on a fake website. But then, the pkg goes to United Arab and is confiscated and they need $1360.00 US dollars to release it! Said company was Central Freight Shipping Agency courier service. But then I see his picture on facebok (where he contacted me from) in several profiles listing his address in NY and another not listed, but said he was from Mexico now living in CA. Gave me a cell phone number from FL that no one answers. OUCH!

My son has been wiring money to russia, but it is from the supposed girls father.... I think they are having him move money. Of course he is in love... can't skype of course! Has only seen model looking Russian girl who wants to come see him. Its been 9 months. Has anyone heard or see this. Maybe they will ask him for money later? Help~

This sounds like an online dating scam. Sometimes, a scammer sends a check to you and asks you to wire money back -- or to someone else. It can take weeks for a bank to uncover a fake check. You'll owe the bank any money you withdrew.

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