Valentine’s Day romance scams: Here’s how to stay safe
If you’re looking for love on dating apps, chances are your profile will be noticed by “romance scammers” who don’t want to steal your heart but your bank account balance. For the uninitiated, a romance scam usually involves setting up fake accounts and convincing a potential victim to send funds under the guise of getting romantic.
According to Tinder, these criminals are professionals — because they seem genuine, engaging, and affectionate — they may even have real Instagram accounts. This Valentine’s Day, Tinder has listed ways to quickly spot a love scammer.
#Communicate directly: If they ask you to switch from one dating app to another or ask you directly for your phone number, chances are you are being duped by a scammer.
#Too good to be true: Exaggerated displays of affection or attention – or “lovebombing” – are a red flag. A scammer wants to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, so beware of anyone who says your introduction was “fate”, makes big promises and even proposes marriage very quickly.
#Avoid meetings: Scammers often make plans and cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen, often serious circumstances. Some of the excuses include a medical or family emergency, or something keeping them abroad – often becomes the reason they seek financial support.
#Personal informations: Scammers will ask you to share your passport, driver’s license or other information otherwise considered private.
#Focus on challenges: Determining who prefers to pay the bill at dinner is one thing, but being drawn into someone’s personal financial problems or needs is another. If this happens, especially early in the conversation, it may be a sign of deeper cheating.
How to be safe
# Believe in your intuition: Your intuition is your best wingman. Always use your best judgment, and if something goes wrong, block and report.
#Run a reverse image search: Scammers rarely use their own photos, so consider doing a reverse image search to see if their profile picture is being used elsewhere on the internet.
#To ask questions: Just like you would get to know a potential match, get to know people on a personal level by asking all the questions. Watch out for inconsistent facts and stories, or vague answers to very specific questions.
#Make your social networks private: Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Avoid sharing personal information about your family and friends, your home or work address, or your daily routine
#Don’t send money to strangers: Cyber Cell Delhi advises never to send money to anyone you meet online, including providing credit card numbers, bank account information, bank transfers, your ID number social or other personally identifiable information.