Globally, hundreds of thousands of individuals turn to online dating apps or social media to fulfill someone. In doing so, users share a wide selection of non-public data. But lurking in the net shadows there are scammers able to goal the vulnerable. You could not consider yourself as vulnerable, nevertheless it’s surprising how many individuals get caught by the scammers. It’s simply a confidence-trick, and involves a thief pretending to be loving and affectionate to realize the arrogance of the victim.
How the scammers do it…
The scammer starts slowly, constructing trust, making up their story but sooner or later, they make their move and ask for money.
They may claim to be abroad, or working on an oil rig – reasons you could not have the opportunity to fulfill in person.
But actually they’re sitting in a cubicle in a ‘scam factory’ alongside teams of other thieves.
The scammer will go to great lengths to realize trust and have been known to work at a scam for months, even years. They’re masterful at using language to influence and manipulate victims to use them.
Once established, the criminals gently execute their sting. They ask for money to be sent: it might be in order that they can come and visit, or for a medical bill for a fictional sick relative, or to repay a debt. Sometimes it’s a suggestion to make an investment in for instance a foreign property, or perhaps crypto-currency.
READ MORE: ‘NEVER click on any links’: Seven indications your email or text from Royal Mail is a scam
The best way to spot it
Think twice before parting together with your money. Listed below are some suggestions:
- stop and think, ‘take five’, before sharing money or banking details
- challenge anyone who asks for money online
- protect yourself by letting your bank know someone tried to con you and report the incident to Motion Fraud in case you think you’ve got fallen for a scam
- be careful for members of the family and friends by looking for signs they could possibly be involved in a romance scam, especially in the event that they:
are secretive about their relationship and supply excuses for why they haven’t met their online partner in person
express strong emotions and commitment to someone they’ve only just met
are sending money to someone they’ve not met face-to-face
Urgent scam warning: Fraud email from PayPal imposters [SIGNS]
At all times ask your bank an issue after they call to prove their identity [EXPERT]
‘Don’t click!’: Expert fear as post scams cause alarm [WARNING]
What to do in case you’ve been scammed
In case you think you’ve got been scammed:
- note all the small print of the scam
- report the scam to the police (if it has taken place within the last 24 hours)
- protect yourself from further risks and check in case you can get your a refund, by for instance contacting your bank and making them aware that you’ve got been scammed
- report the scam to Residents’ Advice – it might probably pass the knowledge on to Trading standards for it to research and potentially take legal motion against the fraudsters
- report the scam to other organisations resembling Motion Fraud – this increases the possibility of catching the scammers
Tip of the week
In case you get asked for money by text, remember no company will ever try this.
Remember: In case you’ve received a text you’re thinking that is a scam then you definately can forward to 7726 or take a screenshot and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you are receiving a lot of unwanted phone calls or text messages it’s also possible to consider removing your details from data brokers, ensuring that you just use a right to object to processing of your data.
You may learn more about this on Rightly to stop the sharing of your data exposing you to scams. And you’ll be able to take a free training course on fight against scams on www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.