Getting scammed on a dating website

Everyone has heard stories about couples that have met on dating websites with incredible
results. It’s these tales that act as an allure for those that are ready to enter the dating scene
but want to be able to filter using their own personal criteria. Dating sites can be an easier
method to preview as well as get to know others in similar circumstances, however, not
everything on these sites are either true or safe. The lack of factual verification makes these
platforms ripe for scammers that are just there to rip people off; and loneliness is the tool that they use to take advantage.

Romance scams are somewhat easy to do. They know that some on these platforms are lonely
and looking for relationships. The scammers provide a fake profile that sounds like the kind
of nice person that someone may want to meet. Their standard method of operation is to have
lengthy text conversations on the dating platform while sounding appealing and friendly.
Communication eventually enters a more intimate level and they begin saying that they
would love to take things to the next level. This typically involves suggesting a phone call or
emails, and here’s the catch….they usually indicate that they live quite a distance, sometimes
even in another country, and are limited via work or military as to how often they can

By this point in the “romance” the scammer is professing love and the need to talk in person.
The scammer has devoted a lot of time and effort into creating a level of “trust” and, after all,
if you are on a dating site the individual may truly believe that they are one of the many
stories of success that they have heard about.

The next level is when the scammer asks for money. This may be to help pay for medical
bills, a sick family member, or even to purchase a ticket to visit in person. In some cases they
may say they are an expert in cryptocurrency and advise you on how to invest. In any of these
situations, it requires that you give them money. Scammers want your money and they want
it fast as well as a method to makes it almost impossible for you to get it back once you
realise you have been ‘had.” They will suggest wire transfer via MoneyGram or Western
Union or even online gift cards such as Google Play, Amazon, or iTunes.

The problem here is that there were a number of red flags that should have alerted the
individual looking for a “nice person” on a dating website. Scammers know that many are
vulnerable and, as such, will ignore all of these red flags and simply trust that they have
found “true love.” The keys to protecting yourself include:


    • Never send money to anyone on a dating site
    • Immediately cease any communication with the person
    • Do an online search for the job type the person describes and the word “scammer.”
    • Search to find out if others have reported/posted similar stores about the job type and
    • You can do what is called a “reverse image search” of the profile picture of the person
      to see if it matches the name or if it’s someone else’s image.

“DaVinci CyberSecurity acts as a personal consultant to privately advise our clients that are
interested in online dating websites. We assist in identifying scammers, give advice on
methods of personal protection and do an overall review to help those safely meet someone

Sharon Knowles, CEO DaVinci Cybersecurity


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