Here are the Warning Signs to look out for with Romance Scams:
- Scammers use photos from modeling sites and magazines. Look at the apparent age of the person in the photo compared to the age in their profile.
- Scammers often ask right away for your email address or they give you theirs right away. They want to communicate off the website as soon as possible. By itself, not always the sign of a scammer, but taken with other indicators can be.
- Scammers tend to make hard, “feel-sorry-for” stories and ask for help or money, or even get you to offer them money or help.
- Scammers will offer you money. They will do this in order to gain your trust and send counterfeit checks, and this will get you in trouble with the banks.
- Scammers may say they are from your country, but have lost their ID’s, have been arrested or injured while working in a foreign country. Then they will ask you to lend them money to get back home. They may be trapped in a hotel, or have to bride an official, the list goes on and on.
- Scammers are mostly from Africa, especially Nigeria. There are large companies, where people get paid for sitting and sending spam letters all day to hard-working, innocent people. This is a huge business in Africa!
- There are many members, who enter large numbers of fake profile photos of super-models, and women, who are drop-dead gorgeous. They use these profiles to lure men into falling in love and sending thousands of dollars to help them with medical, personal, or family problems, or even to pay for travel and visa fees to visit them. The photos are fake, and the girls are not real, well, even though they are real, they are not who you think they are, and you will never meet them.
- Scammers often write or speak very broken English (what we call "Scammer Grammar") and use automated translators, making their profiles and language usage strange. Some examples: “ I rather nice girl. Have me to brown eyes, light hair. my size is 165 centimeters…. I like having wallpaper good for me of house. Of course I am work seriously. I like options. I sometimes be impatient, gender and happy. I see your technique at this site like and find it good”“i am god fearing man and like to find a woman that makes me really go crazy. and I want her to be with me asap”.
- Scammers often don't speak English at all and may not even know what to say. Sometimes they put the text they use to mass e-mail people as their profile description: “My name is John Williams, am 50 years, single and am from england. I saw your profile here and loved to be friends for very long time and get to know you. I am operator and also father with a grown son. am searching for a real relationship and i cant resist getting to know you more and better. i want to meet you in person and talk more, we can talk more on yahoo ID. If you have, add me ……so we talk and get to know eachother more….i wait for you reply offline. my son say “daddy, you need someone after being alone all these years”…please talk to me, I wait for your reply. Love, John”.
- Scammers may also copy some other users' profiles, so they sound more realistic. They also use fake photos of models, or the photos of the people who sent them photos in the past. If you suspect a scammer, just ask for a photo that day from their smartphone. Ask for something specific, like the front of their house or their car.
- Scammers often write very flattering emails full of flirts and compliments to members completely out of their age range, especially to those, who stated that they are widows or really lonely. By itself, this is not a true indicator, but again, taken with other clues is another red flag.
- Scammers try to build up trust upfront by giving you a lot of their personal information to make you comfortable in sharing yours. They also make up false first and last names in their profiles. Common names are like “John Williams”, “Greg Smith”, and so on. If it sounds like a fake name, chances are it probably is! Another example of a scam email is someone from Nigeria writing: “Hello dear. I am Kenneth Cole from sunny Phoenix, Arizona. I am actually from Singapore. I am graduate from Anglia Technical University in Essex UK and also a diploma holder from Arizona State College in graphic designing. I am handsome, Nice, Funny, and like Swimming, Sports, and Traveling.” Always, do a Google Search for EVERYONE you meet, just to see if they look like a real person.
- Scammers want you to get off the website to communicate offline as soon as possible. The reason may be that they cannot accept responses through the dating site, or are afraid that their messages may be monitored. Actually this can be a good thing for you, because if you get an email from them, you can check the "Sent From" or "Received From" IP address in the properties to locate them.
- Scammers may send you very poetic emails, beautiful words, and very flattering compliments. They may also be seductive, use pet names, and frequently use “dear”. Their emails often sound general, so that they can mass email them to many people.
- Scammers may invite you to another website, or even to a porn or webcam website. Think about it, why would they be on one site and ask to go to another? These sites are set up to gather your personal info, such as credit card information and email address, and can also harm your computer by sending viruses and spyware.
So in summary, one of this alone is not a danger sign. Three or more RUN LIKE HELL, or if you are up to it, go hunting and send us the results!