With so many people all around the world looking for love, the development of online dating and app based hook-up opportunities has given many people the chance to engage with people. Many people have found love online, which has to be seen as a good thing, but of course, many people have found that the online process isn’t to their liking or preference. You will often find that people online are not what they appear to be, and this can cause problems and difficult situations.
There is also the fact that this sort of set-up provides the platform for fraudsters to carry out fraud. When people connect, there is a genuine connection and no matter how many miles lie between the couple, there is often a desire to meet that stretches beyond the distance. This has led to many people being willing to provide their new found love with the financial backing they need to come and see them, and the fact that people are willing to prove money to people that they have only started communicating with, and not yet actually met, tells you all that a fraudster needs to know.
Dating fraud usually starts small
It often starts small. After a period of communication, the other person in the relationship will perhaps say that they are short of money for food or that they had an unexpected bill that needs to be taken care of. If you are in a relationship with someone and you have the spare funds, it is understandable that you would choose to support them. This means that the victim will give them money or wire funds over to them.
It may be that there is a need to wire the funds to the account of someone with a different name, but there is always an excuse or an explanation for this sort of behaviour. Then again, it is not as though the victim needs much prodding or encouragement to send the money, they are usually so giddy about being in a relationship that they will do anything without giving it a second thought.
As you can imagine, this style of fraud is a long-con and there is a lot of work involved with the process. However, there is usually one big hit before the fraud comes to an end. It may be that the fraudster agrees to come and visit the victim or has made promises about setting up a new life together. The fraudster doesn’t have the money to arrange this but this is where the victim provides the funding and then usually waits at home or even turns up at the airport to meet their lover.
The requests or demands for cash grow bigger and bigger
Of course, the lover doesn’t show up and it is usually rounded about now that the victim sees the story for what it is. Sometimes people have an inkling but decide that it isn’t the case or there are other people in the life of the victim telling them to be wary but the high emotions of love are usually all that the victim needs to ignore these warnings.
When it comes to online dating fraud, one of the cruellest aspects comes with the toying of emotions. Losing money is understandably going to rankle people and make some people feel annoyed but it is the thought of being conned by someone that a connection had been developed with that hurts a lot of people the most.
The fact that the other person wasn’t really in love with them, they were just saying the right things to eventually defraud them out of money is a cruel blow and many people don’t ever recover from this blow. Some people will never go online looking for love again while some people come to the conclusion that love is not out there for them. The fact that many people feel so let down and hurt by these fraudsters is actually the biggest crime, because this is the thing that leaves the biggest impact on a person.
Whether you are online dating or you know someone who is, it is important that you look out for the tell-tale signs. There are many success stories from online dating, so love can blossom in this way but if finances start to become a major component of any growing relationship, it is often best to stop it before it goes too far.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.