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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
They might also say that they live near you, but that they’re away; they could be in another country on a trip or for work, but they’ll almost certainly be somewhere far away where you can’t meet them.
The photos used by scammers can also clue you in that something is off.
A new breed of vigilantes says they’re defending children from predators looking to lure them online – and all they need is a smart phone.
They make fake social media profiles, masquerading as vulnerable teens, to turn the tables on the so-called “creeps.” The online chats turn into real-world confrontations, and the smart phones used to arrange the meet becomes a camera to record the whole thing.
Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.
A handful of people exposed have faced criminal charges.
“What they’re doing is absolutely not protecting children in any way,” Dubnyk said.
Without the support of the police, Raymond decided to widen the net, including targets whether they wanted to have sex with a child or not.
At its height, the Creep Catchers network existed in more than a dozen cities and towns from Surrey, B. He cut off ties with investigators, and disappeared to Winnipeg.
Court documents show he’s now charged with molesting a toddler and a baby.