Dating site scams fake profiles
Of course we use our own database of profiles extensively for this purpose. Those profiles flagged as possible fakes are then sent to a human operator for the next steps in the process. The last two steps are typically performed by the operator to finalize the process. Be wary of requests for money.
Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere.
If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them. The methods we use to detect fakes are both manually done and using automated software tools.
They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. It is rare to recover money sent this way. Lastly, it looks for fields that are filled in with silly or repeated information.
Mostly, we use common sense methods that you can use yourself to spot suspect profiles. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. The operator may also compare the profile with our database of fake profiles looking for similar ones.
Every profile is summarized on a screen where a human operator checks it over. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. If the software used in the first step found any issues, the suspicious information is highlighted in red for the operator to review. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before.
This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.