Get A Consultation Now If You’re Looking To Recover Funds Stolen By Dating Scams
Excerpt: Scammers are the masters of manipulation. They are always hiding behind masks and can go miles to ruin your lives. They can steal your video footage while video calls and blackmail you for life. In extreme cases, they can go to the extent of kidnapping later using confidential information to access your social media and bank accounts. How sad!
Have you ever been on an online date? How was the experience? Was it a success, or did it lead to you believing that love hurts? Yes, love actually hurts.
It’s true when it comes to dating scams. Today, millions of individuals use online dating sites and apps all over the world. There are several success tales of people finding love and companionship over the internet. However, in addition to the successes, online dating scams are also on the rise. In fact, You can see it for yourself; as soon as Valentine’s Day approaches, you will see millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites in the hope of meeting someone.
However, instead of meeting a lover, they are likely to fall into the trap of a scammer and of what is known as; dating scams. It’s simply when someone is duped into thinking they’re in a love relationship with someone they met on the internet. To exploit the victim, the fraudster creates the illusion of an intimate and loving relationship. Awful, we know!
We are sure you are familiar with popular dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble. During the pandemic, some individuals who were online and using these apps in the hope of trying to connect and find love found themselves deceived and defrauded by scammers hence the blow-up of the dating app industry.
The question is, when did love become so toxic? Perhaps it is the outcome of digitalization’s increasing power. Self-seeking hackers saw an opportunity to execute fraudulent actions like these as the actual world moved closer to the internet world during the coronavirus outbreak. According to research, dating scams totaled over £80 million, with nearly 32000 reports received during these difficult times.
In fact, the Netflix documentary “Tinder Swindler” is a great illustration of how people may be taken advantage of by online dating scams. It demonstrates how easy it is to be duped by an online scammer posing as someone else. The film tells the story of a controversial man who used the Tinder dating app to defraud three women throughout Europe in an attempt to live a luxury lifestyle. He conned several ladies using dating apps by flaunting his opulent lifestyle and pretending to be the wealthy heir to an Israeli diamond fortune!
By now, you must be wondering whom to trust if you get scammed in a situation like this? The answer is not to worry, as there are amazing funds retrieval companies out there who can help you get your money back. So, familiarize yourself with the most common dating scams and what proactive measures you can take to avoid them. Also, If you want to learn about the consultancy based on common dating Scams, sit back, relax and continue reading. This article is all about it!
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Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: The Evolution Of Dating Scams - Old Times, Pandemic, Ukraine War & So Much More!
Do you ever wonder how we ended up here? The dating scam hasn’t been around for a long time. In fact, it all started when the internet came into existence.
Some sources claim it began around 1995, while others claim it began even earlier. Five years later, in 2000, phishing came in the form of what is known as Love Bug Struck. Twenty years later, phishing became more popular than ever in stealing data. However, whatever the date may be, these scams were not commonly known by everyday people like us until nearly ten years later, in the 21st century.
People have reported losing a whopping $1.3 billion to romance scams in the last five years, more than any other FTC fraud category. The numbers have risen dramatically in recent years, and 2021 was no exception, with recorded losses reaching a new high of $547 million. That’s over six times the losses reported in 2017 and a rise of nearly 80% from 2020. In 2021, the average individual reported a loss of $2,400.
To deceive people, romance fraudsters use a variety of plausible claims, but their old standard is pleading for help while alleging one financial or health issue after another.
Scammers’ stories may include a sick child or a temporary incapacity to access money for a variety of reasons. People who have lost money to a romance fraudster frequently report giving money repeatedly because they believe they are assisting a loved one. It’s all a lie, though.
In another typical twist on the romance scam, people agree to help transfer money as a favor to their supposed sweetheart. The con artist frequently pretends to need assistance in obtaining an inheritance or transferring funds for a crucial business arrangement. People are often persuaded to become “money mules” by hearing stories like this; they may think they’re merely assisting, but they’re actually laundering stolen dollars.
People are often duped into sending their own money using these claims. People have reported paying various fictitious fees to accept money that never really arrives. Others claim to have deposited a check from their sweetheart and remitted some of the funds as directed, only to discover later that the check was a forgery, leaving them without empty bank balances.
Repercussions Of The Coronavirus Outbreak
Self-seeking hackers saw an opportunity to execute fraudulent actions like these as the real world moved closer to the internet world during the coronavirus outbreak.
Some very phony people were eager to take advantage of the internet’s attempt to be our lifeline in these challenging times, perhaps because pandemics hindered the opportunity to connect in person. In 2020 alone, due to covid and increased isolation periods, nearly 24000 people became victims, with almost 32000 reports. People have lost up to $304 million. Moreover, in 2021, the average individual loss was over $2400. You can lose up to millions which is a lot of money!
Scammers are the masters of manipulation. They are always hiding behind masks and can go miles to ruin your lives. They can steal your video footage while video calls and blackmail you for life. In extreme cases, they can go to the extent of kidnapping later using confidential information to access your social media and bank accounts. How sad!
Hence, it all starts with a friend request from a fictitious profile. Scammers put on enticing presentations and begin contacting victims by claiming shared interests, commonalities, and a mutual connection, Woah. They begin to solicit money once they have developed a deeper understanding and so-called “connection.” They will undoubtedly do so sooner or later.
They are especially effective at manipulating emotions, and their tales are never-ending, putting undue pressure on the victims. In fact, during the Covid 19 insurrection, some people claimed money for medical emergencies while they were perfectly healthy. You believe you are assisting someone while, in reality, you are being robbed.
In addition to this, a growing trend in 2021 was scammers using romance as a hook to lure people into bogus investments, especially cryptocurrency. Here, people are made to feel that their new internet friend is a successful investor who would soon offer investment tips casually. Foreign exchange (FX) trading or cryptocurrencies are frequently used in these so-called investment opportunities. And when people follow this “advice,” they end up losing all of their “investments.”
In fact, the highest documented losses to romance scams were paid in bitcoin last year: $139 million. This represents a significant increase in cryptocurrency payments to romance scammers: The figures for 2021 are approximately five times those for 2020 and more than 25 times those for 2019. In 2021, the average individual claimed a loss of $9,770 due to bitcoin.
While bitcoin losses were the most expensive, romance scams often did not use it as a payment mechanism. More people used gift cards to pay romance fraudsters in 2021 than any other payment method. In fact, one in every four persons admitted to paying a romance fraudster with a gift card last year, and they reported losing $36 million.
Lastly, in 2021, reports of romantic scams grew for all age groups. The increase was especially noticeable among those aged 18 to 29. From 2017 to 2021, the number of reports for this age group climbed tenfold. The median loss grew, with persons aged 70 and above reporting the highest individual median losses of $9,000, compared to $750 for those aged 18 to 29.
If you’ve been a victim of Online Scam you can contact us for support.
Victims Have Lost $18 Million+ To Romance Scams During Ukraine War
With the uprising of Covid 19, some people claimed to be from Ukraine, asking for money for medical emergencies when they were doing perfectly fine. You think you are helping someone when you are actually just getting yourself stolen. The scammer uses the illusion of an intimate and romantic relationship to exploit the victim. Disgusting, we know!
An online dating site offered more than 3289 Russian girls “seeking true love” in Australia. After clicking a link, email recipients were asked to answer questions about their preferred body type and age. The Australian embassy has reported that victims have lost up to $35,000 through dating scams and that some victims traveled overseas only to be kidnapped on arrival and held for ransom. Not only that, but scams have also been operating from Eastern Europe!
Did COVID-19 Have a Part to Play in This?
Scammers have been canceling dates over supposedly positive Covid Tests as those, according to them, disrupted their travel plans and forced them to quarantine. What a well-worn script by romance scammers!
They also adopted fake identities, often saying they lived in Ukraine, requiring money for plane tickets, visa fees, medical expenses, or other emergencies with the promise of paying back when they are finally united. How low could someone get?
HAVE YOU BEEN SCAMMED AND NEED HELP IN FIGHTING BACK?
Scammers can create complex scams that can trap even the most cautious of people. But it’s not too late because we can help you track the damage done by scammers. We can help you get your money back!
Online Dating Scams in 2022 - More Creative Yet Dangerous
Online scam is closely aligned with trends. The ‘newer’ the something, the more likely scams would occur. Perhaps, it is because of the pace of adaptation.
Ultimately, as technology advances more, so will online scams. They are a blend of speed, access, awareness, and actions. The world is likely to experience new forms of internet scams, considering that scammers can communicate with one another and victimize for free.
We can conclude that the fight against dating scams is an ongoing battle and is not something that is being faced by our generation only. For as long as money came into existence, so did scams. However, the ease with which these scams occur is why they persist even after 25 years. Also, history speaks for itself and shows that although the delivery methods have evolved over the years, the tactics employed by scammers have been consistent. People should have learned to avoid such scams by not opening attachments, clicking links, and surrendering login credentials. Yet, it is still popular and costs millions to victims every day.
CHAPTER 2: The Many Faces Of Dating Scams
Today, dating sites are no longer safe because of the infiltration of scammers on the platforms. They take advantage of these apps’ anonymity and discretion to prey on target victims.
They will use social media or email to develop a relationship with the target, often hiding their real identity. It is also termed as ”catfishing.” Catfishing is when someone creates a false identity or persona on a social media or dating site to target a specific victim. Catfishing objectives can range from financial gain to simply causing distress or hurt, or even allowing the culprit to fulfill a fantasy or wish. Catfish, a 2010 MTV documentary, gave birth to the phrase. The scammer will create a fake online profile and persona, all in a bid to get you interested and strike a conversation with them. They may use a fictional name or commit identity fraud by posing as doctors, celebrities, respected military personnel, or even aid/volunteers working abroad.
Here are some of the most well-known types of dating scams!
Fake Dating Sites - The Most Common
Scam dating sites are dating services that pretend to offer legitimate meetups but are either significantly underpopulated or overrun with scammers.
They are a slightly different concept than ordinary scam websites. Sites that invite you to create a profile solely to harvest your information are a common fraud. Keep an eye out for sign-up questionnaires that are light on relationship specifics but heavy on financial queries or that request information such as your mother’s maiden name or your first school, for example, answers to common security questions.
Some free online dating sites may appear authentic at first, but once you’ve been a member for a long time, they’ll expose their actual colors. In exchange for completing a survey that involves questions similar to those used in banking, you may be offered a free premium membership or some other unique benefit. Regardless of the incentives presented, you should never reveal any information that could be exploited to access private or financial information.
Also, keep an eye out for a surge in interest immediately after you’ve built your profile. If your profile only has a few lines of text, no photo, and no preferences, but you start receiving messages from possible suitors, you’ve probably fallen victim to dating site fraud.
Many of them will claim to have a personal emergency. The stories may be that they have suddenly fallen severely ill and do not have enough money to cover hospital bills or expensive surgery.
A typical story is how a business has failed and is now in deep debt. Or claims of desiring to come to visit but can’t because of lack of funds unless you lend them money to cover travel expenses. Scammers will launder money through you by asking if they could send cash through your bank account. Or send valuable items like mobile phones and laptops, then ask you to ship the goods somewhere else.
Crime and Trafficking Gangs
Some dating and romance scammers are part of international trafficking networks. There have been cases where individuals have been trafficked into drugs and criminal activities after being lured abroad.
Due to human emotions and connections, dating or romance scams have a very high success rate. Unfortunately, these scammers know how to use that to their advantage. Victims of romance scams experience more devastation because some of them have fallen in love with these fraudsters. So they are dealing with losing their money and emotional betrayal from someone they thought loved and cared for them.
During the Pandemic, Photo scams were one of the most prominent examples of dating scams; here, the scammer pressures and convinces the victim to send their contact information in exchange for the intimate photos of the scammer. How low could someone get?
The fraudster will ask the victim for their contact information in exchange for personal images of the scammer. In actuality, the scammer is looking for personal information, or it could be a fraudulent bot operation that preys on the victim’s emotions (through the promise of revealing photographs) to obtain access to their information, which can subsequently be exploited for financial theft.
Military Romance Scams
Fraudsters may exploit the identity and likeness of a real soldier in military romance scams, or they may build an entirely phony profile.
They send out letters that appear to be authentic, possibly describing themselves as nearing the end of their professions, often with older children and widows in tragic circumstances. Military language, titles, and base locations abound in the texts, making them sound impressive. They begin to form a deep emotional bond, but the “soldier” is deployed before physical introductions occur.
Then there are demands for financial assistance, like setting up a stable internet connection, paying for flights home, or supplementing ostensibly limited military medical coverage or retirement planning. To extract a regular stream of money, these con artists frequently engage with one or more accomplices who pretend as doctors or lawyers. Military romance scams can last months, if not years before their victims become suspicious.
The Popular Intimate Activity Scams
Potential suitors from abroad contact the victims, and they are “friended” on several social networking platforms. The scammer asks the victim to connect with them through a webcam, so they may chat after an intense wooing period.
The fraudster’s webcam is inexplicably malfunctioning, yet they lavish compliments on their victim and persuade their “partner” to partially undress or conduct other private acts using a combination of flattery and tenacity.
After that, the scammer discloses their genuine identity. They claim to have recorded a video and threaten to share it with mutual social media contacts or upload it to the internet until the victim gives money. Once the victim agrees, the cycle repeats itself, with the victim’s demands increasing until she eventually rejects.
The Oldest Malware Scams
Malware is a widespread online threat, even on dating sites. A match on Tinder, for example, may have multiple discussions with you before offering you additional information on their own website or even false Facebook or Instagram pages.
These pages, on the other hand, are not genuine. Instead, you’ll be taken to a website that contains malware and spam, which scammers can use to steal your personal information, resulting in identity theft and financial fraud. In general, anyone on an online dating site eager to send you to another site should be regarded as a possible red sign.
Do you suspect that someone had scammed you?
If you have any suspicion of a scam or phishing attack, then you can rely on TheClaimers to help you with protection, mitigation, and fund recovery. You will feel safe knowing that experts with years of experience will be guiding you!
Inheritance Scams - Who’s the Heir?
When a scammer claims they need to marry to receive millions of dollars in gold left by a father, uncle, or grandpa, they are committing fraud. Marriage is said to be a condition of the male relative’s will.
A young woman approaches the victim and informs her that she cannot take the gold from her nation due to a lack of funds to pay the duty and marriage taxes. Once the fraudster has established a connection with the victim, they would ask for money to assist them in bringing the gold into their nation.
The fraudster offers to go to the victim’s country to establish their authenticity, and the victim gives money to cover the flight cost. As always, the scammer never shows up.
Code Verification Scams
Code Verification Scams is one of the prevalent Tinder scams. It starts with an email or text message requesting you to confirm your Tinder account.
Tinder may send you a notice claiming that it is updating its information and that you must authenticate your account. An online Tinder match may ask you to verify before engaging in any further discussion in other variations of the scam. The scammer in these samples asks you to validate your account by clicking on a third-party website. After you click through, you’ll be asked for personal information such as your name, address, phone number, email, Social Security number, birth date, and even your bank account or credit card information.
Tinder does have verified accounts, but they are created in-house. The app directs users to shoot a series of selfies, which are then compared to the photographs on their profile to ensure they match. As a result, any other method of “verification” should be avoided at all costs.
So Much More!
People who are victims of romance scams receive a double blow of devastation and pain. One comes from the apparent betrayal, and the other stems from the fact they cared or loved the scammer. This category of victims has recorded the highest suicide rates, and the stories are devastating.
One characteristic of Dating and romance scammers is how quickly they want to progress from friendship to a relationship. Within a few weeks of regular interactions, they will express their profound love and ask that you become more committed. They lure you away from the dating app/website to a more private communication channel like the phone or email.
Scammers know that for their ruse to succeed, they will have to gain your interest and confidence, and they go all out to ensure they achieve their goal. So get ready to be spoiled with gifts and compliments, and they open up to you by sharing ‘personal information.’ Savvy scammers will allow their ploy to build slowly for months in what feels like the romance and intimacy of a lifetime.
The scammer will then strike once you are vulnerable and they have earned your trust. They usually begin by telling you they need debt and want you to assist them through cash or gifts. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. How is it even possible that someone is so madly in love with you within a few days and that too online? In reality, it’s nowhere close to any possibility.
Therefore, if someone confesses their feelings to you after a few conversations, move away slowly. Sometimes, the person wants to leave the dating website and talk with you through text messaging. It’s a clear sign to go to them right away. Also, their messages are very poorly written; they depict no interest.
CHAPTER 3: Recovery Checklist For Victims Of Dating Scams
People are losing millions to dating scams. If it ever happens to you or someone close to you, here’s what to do!
Contact Your Bank Immediately
Notify your bank immediately if you have handed over your account details or made a payment out of your account that you believe is a scam. Knowing about recent transactions through your account can help you greatly in this situation.
If you have provided payment information to the scammers, you must take the steps necessary to block access to your accounts and protect against identity theft. For example, contact your card issuers immediately to make a scam report if you have used credit card information. As part of the process, you may be required to get a new account number. Also, if you gave the scammer your bank account number or routing number, contact your bank or credit union immediately. You may need to close the account and open a new one.
Moreover, consider using a scam alert and a credit freeze. Unless you request it, the bank will not lift a security freeze. And a scam alert will notify potential creditors to verify your identity before extending additional credit in your name. Be on guard for scams that claim your social security number is linked to back taxes or other debts, and independently verify claims with the creditors before paying any money. Then, change your passwords! If you registered for access to a scammer’s website using usernames or passwords elsewhere, update accounts with new log-ins as soon as possible.
Report The Scammer to The Authorities
Contact the financial regulator and attorney general of your state ASAP! State authorities may choose to bring actions in state court.
Also, if the scam occurs in your local community, you could report the matter to the police and your district attorney; you may need to file a police report if you plan to file an insurance claim for scam losses. Lodging a complaint will enter the fraud into the Consumer Sentinel Network so law enforcement can stop ongoing fraud and track these crimes. This process, however, will not initiate a criminal investigation of your case.
Hence, the agencies that might be of assistance depending on the nature of your complaint include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), your local FBI office, your state attorney general, and your state’s securities regulators. You can find contact information for that last group on the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) website. However, you might also want to consult a private attorney if your loss is substantial.
Get Help From Law Enforcement
Reporting the investment fraud to law enforcement is vital to begin recovery as a professional will know how to get your money back! They will ensure the responsible parties are investigated and how they can prevent further damage to other victims. You can report to any local law enforcement office to file a police report or contact your local District Attorney’s Office and your state’s Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit!
Make An Investigation File For Yourself
As the events may still be fresh in your memory, develop a timeline and collect documents and information that could help when it comes time to report or investigate the fraud.
Start by gathering all relevant documentation concerning the scam in one file kept in a secure location. Begin by writing down conversations you had with the scammer, their contact sheet, including name, title, positions used by the scammer, purported regulatory registration numbers, social media profiles, conversations, screenshots, and any email addresses. Your file should also include the police report and any call notes or relevant documentation about the fraud.
Avoid Falling As a Victim in The First Place
According to a recent Forbes article, Americans lost $1 billion to romance scammers in 2021, making it the worst year for Romance Scams.
Thus, it’s essential to understand that these scammers are adept at gaining people’s trust with their convincing lies and insanely plausible stories. So, we recommend everyone not to get so caught up in the new love that they forget the key signs of how to protect themselves. We have gathered some of the most basic ways of how one can help themselves. Have a look!
- Do not send money to people you do not know on the internet
- Be rational in your decisions no matter how caring and loving the person is
- If there are any inconsistencies in their stories, know that it is a scam
- If you feel pressured to send money or gifts, know it is from a desperate scammer.
- Be careful what you post and make public on your social media accounts. Your personal life shared on these platforms can help scammers better understand you.
- Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if all the details have been used elsewhere. Basically, try a reverse-image search of the profile; know that you’re trapped if the details don’t match up.
Get In Contact With Recovery Firms
Recovery firms specialize in carrying out extensive and complex investigations. Their intelligence team creates effective documents and reports that have been proven and utilized in judicial proceedings in the past. They can be of great help in court too!
Many rules govern them, and well-informed customers will not hesitate to sue if their rights are abused. These agencies are aware of this and are knowledgeable about the legislation. Allowing a fraud collection firm to recover payments on your behalf reduces the legal hazards of trying to recover funds on your own.
Also, hiring a third party may save you time and money. Scam recovery may drain an organization’s time and resources, even at a basic level. It’s a nuisance and a distraction that you don’t need. As a result, one of the most significant advantages of enlisting the help of specialists is the speed and simplicity with which the procedure may be complete. Although professional scam recovery services are not always free, they can still be the most cost-effective option.
Indeed, recovery firms are a lifesaver. They are always ready to take action on your behalf.
CHAPTER 4: How Can The Claimers Help You?
If you ever become a victim of Dating Scams, Do not worry! You can get in touch with companies like TheClaimers, an information provider which can help you find the most appropriate fund recovery agency – that allows customers to file a complaint against a scammer and get their money back.
They have professionals who can help you recover funds from any dating scam, including Photo, Inheritance, Malware, and Military Romance fraud. When you say it, a team of professional agents will be dispatched to investigate the problem, gather evidence and data, track your scammer’s digital footprint, and build a strong case against them, all to catch them in the first instance. To reclaim all of your treasured possessions and money that you’ve misplaced. From cyber investigation to digital tracking, they develop a system that restores a victim’s lost money 99.99 percent of the time.
It is no doubt that when dealing with a scammer, authentic asset recovery firms are always there to your aid; their firm takes a firm, no-nonsense attitude to guarantee that our clients’ money is restored as promptly and effectively as feasible. They will aid you in collecting your belongings no matter how challenging the case is. Every agent has at least three years of experience in their profession, making them outstanding at what they do – not only because they are passionate about their business, but also because they are passionate about their customers!
Only a few years ago, things were drastically different. You could not get in touch with any company for help in retrieving your payments. But now, the times have changed. Now you have the opportunity to regain control of your situation and create the best possible outcome by recovering your funds. You have fund recovery experts like the Claimers on your side who can assist you in reclaiming the funds you’ve misplaced. Hence, the company follows four steps to recover funds; reviewing your request, evidence collection, building the case, and finally, recovering the money!
Learn To Bounce Back From A Dating Scam - Contact Any Recovery Firm Today!
As the world changes, scammers come up with new ways to defraud people. However, one thing is constant; never hand up your personal information to anyone, whether it’s an online payment when shopping, a lover asking for money on a dating fraud, pop-ups asking for a fee, or a forex broker pressuring you to invest.
We also advise against sending money or presents to a love partner whom you haven’t seen in person. It is a red flag that someone is being deceived if their profile photo is paired with another identity or with details that don’t match. Nevertheless, the best thing to do is to come in contact with a recovery firm. Please don’t give up; we encourage anyone who has been victimized or is currently being scammed to contact The Claimers. They also provide information on where to get assistance and how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. Visit their website and tell your friends and family about it to keep them safe. Happy Reading!
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