One out of five people is using dating websites according to statistics. The average age of the users is between 25 and 35 years old. 66% of all users on dating sites or apps end up matching with someone special. Unfortunately, not everyone has a great experience. Some people end up falling for romance scams, losing their money and possibly suffering immense heartbreak at the same time.
Fraudsters on dating websites
The most common form of fraud on dating websites involves forging a fake romantic connection to take advantage of somebody. This scam is commonly called “catfishing.” These scammers usually create a fake persona designed to inspire love — they may pretend to be a military veteran, a single parent, someone caring for an aging parent, or some other identity designed to inspire trust and respect.
While many scams start out almost immediately with a request for money, romance scammers take the time to really connect with their victims, convincing them that they are falling in love.
Once they’ve formed that emotional bond, they request money. These requests might come in the form of a loan to pay the bills, or they might ask their target to send money so they can purchase plane tickets to finally come meet. Sometimes, romance scammers have even convinced their victims they were starting a business together!
Eventually, the lies unravel. Some victims don’t realize that they’ve been scammed until they show up at the airport to pick up someone who never arrives.
Sometimes, instead of directly asking for money, romance scammers instead use their fake romantic connection to gather the information they need for identity fraud, such as your photos, address, and other personal details. They may also find a way to convince you to share your credit card number.
When the website is a scam
Another thing that can happen is that you accidentally sign up for a fraudulent dating site. Scammers set up a webpage that looks like a great place to find a partner. Looking for love, you think nothing of setting up a profile and paying for the membership fee. The next thing you know, your card has been maxed out. The site stole your credit card number and the scammers have used it to make several purchases. When you try to contact the site, you get no answer, and soon the site has disappeared completely, taking your money with it.
I’m a victim of online dating fraud
If you have been the victim of either of this variety of romance scams, we’re sorry. Someone took advantage of your desire to find a partner in life! However, don’t give up hope. There are good people in this world, and Claim Justice is here to help scam victims like you.
If you use a credit or debit card to pay the scammers, or were scammed via bank transfer, and you have proof that you have already tried to ask for your money back, we can help you with the next steps. We’ve worked with many victims of dating site and credit card scams, and often, we’ve been able to get their money back. Don’t let scammers get away with breaking your heart and emptying your bank account.