It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a time when scammers are on the prowl. They know that people are more likely to let their guard down during the holiday season and that’s when they’ll try to scam you. So be careful!
A dating scammer will try to get you to fall in love with them, and then they’ll ask you for money. They might even promise to come and visit you, but they’ll never show up.
What are warning signs of a potential dating scam?
When you’re getting to know someone online, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs that they may not be who they say they are. Here are some things to look out for:
- They want to move quickly: If someone you’ve just met online wants to move the relationship forward fast, be wary. They may be trying to scam you.
- They’re reluctant to meet in person: If someone is constantly making excuses why they can’t meet up with you, it’s possible they’re not who they say they are.
- They ask for money: This is a big red flag. Never give money to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how convincing their story is.
- They’re vague about themselves: If someone is being evasive about their personal details, it’s a cause for concern. Be suspicious if they refuse to answer simple questions or if they give you conflicting information.
If you’re ever in doubt, trust your gut and take a step back from the relationship until you can verify that the person is who they say they are.
One of the most popular dating scams during Christmas and New Year is the “lonely heart” scam. This is when someone takes advantage of people who are feeling lonely and vulnerable during the holidays. They’ll create a fake profile on a dating site and pretend to be interested in you. They’ll build up a relationship with you by sending you love letters, flowers, and other gifts. But eventually, they’ll ask you for money. They might say they need it for travel expenses or to pay for medical bills. Don’t fall for it! If someone you’re talking to online asks you for money, it’s a scam.
Why do we see an increase in dating scams during Christmas and New Year?
The holiday season is a time when we all want to let our hair down and have some fun. For many people, this means dating and meeting new people. It’s no surprise, then, that scam artists see this as an opportunity to prey on unsuspecting victims.
Scams are always around, but they tend to increase during busy periods like Christmas and New Year. That’s because there are many people who are feeling lonely and vulnerable at this time of year, and scammers know how to exploit this. They use fake profiles to lure their victims in, and then ask for money or personal information.
How to protect yourself from dating scams
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:
- Be suspicious of anyone who asks for money. A true partner would never ask for money from you, so if someone does, it’s most likely a scam. Don’t send any money to someone you’ve only been chatting to online or on the phone.
- Keep your computer and antivirus software up-to-date. This will help protect your computer from being infected by malware that scammers might use to steal your personal information.
- Be very wary of people who approach you out of the blue, especially if they seem too good to be true.
- Never give away your personal details, such as your address, bank details or passwords.
- If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut instinct and walk away.
What should you do if you suspect a dating scam?
The first thing you should do if you suspect you’re being scammed is to take a step back and assess the situation. If something feels off, it probably is.
Next, you’ll want to do some research. A quick Google search can often reveal if others have been scammed by the same person or if the person is using a fake photo.
If you’re still not sure, your best bet is to reach out to a friend or family member for their opinion. And if you’re really worried, you can always contact the police or your local police office.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never send money to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much they promise to pay you back. If someone is asking for money, it’s almost guaranteed that they’re a scammer. So just be vigilant and use your best judgment.
Have you experienced dating scams taking advantage of the Christmas and New Year season? Please share your experiences with Scam Help and let’s help everyone avoid these scams.