In an earlier blog post entitled "7 Unromantic Facts About Online Dating," we looked at the growing phenomenon of online dating as a modern approach to dating and mating. "Catfishing" A romance scam, often called "catfishing," is a special breed of fraud where the con artist fakes romantic interest in his or her mark (victim), wins his or her affection, and then abuses that amity to perpetrate a fraud.
Increasingly, these scammers are hitting online dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to troll for victims. Phil Mc Graw, popular mental health expert and host of daytime talk show , it's hard to tell whether you're getting hooked on a catfish.
Do the Research on Your Potential Date Sad but true, you can’t believe everything someone tells you.
The scammer will exhibit strong emotions, often instantaneously, and attempt to beguile you.
"The whole process of becoming attached through texts and emails is fascinating.
Mc Graw writes, "It's easy for some of the smartest people to lose all sight of common sense when they're being reeled in by a catfish: an online imposter who tries to win your sympathy -- and your love -- by creating an elaborate scheme." Flirting With Disaster If you've ever been targeted by a romance scammer, you probably know how this scam works.
It begins when the scammer contacts you online and expresses an interest in you, often commenting on your profile picture or some other personal information that you've uploaded on a dating or social media site.
published a disturbing story about a 53-year-old California grandmother and widow who had gotten swept up in one of the oldest cons in the book: the sweetheart swindle. In no time at all, she received a message from a man going by the name of John, who claimed to be a 60-year-old widowed engineer from Colorado. He showered her with compliments, charmed her, and declared that she was "the one." Months later, John said that he had to make a business trip to Africa.
He was rocked by a series of emergencies soon after.By stealing the identity of a wealthy person, the scammer masquerades as a man or woman of means. Poor grammar, wonky sentence structure, or odd word choices could spell a foreign scammer.This is especially true when your match claims to be well-educated and tries to pass him- or herself off as a native speaker. Your match finds every excuse not to meet face to face. Many scammers run their operations out of a foreign country, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Russia, or the Philippines, even though their profiles may indicate that they're geographically nearby.So much so that we may have gotten lax in the way we go about it.Some electronic chatting, maybe a phone call or two, and there we are meeting someone face to face in a setting where we have few if any defenses.To resolve these emergencies, John asked for financial help from the widow.