Last Updated 2 months by Emily Standley-Allard
Online dating scams from WhatsApp and others are becoming increasingly common. Telegram is right on its heels as scammers are using the platform to target unsuspecting victims. Here are some tips on how to avoid WhatsApp and Telegram dating scams so you don’t get taken for a ride!
Now with the onslaught of AI generated influencers there’s even more dating scams to be aware of!
What’s an Online Dating Scam?
Online dating scams can affect both men and women online. With more and more people doing online dating and communicating it’s almost impossible for everyone to tell what is a scam and what isn’t!
An online dating scam is a type of fraud in which a scammer creates a fake online dating profile to lure victims into a romantic relationship.
Once the scammer has gained the victim’s trust, they may ask for money or personal information, or they may try to steal the victim’s identity.
Online dating scams can be very convincing, and scammers are always coming up with new ways to trick their victims. Here are some common types of online dating scams:
- Fake profiles: Scammers often create fake profiles on dating sites and apps using stolen photos and fake information. They may use these profiles to contact you and pretend to be interested in getting to know you. However, their real goal is to scam you out of money or personal information.
- Impersonation scams: Scammers may also impersonate real people on dating sites and apps. For example, they may pretend to be a celebrity, a military member, or a successful businessperson. Once they have gained your trust, they may ask you for money or personal information.
- Charity scams: Scammers may also use dating sites and apps to promote charity scams. They may pretend to be raising money for a worthy cause, but in reality, they are just pocketing the money for themselves.
- Crypto scams: Crypto scams are fraudulent schemes that target people’s cryptocurrency assets. Scammers use a variety of methods to steal cryptocurrency, including:
- Phishing scams: Phishing scams involve sending fraudulent emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet provider. The emails or text messages typically contain a link that, when clicked, redirects the user to a fake website that looks like the real website. Once the user enters their login information on the fake website, the scammer can steal their cryptocurrency.
- Investment scams: Investment scams involve promising investors high returns on their cryptocurrency investments. However, the investments are often fake or fraudulent, and investors lose all of their money.
- Pump-and-dump scams: Pump-and-dump scams involve scammers artificially inflating the price of a cryptocurrency by buying it in large quantities. Once the price has been inflated, the scammers sell their cryptocurrency, causing the price to crash and leaving investors with worthless coins.
- Ponzi schemes: Ponzi schemes involve scammers promising investors high returns on their cryptocurrency investments. However, the scammers do not actually invest the money; instead, they use the money from new investors to pay off old investors. This creates a cycle of investment that continues until the scam collapses and all investors lose their money.
If you are using online dating sites and apps like Whatsapp or Telegram, it is important to be aware of these scams and to take steps to protect yourself.
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Here are some tips to protect yourself against these online dating scams:
- Be wary of strangers. If someone you don’t know contacts you on a dating site or app, be cautious about interacting with them. Scammers often create fake profiles and use stolen photos to lure in victims.
- Do your research. If you’re interested in someone you meet on a dating site or app, do some research to see if they’re who they say they are. Make sure to get as much information as you can such as their last name or business. If they hesitate to offer this information, then they’re likely trying to hide something. Try to find them on other social media platforms or Google their name or do a background report and see if any red flags come up.
- Be careful about sharing personal information. Don’t share your full name, address, phone number, or financial information with anyone you meet on a dating site or app, even if you think you trust them. Scammers can use this information to steal your identity or commit other crimes.
- Be wary of unsolicited requests for money. If someone you meet on a dating site or app asks you for money or tells you a sob story about how they’re in another country or need money for an emergency, it’s likely a scam. Never send money to someone you don’t know and trust.
- Report suspicious activity. If you think you’re being scammed on a dating site or app, report it to the platform immediately. You can also report the scam to the FTC or local authorities.
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Here are some additional tips to help you stay safe when dating online:
- Meet in a public place. If you decide to meet someone you meet online in person, meet in a public place where there are other people around.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Before you meet someone you meet online in person, tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- Take your own transportation. Don’t accept a ride from someone you meet online in person.
- Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, it probably is. If you have any doubts about someone, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid them.
If you encounter any of these online dating scams on WhatsApp or Telegram, it is important to report them to the platform immediately. You should also block the scammer and avoid any further contact with them.
By following these tips, you can help stay safe online and help protect yourself from WhatsApp or Telegram dating scams and other online dating scams.
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