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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Valentine’s day romance scams: Here’s how to stay safe

This Valentine's day, Tinder has listed ways to quickly spot a romance scammer.

By: Tech Desk | Pune |
Updated: February 14, 2022 4:23:46 pm
WPI inflation eases to 10.66 pc in Sep on lower food pricesRomance scammers prey on individuals who are already making themselves vulnerable in looking for love and can be hard to spot. (Photo:Getty/Thinkstock)

If you’re looking for love on dating apps, chances are your profile may get noticed by  ‘romance scammers’ who don’t want to steal your heart but your bank account balance. For the uninitiated, a romance scam typically involves creating fake accounts and convincing a potential victim to send funds under the pretext of getting romantic.

According to Tinder, these criminals are professionals – because they appear authentic, engaging and affectionate – they may even have a real Instagram account. This Valentine’s day, Tinder has listed ways to quickly spot a romance scammer.

#Communicate directly: If they ask you to switch from dating app to another app or ask for your phone number directly, chances are you are being duped by a scammer.

#Too good to be true: Over-the-top displays of affection or attention – or “lovebombing” – is a red flag. A scammer wants to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, so be wary of anyone who says your introduction was “fate,” makes grand promises and even proposes marriage very quickly.

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#Avoid meetings: Scammers will often make plans and cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen, often serious circumstances. Some of the excuses include a medical or family emergency, or something keeping them overseas – often become the reason they ask for financial support.

#Personal information: Scammers will ask you to share your passport, driver’s license or any other information that is otherwise considered to be private.

#Emphasizing challenges: Figuring out who prefers to pay the bill at dinner is one thing, but being pulled into someone’s personal financial woes or needs is another. If this happens, particularly early in conversation, it may be a sign of deeper deception.

How to be safe

#Believe your intuition: Your intuition is your greatest wingman. Always use your best judgment, and if something doesn’t feel right, block and report.

#Run a reverse image search: Scammers rarely use their own photos, so consider running a reverse image search to see if their profile photo is used elsewhere on the internet.

#Ask questions: Much like you would in getting to know a potential match, get to know people on a personal level by asking all of the questions. Look out for inconsistent facts and stories, or vague answers to very specific questions.

#Make your social media private: Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Avoid sharing personal details about family and friends, your home or work address or your daily routine

#Do not send money to a stranger: Cyber Cell Delhi advises to never send money to someone you meet online, including providing credit card numbers, bank account information, wire transfers, your social identifying number or any other personally identifiable information.

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