5 Signs You're in the Midst of an Internet Dating Scam

We were recently referred to a client who needed complete background check information, in addition to surveillance services overseas. Her dilemma? She has been in an online relationship with a man for an extended period of time, and although she was completely in love - as he claimed to be with her - friends and family were beginning to feel he might be a fraud. Our client's situation is a bit like the Manti Te'O online dating scam, only worse! She has already given the man thousands of dollars, even though they have never met. Sound unbelievable?

Unfortunately, these types of internet dating scams are not unusual. There are countless government and professional websites dedicated to warning others about the tragedy that can unfold as good hearts are manipulated at the will of sociopathic frauds.

Do you suspect you're the victim of an internet dating scam?

Here are some signs that your online date may not be as real as he or she seems:

  1. He lives or travels frequently to a different country. It is in your best interest to only date online profiles who live in the same country as you do, and are on U.S. soil most of the time. Of course, there are many wonderful people who travel abroad on business, but those same wonderful people will be excited to meet face-to-face with you and will not stretch it out, using multiple excuses, for months on end. If you hear that the person you have met is a U.S. Citizen but often travels abroad, is currently living abroad, or is not a U.S. Citizen at all, you are better off moving on to the next appealing profile.
  2. She is a widower and so are you. We are going to be fair and use both genders in our examples, however, the facts are that men are much more likely to be the perpetrators of online dating scams, so women - watch out! Women are the more vulnerable targets. Scammers know that widows are also the beneficiaries of their deceased spouse's assets - so they often pose as widowers themselves, in order to gain their victims' trust.
  3. He desperately needs money. Of course, internet dating scams are all about the money. The scammer will craftily spin his web, gaining your sympathy, eventually your affection - and then he will pounce. If he is less experienced, he might come right out and ask for money. More experienced scammers learn how to tell their sad, bad luck tales in a manner that gets the victim to offer the money. Either way it's a bad deal for the victim. Here's the reality: Anyone who truly cares about you, and values your relationship, would never rely on you for any type of financial support when you both have yet to meet in person. Any indication that you are being expected to "loan" money should be met with an instant rebuke and a terminated connection. It is not worth your time.
  4. Her plans to visit you were suddenly cancelled. Oh! You were so close to meeting your significant online other and then:
    • Her mother/sister/father/anyone became ill, or died suddenly, and now she has to change her plans.
    • Her car broke down on the way to the airport, she missed the flight, the ticket was non-refundable so she is out the money, and she doesn't have any way to pay for the car repairs right now...
    • Her biggest clients insisted that she meet with them right away, or perhaps a major business deal just went south, and she can't come after all because she has to take care of business.

    Each of the above scenarios is a good sign that there is no real person for you to meet. However, there is a real person - just not the one you want - on the other end of the bank account or western union line whenever you wire her money.

  5. The U.S. Embassy is refusing help in his time of need. The more likely story is that your internet love is not even a U.S. Citizen in the first place, and therefore wouldn't even try to enlist the help of the U.S. Embassy. Here's the thing, it is a very rare instance when the U.S. Embassy is not going to do all that it can to help one of its citizens in a foreign country.

A complete background check can help to sniff out internet dating scams

Are you on the fence, torn between who you feel is a genuinely good person and your deep-seated suspicion that all might not be as it appears? Why not find out the truth?

Private Investigative services can help to follow the information trail, and determine whether or not there is a real, live, heart-felt person at the end of the communication line. Just put yourself in your beloved's place, wouldn't you want him or her to know the truth about who you are? Conversely, then, your online love will want you to know that they are 100% genuine as well.

Contact a California Private Investigator for a competitively priced background check

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations, is a licensed California Private Investigator working in Los Angeles and Orange County. Our investigative services take us all over the state of California, interstate and beyond. Want to look into the profile of your current online date? No problem. Contact Us and we'll uncover the truth, and prevent you from becoming the next victim of internet scams.

Published on: 
August 1, 2013
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