How to avoid online dating scams

My aunt recently made a MySpace profile that has attracted some attention to male suitors online. It seemed like every day she would get a new message and they just begun piling up. Last night I took a minute to actually sit down and read them and I was shocked at what I found.

The first couple of messages seemed genuine with guys that were looking for a date and found interest in the profile. Then the messages started getting weird. There were a number of messages from guys that had just started on MySpace, not filled out their profiles, had uploaded only one picture and no friends or comments. That wasn’t what set my red flag off, it was the messages they were sending.

How does someone get scammed through online dating? It’s really quite simple, usually the scammer will say that they are from the U.S. but currently working overseas somewhere usually in South Africa. They will begin an online relationship someone that is usually vulnerable. Once the relationship is off the ground the scammer will ask something like, “my boss pays me in Postal money orders and I’m having trouble cashing them, can you help me out by cashing them at your bank and then wiring me the money?” Many people have fallen victim to this very scam and in the end owe their bank thousands of dollars because the money orders turn out to be counterfeit.

Signs to look for
There are a number of similarities between the messages that are easily to spot. Here are some of the things you should look for to avoid online dating scams.

I first noticed that they all had very bad grammar even though some of them mentioned that English was their first language. Nearly all of the messages started with ‘Am Johnny by name 48 by age’ this is not a common thing to say so I was surprised the second time I came across it. The messages all used ‘am’ instead of I am or I’m. Here is a snippet of the ridiculous grammar and overuse of ………..

Physical attraction and good intentions are the basics to start and then we’ll look for chemistry,. am caring humble honest,. romatic compassonate, i believe in true love as well i dont care of relocation becoz i know closiness is the best in relationship,.. try and email me back

Most of them also mention that they are currently overseas for business, construction or work. Usually they say they are in Africa but I’ve also noticed some other countries like Germany and Spain.

I really found ur profile interesting….. I am totally down to earth,
fun & responsible Guy. Love movies, music & shopping,and am a pretty good cook.. i am presently in wester africa to get antiques.. i buy and sell gold and diamond antiques thats what i do for a living?… i am looking forward in meeting a nice honest easygoing loving caring romantic passionate compassionate woman that i would spend the rest of my life with.. My Soulmate.. Hope you are the one..

If the person gives an email address to get a hold of them this is also another tale tell sign. They do this because they have too many profiles to check. Email is much less complicated.

I want a friend first, honesty is 1, no head games, no one nighter, just a all around Gentle woman! I’m very loving,down to earth,sincere,honest,caring Man..MarkCares.
here is my yahoo messenger id mark.sweet07 am online now.

If you suspect someone is a scammer
There isn’t much you can do if you suspect someone is a scammer besides reporting them. Most online dating websites have sometime of flagging system. You can try flagging them there as well as their email addresses. The only problem is these people make hundreds of profiles every day it is impossible to catch them all. Do your part and hopefully others will also catch on so we can bring these scammers down.

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