Types of online dating scams
It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles.
They will painstakingly craft a fake profile and begin targeting people that are looking for love.Once they’ve made contact, they will typically request to move the conversation to a private instant messaging service.He or she will begin the courtship process by sending letters and love poems for a period of weeks and finally offer to fly to meet their victim.Within hours of the expected arrival time, an emergency will strike: A work visa has expired, or their aunt/niece/child is sick and they need a few thousand dollars to be wired over so they can finally meet their intended.In many cases, scammers will choose to use pictures of military personnel. Grisham set up a personal blog for soldiers to report their photo being used on online dating sites.The lesson here is that online dating startups will need to step up their game to keep consumers safe.
“In the war against online dating scams and security threats, we’ve chosen to do whatever is necessary to always be a few steps ahead of scammers, and not the other way around – which is usually too late for our users,” said Cupid.com’s CEO, Bill Dobbie.
“This decision has its high price tag, but the alternative can be much costlier,” he continued.
After discovering that his headshot consistently showed in hoax dating profiles (thanks to a Google alert), Army Master Sgt. “Over the past few years, I’ve seen these scammers use all kinds of photos removed from open Facebook pages, blogs, official military websites, and command pages,” he wrote in a blog post last month.
“I’ve also seen my own photos and name used.” (The image of Grisham that was used by scammers is pictured, left) With a few of the largest player like OKCupid, Match, and others, there are precautionary measures in place.
However, on smaller or niche dating sites like and datanta, there is no security system to spot a fraudster.
[Update: the site contacted us to notify us of the precautions they have in place, including a human editor who responds to complaints and reports, and Threat Metrix, a cybercrime prevention software.] “On some dating sites, as many as one out of 10 profiles is a scammer,,” Mark Brooks, editor of Online Personals Watch told Glamour.