Dating Sites & Scam
Unfortunately, the internet is full of scammers. Most dating sites are full of them, and many sites don't bother to get rid of scammers - because scammers look good... scammers use model photos, have nice profiles, and that attracts more members. Connecting Singles is different - we take great effort to get rid of scammers. Scores of suspicious profiles are deleted each day, however, scammers are good at what they do and some slip through the scam screens. You can help by reporting them to us, so we can remove them.
1. Scammer needs money for bus fare or gas to travel to meet you.
Scammer may exchange emails with you for days or much longer, you may talk on the phone, until the two of you decide to meet. The scammer cannot afford it, but offers to drive to meet you (or take a plane or bus), and requests money to help pay for this. After you send the money, you never hear from them again - or you receive ongoing excuses to delay the trip and more requests for money.
2. Scammer has a hard luck story and asks for your help.
Scammer is sick or has a sick parent or child, or is stuck in a country (Nigeria or Russia usually) and they need your help. Their money, credit card, and ID has been lost or stolen and they have been arrested and need to pay a lawyer so they will be allowed to leave the country. Or they got injured and are in the hospital but can't get treated without money. They are very good at making you feel sorry for them. You may feel inclined to help them and send them money. After all, you have been led to believe this is your future spouse. This is a scam!
3. Scammer says he/she is starting a charity and needs your donations.
This is a scam! Real charitable organizations do not use dating services to get donations! Think about it!
4. Scammer offers you money.
Scammer is planning to visit your city or country and wants to send money ahead for use while there. They are going to 'trust' you to cash the checks for them. They may want you to buy something with the money and send to them - or their trip falls through and they ask you to send the money back. Scammer sends you counterfeit cashiers checks and you end up losing the money you sent to them. Not only that, but you may be found guilty of cashing bogus checks.
Another scenario is that the scammer finds out that you have a need for money and loans you a large amount with cashiers checks. You may be threatened when you are not able to pay it back right away.
5. Scammer pushes you for your email address, phone number, or other personal information early-on
They may use the excuse that they cannot upload a photo to the site but want to email you some photos. Facts: If they can email a photo to you, they can email a photo to the site to be added to their profile for free. The scammer is creating email address lists which will be sold worldwide and used for all sorts of purposes.
They may give you their email address and ask you to send photos to them of you and your family. If you do, they will have your email address and also your photos to use to convince other victims that they are 'real'. You may not get a further response because they have what they want from you.
Warning Signs to watch for
- Scammers use photos of models from modeling sites or from magazines.
- Scammers often ask for your email address right away, or give you theirs. They want to communicate off site as soon as possible. Beware they may be building email lists.
- The member has a hard luck story, they make you feel sorry for them, and they ask for help or money, or get you to offer it because you are 'such a nice person'.
- The member offers you money. They will do this to gain your trust. They will send counterfeit cashiers checks which will eventually bounce at your bank and get you into trouble.
- The member is from your country but travels for their job (working an oil rig, buying antiques, etc.). They have lost their ID and money and have been arrested or injured and urgently need money to get back home.
- The member is from Africa (especially Nigeria). There are large banks of computers with people paid to sit at the computer all day and scam innocent hard working people. It is a $100 million dollar business!! Africa is not within the Connecting Singles membership area, but sometimes they slip through registration.
- The member is from Russia or Ukraine. There are agencies who enter large numbers of fake profiles on dating sites. They use good looking pictures of women to scam lovesick men into sending them money to come to their country or to help them with their personal or family problems. The scam could also include credit card fraud, excessive charges to an affiliated travel company, etc. The photo is a fake and is not the person you are writing to. The girls are not real and you will never see the person you are writing to. Russia and Ukraine etc. are not within the Connecting Singles membership area, but sometimes they slip through registration.
- The member speaks or writes in very broken English. A lot of scammers will run their profiles through automated translators, and their profiles and emails will sound very strange:
- "I rather nice girl. At me brown eyes, light hair. My growth of 170 centimeters. I like to carry sexual frank linen of a house. As I very strictly look at work. I like to vary. I can be strict, impudent as I can be very gentle and tender. I view your structure on this site and find it good"
- "i am an humble and god fearing man and am soughting for a woman that can really makes me go distance.And she needs be ready to cope with me asap."
- "About itself I never thought that appearance of the person has the big value. I can tell about myself only that I attractive. For me the most important in the person - soul. I like to communicate, learn something new. I never stop on achieved. I always go forward, not looking that in life there are failures."
- "For whom I search I always dreamed of strong family. Children in family will be not important how many, whether there will be children in general. What loved did not betray each other that they would trust is important for me and understood each other. It is important to love really. It is important to give the second half all love to give itself. Probably, I search for the one who thinks as well as I."
- Scammers, who don't know English, often do not even know what their emails say. Sometimes, they will put the same letter in their profile narrative that they use to mass email people with.
- EXAMPLE (from a profile narrative, NOT AN EMAIL):
- "My name is Douglas Tim,am 49 years, single and am from the state.I saw your profile on here and love to be a friend at least to know how things go.Am an operator and also a father of one grown kid.searching for a real relationship felt may be u could help as a friend cos i can just resist not getting to know you more better and i would love to meet you in person to talk more on my yahoo.com I.D if you have one you can add mine.... so we can talk and get to know more of eachother ...Will be waiting for your reply or through an offline with my yahoo i.d cos my SON said "Dad you need someone after some years of being alone"....please i will be waiting for your reply. Best Regards
- EXAMPLE (this was actually in a profile!):
- "hello seller. i am julia ann.am interested in your Accordions and i will like to buy it. i would like u to tell me the present condition of the Accordions i would not mind sending u a cashier cheque through my shipper i would like u to give me your full name and address and phone number okay hope to hear from u soon bye."
- Many scammers copy their profiles from other real profiles so they will sound perfect. They use model photos or photos sent to them by past victims.
- Scammers often write flattering letters to people out of their age range, to those who have stated loneliness in their profile, or to recently widowed
- Scammers give you a lot of personal information right away making you comfortable and willing to share your own personal info with them. They will often make up a first and last name and put it in their profile, to make you feel safe. They will often use common names like "Greg Williams" or "Jane Smith" or "Kenneth Cole". If someone puts their first name and last name in a profile, it is probably a scammer!
- EXAMPLE (taken from a scammer profile out of Nigeria):
- "I am Henry Elvis from Takoma Park, Maryland, USA. I am really from Mahe-Victoria, Seychelles. I am Graduade of Anglia Polytechnic University, Essex,UK and also a Diploma Holder in Graphics Design from Brooks College, Utah,USA. I am cool and Handsome, Nice to be with and I like Travelling, Swimming and Playing Football and at the same time like surfing Internet and Programming, as part of my Job."
- Scammers wants you to leave the site to use personal email or IM because “it's so much easier” – may actually state they will not accept responses through this dating site.
- Mail to you is often poetic, sing-songy, pretty words with no meaning, general flattery, generic, does not directly address questions or concerns you have voiced or remarks you have made, uses a lot of seductive or pet nicknames for you instead of your name. They keep things general so they can send the same letter to many people (mass mail).
- Scammer gives you the name of another website and asks you to meet them there (ask yourself why when you are both here on a free site) or they will invite you to view them on a webcam or porn site. Be aware that some of these sites are setup only to gather personal info. You may be asked to enter your email address, credit card information or other personal info. You may end up with spyware or a virus on your computer.
A romance scam occurs when a stranger pretends romantic intentions, gains the affection of victims, and then uses that goodwill to gain access to their victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, email accounts, and/or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
The majority of scammers are located in Africa especially West Africa: Nigeria (Lagos), Senegal, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire; and Russia and Ukraine (for this reason, these areas are blocked from using ConnectingSingles, but some of them get around these blocks). This type of scam is very common on dating sites and you will likely receive email from a scammer on this site.
What you can do
The best thing to do is avoid these people, don't waste your time on them. If you see scammers on this site, report scammers to us, so that we can remove them from this site.
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
- Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
Have fun. Be safe.
Think with your head, not with your heart.