You’ve probably seen it or have heard of the Netflix documentary ‘The Tinder Swindler’ in which a man named Simon Leviev gains the trust and affection of several women while scamming them out of millions of pounds.
A love story turned sour.
Although this story is shocking and may be news to some, this isn’t a first. Con artists and online scams have been around for a long time and can be difficult to catch.
Robert Hendy-Freegard is another infamous fraudster and convicted conman from the early 2000s. He successfully controlled and coerced his victims, making many of them believe he was a secret MI5 agent while isolating individuals from their friends and families.
Most scams start innocently and tend to exploit an individual’s financial situation. In addition to such financial scams, dating app scammers also take advantage of an individual’s emotional needs, as they quickly build a relationship based on a fake identity and information.
Tips to avoid romance scammers
As mentioned above, scammers can be tricky to identify. But there are some things you can do to protect yourself. Here are a few points to keep in mind during online dating:
- Use Lovedoc’s messaging service
Many fraudsters will attempt to move the conversation to another messaging platform. In this way, the likelihood of their account being reported drastically decreases.
- Don’t let yourself be rushed
In an attempt to win your trust and affection, romance scammers will try and make your dreams come true. Whether they flaunt their wealth as Leviev did or shower you with love and affection – if it’s too good to be true, take a step back and re-evaluate your situation. The Tinder Swindler may be a good example for comparing similar behaviour.
The most important part is to not let yourself be rushed into a situation or relationship.
- Meet up face to face
In addition to wanting to move quickly, romance scammers will often claim to be in another country and/or continuously cancel plans to meet up.
If you haven’t yet met your match in person, why not set up a virtual date with them? In this way, you get to know each other better and can at least ensure that the person in the profile photos matches the person on your video call.
- Does the information you’re being offered make sense?
Scammers will often ask or know a lot about you, but rarely offer much personal information in return.
Ask and become curious about your date, and see if they willingly give information. Also, make sure that all the details match up. You don’t have to be a world-class detective to notice when certain things don’t align.
- Don’t share your bank details
Never give away your bank or card details, or transfer money to someone you have only just met or matched with.
- Report the user
If you feel unsafe or harassed at any point in time, immediately report the user. Anyone who is reported will be investigated, have their profiles checked, and if necessary removed from the app as well as reported to the relevant authorities.
Lovedoc will do everything in its power to ensure user safety, as it is a top priority and not something that is taken lightly.
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