Recently one of my friends called me with some exciting news. She connected with a nice guy on a dating website. They had several email exchanges. He was widowed. He was a hard worker. He was romantic.
He was a fraud.
Luckily my friend clued into some red flags. The emails became very romantic, very fast. He was always too busy to meet or connect by phone. And then the big red flag: he had to go overseas to work on an oil rig. While he was there an accident occurred and then, wait for it, he needed money.
By this point my friend had stopped responding and contacted the dating site to report the fraudulent suitor. Fortunately, other than lost time she didn’t lose money. A week later, she was contacted by another suitor with an almost identical “Nice to meet you” introduction email. Needless to say, she didn’t respond.
Throughout the pandemic, many people have felt isolated and alone, so it’s natural to seek new connections. With Valentine’s Day approaching many people will take a leap of faith on love. Online dating is popular and like anything that engages consumers, scammers find a way to take advantage of trusting hearts.