Valentine’s Day is not just a day for couples to celebrate their love for one another (by posting lots of photos of roses and chocolates on Instagram and Facebook) – it’s also a day when many singles flock to dating apps and websites in search of new love. But as millions of singles are expected to log in to dating sites today in search of romance, fraud experts say their vulnerability puts them at increased risk of being scammed.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, it may not always be clear from the start that the relationship is a scam. Many cases involve a scammer who builds a relationship over many months, gaining the love and trust of the unsuspecting victim before asking for any money. When they do begin to ask for money at that point, the victim is more willing to hand over the money because they believe that they are helping the person they love.
Many people have found happiness online, but it always pays to be safe. Although the actual number of people being conned is relatively small, it’s important to be aware of the risk, especially for those who are new to the online dating world.
Here are some tips to avoid being scammed online:
- Use a reputable site.
- Set up a separate email address for a dating app or site.
- Never provide your financial details or send money to someone you’ve met online. Scammers often request money orders or wire transfers as it is more difficult for senders to recover money sent this way.
- Be wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or the phone.
- Don’t share photos or webcam of a private nature. Scammers can use this material to blackmail victims.
If you have questions about divorce or other family law matters, please contact family lawyer Jason P. Howie, online or at 519.973.1500.