No scam online dating

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Naturally, we offer tips to help you protect yourself from these online dating scams.

However, before we begin, you may want to spend a moment looking at this week’s most popular articles from our other sites: Is Identity Theft Really Like the Commercials Show It?

“You pretend to be a victim and string them along, try to get them to waste as much of their time, money, and resources as you can,” he says.

Mays would post any identifying details that scammers used online — from the email addresses they created to the back stories they recycled — to make them searchable. But for Mays, who co-hosts a scam-baiting podcast, “it’s also like improve comedy.” Most people aren’t turning to him for comic relief, though.

Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana.

But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.

According to Mayes, they’ve handled more than 14,000 such cases in the past three years. Go deactivate all your social media accounts,” he says.

In Mays’ experience, romance scammers typically target 30 to 40 people a day, and will eventually move on to easier prey if they encounter resistance.

The site tends to be a last resort for victims who are afraid to go to the police, or to tell anyone in their life what’s happened, because they’re ashamed. Their partner has either died or they've divorced and they've just started looking at online dating.

Whatever you do, he adds, don’t ever pay them — that will only make a scammer more aggressive.

As for Firefly, she now refuses to date anyone she doesn’t meet the old-fashioned way, face to face.

She decided to do a little research online and discovered that, yes, cholera is a problem in Ghana, and yes, treating it can be expensive — except that Ghana actually has a free cholera treatment program.

“In that moment, something was not sounding right to me,” Firefly says. But she also realized something else: There were probably a lot of people, just like her, being victimized on dating sites, and Firefly was determined to do something about it.

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