In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.
While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.
Online dating is a proven way to meet other people that have similar interests.
Unfortunately, online dating has also been a successful place for scam artists to take advantage of trusting souls who are looking for love or companionship.
Also avoid people that disclose too much, whether it’s a recent staph infection, bankruptcy or bad breakup.
And Mc Dermott recommends steering clear of people who don’t have kids but use undue space in their profile soliciting information about the age and sex of your children.
Like other scams, internet dating scams are based on trust.
The scammer or con artist becomes your friend, earns your trust, or even gets you to “fall” for them before they blindside you with requests for money.
Chemistry is what’s responsible when you meet some guy who is totally not your physical type and the complete opposite in personality to guys you normally get on with - but you don’t care.
So improve your chance of success by keeping an eye out for the following red flags as you sort through potential date’s profiles: Photos: Photos can tell you a lot about a potential date.
No photo, or a grainy, out-of-focus or outdated photo, are a sign that the person probably has something to hide, or else is not really serious about the dating process.
But Vondie Lozano, licensed marriage and family therapist, has some other not-so-obvious flags to add to the list.
Self-description: If the user name or headline is weird, overtly sexual or otherwise inappropriate — Bangyourdaddy, 69Reasons — you can stop there, says Trish Mc Dermott, a founding team member of