There’s no shortage of fraud surrounding dating these days, especially with online dating. It seems like such a great way to meet people with similar interests. Get on a dating site, they said. It’ll be fun they said. Until you find out the person you’ve been chatting with is nothing like they portrayed themselves to be.
A woman named Yin signed up for a six month membership with match.com. And she got catfished by someone using pictures of a U.S. Marine. He told her his name was David Perez he was deployed in Afghanistan, and they exchanged a bunch of text messages.
They “fell in love” over text messages. He told her to keep things a secret because her friends would be jealous.
After 5 weeks, Yin’s online “love” asked her for money. There was a big story about a secret mission in Afghanistan, a military attorney, a non-existent company in London, and a Chinese bank. She sent money totaling over $273,000.
So how do you protect yourself? Look for red flags. Elaborate stories that don’t seem to make any sense. Someone who wants things kept secret (because they don’t want anyone else talking sense into you). People who limit communications or won’t meet in person. Someone who is moving way too fast in the relationship.
But the best way to protect yourself is to simply not give any money to anyone you’re chatting with or dating. You may not be able to protect your feelings, but you can certainly protect your bank account with 100% certainty.