PHOENIX – Online dating is one way to venture off and meet new people but sometimes those people can be scammers.
The Arizona Attorney General’s office says social media and online dating sites make it easy for fraudsters to ingratiate themselves with victims and carry out scams ranging from wire fraud to identity theft.
Warning signs can include meeting someone online and they quickly profess to having strong feelings. Scammers would likely ask you to chat privately via email or another entity rather than the dating website.
After the scammers gain trust they can tell you an elaborate story asking for money, gifts, or even credit card information. Of course with online dating, there’s times when you would like to meet the person face-to-face but scammers will come up with excused to why they can’t travel or why they always need more money.
Never fear, there’s always a way to protect yourself. The attorney general advises to be wary of individuals you meet through social media especially if they promise romance.
Be careful what you post on social media about yourself. Scammers can try to use this information to start a relationship with you. Avoid posting a front-facing photo of yourself because con artists can try to use it to replicate a photo ID to steal your identity.
Check the privacy settings on social media account regularly, so information can only been seen by certain people and don’t log in to social media accounts through a public wireless network. Make sure to research names and the back story of people you meet online and be suspicious of unsolicited emails and requests from strangers.
Information provided by Arizona Attorney General’s Office