Online and specifically international online dating can mean a lot to individuals who are genuinely looking for that special someone in their life that may be on the other side of the world. However, as online dating became increasingly popular, so did cybercrime and scams, which created the impression that online dating is a farce and no online dating site can be trusted.
There are still some quality online dating platforms out there, and for some, online dating may be the only way to meet new people and groups of individuals they can relate to.
You can familiarize yourself with the different online dating scams currently prowling the online dating scene so you know what to look for and when to jump ship when things start to look fishy.
4 Main Types of Russian Scams to Watch Out For
Here we go with 4 main types of Russian (International) dating & romance scams you should be aware of:
Pay Per Letter
The Pay Per Letter scam is one of the worst online dating scams, and it is still called Pay Per Letter because it started with hopefuls paying to write actual letters to foreign women. After online dating sites made a splash on the internet and mobile phones, the Pay By Letter scam continues, but it is now in the form of sending chat messages, emails, and video chatting.
A typical online dating site that I’d suspect of the PPL scam requires you to pay every time you want to chat, send a message, or video chat with someone else on the site.
According to Krystyna Trushyna, Global Dating Scam Specialist for Doves-of-Love, the International Dating Guide, many online dating sites sell credit bundles to their customers instead of a subscription or membership. Any form of communication requires credits you purchased from the company.
This not only restricts your freedom as a customer of the dating site, but credit bundles are usually costly, and you would pay per minute or per message when communicating.
Be careful of sites that only use a credit system, and look at how much you’ll be charged against how much you need to pay per credit.
Fake Profiles & Asking for Money
Have you ever experienced how you are suddenly overcome with messages and chat requests from other profiles after signing on at a dating site? This often happens even before you’ve inserted a profile picture or finished the bio in your profile.
These messages requests will usually ask questions designed to draw you out and create a need for you to start chatting with them, which means you’ll have to sign up immediately.
Although this has never been sufficiently proven, many dating site customers believe that there are not genuine profiles. Instead, these women are paid to provide pictures for fake profiles, or the woman behind the profile has no interest in a relationship and constantly asks for money.
These are both clear red flags, so don’t feel pressured to start a paid subscription just because many profiles approach you after signing up. Moreover, the moment someone asks you for money, it’s a clear sign that you should cut ties and report the profile if possible.
This is a particular type of scam because professional or Pro-Daters go all in, make an effort to get to know you in most cases, and seem genuine. The first talk about meeting in person will most likely come from their side, and they get into the relationship before they start manipulating you to get your money.
This type of scammer is not ashamed to look you in the eye and steal your money while pretending to be interested in being in a relationship with you. When you start feeling comfortable in your relationship with a pro-dater, they can sense this and start asking for money using manipulative reasons like a family member being ill or being short for groceries for the month.
Of course, this person has, to a large extent, proven their willingness to be in a relationship by even meeting in person, so why should you doubt them? There is one way to determine whether you’re dealing with a scammer. Tell them you can’t give them the money, and watch their reaction.
Translation agencies can be behind the entire International dating site, using fake profiles and playing mediator between you and the person you think you’re talking to.
By doing this, these agencies can tell you whatever they want because there is no one on the other side.
Translation scams can also involve providing false translations from other members on a dating site which will ultimately result in you having to purchase gifts, send money or any other type of financial donation.
When this happens the first time, cut all ties and report and block the profile.
What to do if you got scammed?
The best cure for scamming is prevention because it can have devastating emotional and financial effects on honest individuals who are simply looking for a partner.
- If you think it’s a scam, report it to the government body in your country that investigates frauds and scams. Also, notify the website where you met the scammer immediately.
- If you paid a romance scammer with a gift or credit card, contact the company that issued the card immediately. Request a refund and provide the details of the scammer. If you made a transaction via PayPal, it is easy to open a payment dispute.
Your safety and emotional welfare is more important than giving a potential scammer a chance to take advantage of you.