Do you ever hear horror stories about catfishers online who wind up scamming an innocent person out of thousands of dollars? Maybe you feel sorry for that person, figuring anyone with common sense wouldn’t fall for such a scam.
But that’s the problem. Most people wouldn’t fall for an obvious scam. But how about a more convincing one? How about a more clever scam that doesn’t involve millions or thousands, but just a few hundred dollars?
Sure, many people have been swindled out of hundreds of dollars, and it’s usually because they make the mistake of feeling compassion for someone they just met and believing the persuasive lie.
So in this article, we’re going to discuss a few signs of scammers online – and romance scammers specifically, since they have to be diabolical if they’re going to swindle intelligent people out of money…
1. They prefer not to use dating apps, more like texting and email.
Texting and email are tools of the catfisher since all they have to do is persuade and tell a story, and not provide physical evidence of their existence. Furthermore, if they meet you on a dating site and try to lure you offsite, it’s apparent they don’t want to answer to the dating company or any other third party.
There’s no reason to take things offsite, especially if just met the guy and want to spend some time getting to know him. Dating sites keep records of all correspondence and it’s interesting to hold onto statements and facts, just in case his story doesn’t check out.
2. Their story doesn’t check out “on the record.”
Speaking of which, nothing he says appears to be true, at least according to public records. Any decent man should have no problem with you running a background check. If he’s never done anything criminal, he has nothing to worry about. If he made a mistake a long time ago, then it’s best he tells you that in advance.
In the meantime, be very suspicious of anyone who (A) doesn’t cooperate with a background check and withholds information, or (B) tells you things that don’t appear to be verifiable with any background check service. For example, if he claims to be a doctor or pilot or something, but no record of a license ever comes up, he’s probably lying.
3. They can’t meet you in person… like ever.
One of the first things dating coaches tell people is to try to meet someone you like in person as soon as possible. Don’t postpone. Don’t wait a year and build up expectations in your mind. Meet in person, or at least Skype/Zoom on camera, so you can be sure you’re not being catfished.
Don’t believe a still photo. Heck, I wouldn’t even believe a 5-second prerecorded video clip. Everyone out there either has Facebook, or Facetime, or Skype, Zoom, or Google, or WhatsApp. It’s time to be real!
4. They need money from you… just this once.
Let’s get to the point. NO serious potential boyfriend, ever, is going to ask you for money. Ever.
Maybe a guy will have a bad week or a family emergency week, once in a while. Guess what? He’ll go out of his way to get the money himself, or work it off, or take out a loan, or pawn something – whatever, just so he doesn’t have to ask his date for money.
For most men, who take pride in being good providers, they consider their ability to pay their own way and keep a job a matter of personal pride. They would be embarrassed to ask someone (they’re trying to impress) for money, or for a huge personal favor that’s worth hundreds of dollars.
Maybe it’s something family members do for each other, but it’s not sane dating behavior. The same goes for men who try to lure you into a money-making scheme, suggesting he just got a job or needs leads, or anything like that.
Even if the guy is not scamming you outright, you don’t want to get mixed up with a guy who can’t hold down a job, can’t pay his bills on time, can’t have friends without constantly asking for favors, and basically, whose life always seems to be in shambles.
Things aren’t going to get any better in the life of this “tragic hero” who never seems to cut a break, and yet always has some master plan on making that money back. It’s just going to get worse. So think carefully about saying YES the first time he asks. You’re asking for a recurring problem child in your life.
5. They fall in love with you quickly… like faster than a Disney romance!
The real crux of the matter is that scam artists count on a FAST romance, not one that takes time to build. The guy is literally falling for you in less than two hours, less time than even Belle needed to fall in love with the Beast.
He needs you to believe that he loves you dearly in order for the scam to work. Scam romancers will pretend to be highly impressed at your wit, creativity, passion, and all your good qualities. This will make it more difficult to tune them out because everyone likes it when people say nice things.
But are the compliments genuine or just over the top whirlwind romance?
6. They love-bomb you and it feels amazing.
On the opposite end, they start “love-bombing you”, in essence trying to force you to fall in love with them too. They will turn on the charm, write poetic things, speak with charisma and passion, profess a strong attraction to you, and a desire to marry you. He’s different from all those other guys that just want sex!
Yeah right, but the problem is he never actually takes the time to get to know you. He grooms you to be his long-distance lover almost immediately. But it’s all fake and it happens so fast…
Why? Because con artists know if they don’t nab you in the first few days/weeks, they probably won’t ever make the sale. He will probably ask for a tiny favor early on, then as you “progress” in the fake relationship, his money requests will get bigger over time, a never-ending gamut of emergencies!
Now that you know the signs and can figure out how the scam operation works, it’s time for you to be more cautious when meeting people. Sure, there’s no reason to be cynical or suspicious of everyone you meet.
But do look for the signs that suggest something is off. Take your instincts seriously. Don’t try to persuade yourself to believe something that your heart simply doesn’t believe. It’s time to face facts, observe the signs, and then call this person out on their odd behavior.
Chances are, as soon as you offer proof that you know it’s all a scam, they will disappear in a hurry!
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