Romance scams: Swipe Left For Scammers

Online dating sites can be a place for finding love, but watch out for sneaky scammers trying to pull a fast one!
Romance scam dating profile

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the air fills with romance, but it’s important to remember that not every love-at-first-sight moment is genuine. There’s a darker side to the search for love, especially online, where romance scams prey on those looking for connection. These scammers are skilled at crafting too-good-to-be-true profiles, aiming to con you out of your money like the Tinder Swindler

Understanding Romance Scams

Romance scams typically start on dating sites, social media, or other online platforms. Scammers create believable fake profiles, posing as everything from soldiers in conflict zones to successful entrepreneurs, all designed to tug at your heartstrings. They might even impersonate celebrities to gain your trust. Remember, if “Brad Pitt” slides into your DMs, it’s almost surely a scam.

Identifying the Warning Signs

Perfection That’s Unreal:

If a profile strikes you as the perfect match straight out of a fairy tale like Prince Charming, proceed cautiously. Romance scammers craft these ideal personas to lure you in. For example, someone pretending to be Katy Perry for six years is a stark reminder of how far they’ll go.

Avoidance of Real Contact:

Scammers shy away from video calls or in-person meetings, often for complicated reasons. If “camera issues” are not a red flag, then I don’t know what it is.

Financial Pleas:

Requests for money, particularly from someone you’ve never met in person, should immediately raise alarms. These requests often come under the guise of emergencies or travel expenses to visit you.

Protecting Your Heart

Verify Identities:

Utilize online tools to check the authenticity of profile photos and stories. If something feels off, it probably is. And swiping left can be helpful. 

Privacy is a top priority:

Never share personal or financial information with someone you’ve only met online.

Choose Reputable Platforms:

Stick to well-known dating sites that prioritize user safety and privacy. In the online world, there are weird places that you don’t want to be in. Most romance scams happen on secure sites, but the victims are usually led off to other sites.

Hold Onto Your Wallet:

No matter the sob story, never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person. The Tinder swindler was able to slip away with a whopping £10 million by spinning heartstring.

Trust Your Gut:

Trust your instincts and step back if something feels wrong. If it smells fishy, then it’s most likely a catfish. 


Romance scams can leave a lasting impact, both emotionally and financially. There isn’t anything dangerous about dating websites, but staying informed and cautious is key to protecting yourself. Always prioritize your financial well-being and emotional health. If you suspect you’re the target of a romance scam, report it immediately and seek help. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when navigating the complex world of online dating.

Charles Nyamukasa

Digital Marketing Apprentice at London Mutual Credit Union.

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