Tips to Avoid Online Dating Scams

Foreign criminals are infiltrating popular dating websites like Match.com, posing as Americans in search of love. You can spot them, if you know what to look for.

By Joel Grover and Chris Henao
|  Friday, Jun 1, 2012  |  Updated 11:02 AM PDT
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Foreign criminals are infiltrating popular dating websites like Match.com, posing as Americans in search of love. You can spot them, if you know what to look for.

Joel Grover, Chris Henao

Foreign criminals are infiltrating popular dating websites like Match.com, posing as Americans in search of love. You can spot them, if you know what to look for.

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Foreign criminals are infiltrating popular dating websites like Match.com, posing as Americans in search of love. You can spot them, if you know what to look for.

See NBC4's investigative report: Scammers Target Lovelorn on Match.com

"They are all the same," said assistant US Attorney Ellyn Lindsay.

These are the red flags of an con-artist on a dating website, according to the federal government:

  • They claim to live in the US, but say they’re traveling or working abroad
  • They say they’ve fallen in love with you in a heartbeat
  • Then they say they’re in tough financial straits, and ask you for a loan, always by wiring them money

Read: Full Match.com Statement (PDF) | Match.com Safety Tips

"Never, ever, ever, wire transfer money to somebody you don’t know, that you haven’t met in person," Lindsay said.

Criminals prefer wire transfers because the money isn’t traceable and makes it hard for the crooks to get caught, she said.

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