When scrolling on Instagram, you might have noticed someone randomly stumble amongst your DM’s. This person probably stated that you were the most beautiful person in the world and wanted to get to know you more. Then once you talked to them for a few months, they started asking you for money and won’t leave you alone. If this sounds similar to someone that you’ve been talking to, then you’re probably communicating with an Instagram romance scammer. In this article, we cover what is a romance scammer, the signs of an Instagram romance scammer, and how to avoid romance scammers on Instagram.
What is a Romance Scammer?
A romance scammer is someone who creates a fake profile on Instagram and tries to start fake relationships with random people. They sweep their victims off their feet by saying how gorgeous they are and how they want to get to know them better. They keep talking to the victim on a daily basis until they fall in love with them.
Once the scammer gains their victim’s trust, the scammer starts coming up with excuses as to why they need money. They usually start off with something small, such as money for food or other small expenses. Then, they create a more serious excuse and usually claim that their life or job is on the line if they don’t receive a large sum of money. Romance scammers continuously ask their victims for money until they drain their bank account.
5 Signs of an Instagram Romance Scammer
They Ask You For Personal and Financial Information
Scammers will come up with an emergency excuse, such as losing their job or being in the hospital, to steal money and information from their victims. For example, they might claim that they need access to your bank account in order to help pay for whatever emergency they are going through. They also have asked for victims’ personal information in order to participate in an investment opportunity or claim they need to ship something to their house.
They might even need details to your social media profiles to supposedly change your setting to prevent your account from being hacked. Whatever the excuse is, any financial or personal information should be kept to yourself, no matter what. If there really is an emergency, the scammer would contact their family or friends to help them, not someone that they just met online. Also, don’t give them any gift cards, wire transfers, or Bitcoin for any reason.
They Form a Relationship With You Very Quickly
If they say “I love you,” after only three weeks of knowing you, then you know that they are just faking their love for you. Scammers will only claim to love you so that they can get their hands on your hard-earned money. They think that if they can gain your trust by claiming how in love they are with you, then you’ll fall for their scams and not question their stories.
These stories can be emergency excuses or stories that make it sound like the scammer is in danger somehow. Since they made you fall hard for them, they know that the first thought you would have is helping them rather than questioning what they are saying. Therefore, by rushing the relationship they actually rush how fast someone can be scammed.
They Claim They Can’t Video Chat With You
Scammers create fake profiles all the time using stolen images from public profiles and social media influencers. They can voice-over videos and photoshop images to make you believe whatever they want you to believe. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to try and meet someone in person or video chat with them before getting into a serious relationship with them.
If they come up with an excuse as to why they can’t meet you in person or video chat with you, they are most likely a scammer and stole someone else’s images. If their video chat is seriously lagging or their voice doesn’t match the video, there’s also a chance they could be faking the video chat.
They Make Excuses To Not Meet You in Person
Scammers create fake profiles and usually live in Nigeria, even though they usually claim that they live somewhere else. Whenever their victims ask to meet them in person, they usually make up excuses as to why they can’t. These excuses might range from they are stuck at work, they don’t have the money, they got in an accident, there’s an emergency… etc.
If someone consistently states that they want to see you but their plans always fall through, then they are most likely a scammer. They make it sound like they are making the effort to come to see you in order to keep you on the hook. However, these attempts are made up and they usually lie about why they can’t come and see you afterwards.
They Claim to Be in the Military or an Oil Rig Worker
Scammers will claim that their occupation is the military or an oil-rig worker since these are both overseas jobs. It is easy to pretend to be someone you aren’t if you have an overseas job as an excuse as to why you can’t video chat someone or meet them in person. It is also easy to use these occupations as excuses to try and scam their victims out of their hard-earned money.
They can say that they need help getting off the oil rig, they need help with medical bills after a military injury, they need help getting a gun for their services, they need help getting home, and plenty more excuses to get their victims to send them money. The military or oil rig will NEVER require their employees to pay to get back home, for medical bills, or for food. Therefore, if you are talking to someone in the military or an oil-rig worker who isn’t willing to video chat with you or meet you in person while also asking you for money, chances are they are a scammer.
Enter The Suspected Scammer’s Information Here…
By performing a reverse search with Social Catfish, you will most likely be able to find out whether the person you are talking to is a scammer or not. All you need to do is enter their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see who it is you’ve really been talking to.
Run a reverse search here:
How to Avoid Instagram Romance Scammers
- Don’t get into a serious relationship with someone unless you have video chatted with them or met them in person.
- Don’t give the scammer any money, gift cards, Bitcoin, or wire transfer.
- Don’t give them any personal information since they will use it to commit identity fraud.
- Block anyone that you don’t know who tries to add you on Instagram or other platforms.
- Stay away from Google Hangouts or WhatsApp if someone tries to move you from Instagram to one of these apps.
- Don’t fall for any emergency excuse that they might throw at you since they are most likely made-up lies to get their hands on your money.
- Don’t send any explicit photos to someone that you haven’t video chatted or met in person.
And Lastly… Do Your Research with Social Catfish! We Are Here to Help!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading these signs of an Instagram romance scammer. Also, make sure to report any scam that you have been a victim of to the FTC. They will provide you with excellent resources that will help you recover financially and emotionally.