You may be wondering about the most up-to-date online dating scams statistics. The answer, which we will explore below, is sadly in the millions of dollars. Since dating technology has grown into a $2 billion dollar industry, dating scams have become an unfortunate part of the equation.
Dating schemes and scams can range from relatively mild or annoying messages- which users hardly give a second glance- to much more serious problems which can leave a dater’s heart broken, their trust in shambles, or even financial ruin.
At Social Catfish, we know the devastating effects that a dating scam can have on honest people who don’t deserve mistreatment. This is only compounded now that financial loss is synonymous with a scammers agenda.
Shocking Online Dating Scams Statistics
Part of our mission is to educate daters on key steps they can take to avoid dating scams. For those who have already been caught in the web of a Catfish and have lost time, energy, or thousands of dollars being scammed or schemed against, it can be reassuring to discover that they are not alone.
The following are up to date dating statistics: As always, a mathematical equation or statistic should not make or break a decision to online date. Utilize tools to avoid being one of those scammed by using Google or our search engines to safely look up online connections and find reassurance that users are who they say they are.
According to the Australian based site, Scam Watch, dating scams have accounted for a gross loss of almost 13 MILLION dollars in 2017 alone (through October 2017) via 2,516 reports.
Its important to remember is that the twelve million only refers to REPORTED scams. There are many daters who – out of embarrassment or simply not knowing who to tell or where to turn- don’t report the scams they experience.
Daters who are catfished are often so caught off guard by the personal element of their experience (i.e., connecting with someone who ultimately did not exist as the person they claimed) that their attention and focus goes into healing the emotional wound, rather than the potential financial one.
It is encouraging that dating companies and public education is making a notable decrease in dating scams. While 13 million is not a small figure, it is far less than Scam Watch’s dating and romance scam total’s from 2016, which totaled $25,480,351 per 4,109 reports.
While the total loss from each report can vary drastically, this would make the average loss per person $6,201. Compared to 2017, this means that not only have less financial dating scam losses have decreased from $6,201 to $5,157 per person. A difference of 1k per averaged report.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2013 and 2014, romance scams doubled during those years. The FTC totals for the last 6 months of 2014 rose to a high of $82 million in online dating fraud.
The FTC takes this grand total seriously enough that they have an entire consumer page devoted to tips which can helps users avoid online romance scams. The FTC list comprises some of their most commonly seen scams.
Their recommendations include not to wire money to cover:
- medical emergencies
- hotel bills
- hospital bills for a child or other relative
- visas or other official documents
- losses from a temporary financial setback
Online Dating Scams You Need To Watch Out For!
Consider your voyage onto a dating site like a walk around your favorite city. There are the nice parts, shady parts, a red light district, places to settle down, and dark alleys you might be in danger to walk down. Dating sites are an online version of the real world. You can look for the girl or guy next door, find a hookup, meet the love of your life, or have a foreign romance (though it might only be with a scammer).
Here are some of the top online scams you need to watch out for:
1. MARRIED: It may not be a ‘scam’ in the traditional sense, but be aware that, according to research, one third or more of men on dating sites are married. The numbers are close enough for women. That means that for every profile you look at, don’t assume that their description as ‘single’ is accurate.
Some clues that your catch might be married, could be that their profile picture is nonexistent or hard to view, as if they’re trying to camouflage their identity to passersby. If you give your phone number to your date but, even after a few dates, they are wary to give you there’s, then ask why. Tan lines on ring finger are ‘old school’ clues.
‘New school’ is whether they introduce you to friends or family… or if you notice a pattern to their messages, that isn’t explained by their job or lifestyle. Only texting during work hours and or night texts might be a warning sign of their marital status. Also, if you date for awhile and have yet to see their home, this can also be a sign.
2. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: I have no doubt that you are a masterpiece in your own right and deserving of wolf whistles. However, if your date looks like a model and you’re more an average Joe or Jane, then stop and wonder why. If you’re 60 and getting messages from beautiful or buff twenty somethings, assume that they are in want of something that is more in line with a scam than love. It’s likely to be a Catfish or a Scammer.
3. NOT WHO THEY SAY: Some people have fun tricking others. Others have mental or emotional problems. Some people have both. Combine this type with those who are married or two good to be true, and you could have a problem on your hands. Catfish can pretend to be a normal, nice person. Some Catfish are nice behind the scenes, while others are not. Imagine the confusion of finding out an in depth digital or phone relationship is not. Also, do they always seem to be online? This might be a Catfish who is constantly chatting up others or the next type of scam we’re about to describe.
4. THE TRAVELLER: How impressive that your future date travels the world and wants to connect with you before they return to the area! This could, theoretically… though not likely, happen, but more often it’s a foreign Scammer or Nigerian/419 scheme. If you’re getting led into a relationship or interacting with someone who claims they always live far away or is currently away, reconsider if it’s worth the emotional and time investment. If you’re looking for a relationship on a dating site, whatever the type of relationship, set a standard to only be involved with someone who is local enough to actually see and weed out for red flags. This type of scam will usually lead to money requests or can be a Catfish who wants to conceal their identity for emotional reasons. Look for grammar or language cues, or the mixing up of words like him/ her.
5. PHOTO DISCREPANCIES: This can tie in with any of the above scams or schemes on dating sites. Suspicious that someone might be using a fake photo? Use www.socialcatfish.com and know for sure, . Some other things to look for are the background and landscape of photos sent. Look for items which may not indicate the person is whom they say or lives where they claim.
6. INTUITION: Most important, use your intuition and your smarts!
In addition to public education on the subject, which we pride ourselves in at Social Catfish, knowing that it is okay to report financial dating scams is important. The more those who are scammed report their experience, the more accurate reporting will be in future.
While being catfished can become avoidable with training and a keen eye, many do not realize this until they have already had a negative experience online. It is often better to spend time exploring free options in Google to search out matches and avoid the pitfalls of scams, or even spend a few dollars for a comprehensive online algorithm based catfish search, than lose resources to a scammer. Just like falling off a bike once doesn’t mean you should never ride again, online dating scams should not prevent one from enjoying all the internet has to offer.