What is “Catfishing” when talking about online dating? Catfishing is a term that describes a recently popular “outed” dating scam and is a term coined by “Nev” Yaniv Sh… Read More
Should you be aware of any Zoosk scams? According to those who’ve used the dating app to search for love, the answer is a resounding YES!
Zoosk is an online dating site which launched in 2007 and now includes an app. Founded by immigrant college students, Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, the site is now presented worldwide in 80 different countries and 25 different languages. What does Zoosk’s popularity mean to those who look to trick and scam fellow daters? To a scammer, the more demand, and members an online dating service has, the better results will be for them.
Should you realize that you are being scammed – online or through the app – take action to notify Zoosk directly of your complaint, block the member(s), and even contact law enforcement (primarily if the trickery involves the loss of any monies or includes a threat). In the case of suspected overseas financial scams, it is even appropriate to contact the FBI.
Zoosk Scam #1: Overseas Scam
You think you’re corresponding with your future beau or love, but are talking to an overseas scammer (usually from Nigeria, but other countries as well). While you believe you’ve gotten to know this person well, they sit fraudulently behind a computer, perfecting their scam on you and others. Often friends, family, or financial planners first alert the victim of their suspicions.
Other times, the victim becomes apprehensive as the person they’re involved with keeps giving elaborate excuses which delay their return to the States. Hopelessness and depression are everyday experiences for the victim after this type of scam is uncovered. Worse, since the crime occurred over the internet and overseas, funds are usually not recovered.
What to Look For?
Look for more elaborate word choice and speech patterns that might point to the choppy use of (what the scammer says is their) native language. If someone is on a “business” trip that lasts more than a week or so, consider this a red flag. Long distance relationships are hard even if you already know the person.
Don’t get involved with someone overseas, as they are more than likely a scammer. If you like the person’s messages or profile and believe they are legitimately whom they claim to tell them to message you once they’re back in town. Your heart and wallet will thank you!
Zoosk Scam #2: Romance Scam
When the FBI comes out with a statistic, its best to take note. According to their data, the most prominent targets of romance scams are more traditional women age 50 and over. That demographic accounts for 82 percent of romance scam victims. Perhaps the most emotionally dangerous type of scam, this fraud involves a promise of love, romance, and marriage. Victims send the scammer gifts, wire money, send cash and carry on what feels like the start of a lasting love affair. These scams can last weeks, days, or years.
The trickery can cost hundreds, thousands, or millions. Romance scams might be carried out domestically or mimic overseas scams. Although romance scams are often online only and more aloof, in-person meetings are possible too. However, they will be with someone who doesn’t want to love you, but does want your cash!
What to Look For?
While it’s appropriate to share assets in the long term committed relationship or marriage, if someone is asking you for money before you’ve met in person or tied the knot, it is a red flag. Scammers don’t always come out and ask for money directly. Their manipulation might involve complaining about their financial circumstance and let you offer up the cash!
Zoosk Scam #3: Robot “Bot” Scam
Today’s robots don’t sound like robots. Or, they do, but not like those in the movies. Bots are technology’s way of scamming you. A bot can mimic normal dating conversation and questions. Bots will always be available to reply quickly, no matter when you message them. They will mimic your questions and ask their own – usually generic.
Trust your instinct! That uncomfortable feeling you get about dialogue with a dater might mean they are a ‘bot.’ While you can try and outsmart a bot, by messaging random numbers or sentences which don’t make sense, to test their reply if you wait awhile, a bot will usually attempt to link you to other accounts, websites, services, porn sites, or paid materials.
What to Look For?
The conversation may not feel right, or they don’t respond to nuanced conversation quirks. They direct you to links or suggest paid material(s) or purchases.
Zoosk Scam #4: Catfish Scam
Catfish feel like themselves when they are pretending to be someone else. This might be because they struggle with anxiety, depression, an illness, poor body image, are married, or other factors. Whatever the cause, if a catfish manages to trick you their issues might become your heartache. Catfishing is pretending to be someone else online. It can be a short-term connection or chronic and ongoing.
The scary part is that it usually isn’t illegal, though it may violate a site’s terms of service (TOS) or be problematic if copyrighted photos are used in the trickery. This type of scam is complex the person behind the catfishing might have feelings for you, but know you wouldn’t like them in real life. They could be a stranger or someone you know pretending to be someone else.
What to Look For?
The catfish makes excuses not to meet or avoids regular video chat or talking on the phone. They live across the state or cancel each in-person meeting. They have soap opera good excuses not to meet. Unsure? In the case of catfish, a quick Social Catfish reverse image search is helpful to verify or debunk identity. If they tricked you out of money, they might have committed a crime.
Zoosk Scam #5: Hook Up
While a hookup scam may not be what you first consider, many Zoosk users find that the site is geared towards just that, regardless of profiles looking for something serious. While a casual, short-term or one-night affair might be what you’re looking for, don’t assume that a user’s personality profile is accurate. Ask questions. Go on follow updates. On a first date, never meet a date in an unpopulated area or invite them to your home/go to theirs.
What to Look For?
They come on strong, so you let down your guard. They might claim they’ve “never felt this way before” or try and continually push past your boundaries. They suggest drinks, not dinner. They want to get you alone and indicate private locations or keep ordering alcohol even when you say you’ve had enough.
Just like finding love, avoiding scammers cannot be guaranteed. However, by knowing what to look for and what steps to take, you can get better and faster at identifying individuals with an agenda of deception or theft. Unsure if you’ve encountered a scammer or con-artist on Zoosk? Are you worried that the person you sent money or gifts to was a Nigerian scammer and not the person you love?
Do a comprehensive search on Social Catfish. Social Catfish’s search algorithm and our Search Specialists are the best way to find out if you’re talking to the person you think you are or if you’re falling for a bot, scammer, or catfish!