There’s nothing wrong with online dating, but there’s a sad, dark business to online romance scams resulting in lots of lost consumer cash.
According to FBI’s complaint center, the bureau reported 15,000 romance scams, resulting in a combined $230 million in consumer losses. Some of the reports involved soft scams, such as one partner asking the other for money. Other reports involved hard scams, such as someone’s money getting rerouted to an international crime syndicate (don’t worry; this is NOT the norm).
Online dating sites can only protect people from the most basic forms of potential fraud: as in, making sure that the people looking for that special someone are who they say they are. As long as no inappropriate pictures are posted, that’s pretty much the gold standard for “protection” in the online dating world.
Below if the story of one victim’s scamming situation.
However, dating apps and sites can’t really go beyond that, which means everything else is up to the discretion of the two people communicating.
For victims, perhaps the best protection is knowing how vulnerable you really are. Are you looking for love online because you’re alone? Or because you’re lonely? Are you looking for love online because you want to actively meet new people? And most importantly – are you online because you’re in the bad penalty credit box?
Here at the Credit Repairmen, we call the bad penalty credit box that sunken place everybody experiences at least once in their life: either you went through a bad divorce, lost your job, experienced a medical emergency, etc. And yes, it happens to the best of us – Jim Carrey lived inside a VW bus in high school, Halle Berry was financially caught off by her mom and had to stay in a homeless shelter, James Bond himself used to sleep on park benches, and before getting paid handsomely to make index card mistakes, Steve Harvey lived inside of his 1976 Ford Tempo for several years as a struggling comedian.
Why is the bad penalty box relevant? We’re not saying that you – dear reader – will be the next Carrey or Harvey (although we absolutely hope you are, and feel free to mention us if you make it big after enrolling in our program), but that the FBI reports predict a common theme among online dating scams. For example, the Federal Trade Commission reported that victims were most likely to be people who suffered a divorce, separation, or job loss within the last year.
When we’re in the bad penalty credit box, we sometimes resort to the ‘bank of mom and dad’. As the Huffington Post link mentions, sometimes this is part of the issue: law enforcement finds out that some people’s finances spiral out of control precisely because they don’t tell them about their online dating experiences. The Credit Repairmen can’t offer official advice on dating but we can unofficially say that it’s probably a good idea to meet people first in a very public setting for making financial decision.
It’s like Credit Repair. If they want your money, meet them first! We believe in this philosophy so much, we actually have our own Tinder profile. Just kidding – that’s a link to our office tour video, but still.
If you need credit repair you won’t swipe left on, call us at 210-520-0444 or 6989 Alamo Downs Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78238.