Not everyone on Internet dating sites is looking for love; some may be hoping to scam their next potential victim. Dr. Phil says there are typical ways in which online dating con artists work.
The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com have compiled a list of common warning signs to look out for, such as bad grammar, posing as a professional working overseas and creating stories to elicit money.
“They’ve got to get far away from you, so that they can’t meet you,” Dr. Phil says, adding that scam artists often meet their potential victims on dating websites. “He might be working 50 or 60 women at one time.”
Dr. Phil says warning bells should go off if anyone overseas asks you for money — or offers to send you money and have you handle the banking in the U.S.
“This is a creative one,” he says. “Instead of saying, ‘Send me money,’ what they say is, ‘I want to send you money.'” He explains that the amount can be quite large, and the con artist might ask for a portion of that money to be sent to him or her — but what victims may not realize is that they’re dealing with uncollected funds. “Because [the scammer is] international, it takes 30 days for that check to bounce, and when it bounces, the bank comes back and collects it against your money.”