When it comes to online safety and dating sites, we like to think we know what we’re talking about.Stitch is the only companionship site in the world that insists on identity verification for its members, and we do a lot of things behind the scenes to ensure that Stitch is free of scammers and fraudsters that most dating sites simply don’t do.Mark Brooks of Online Personals Watch works with many online dating sites – and says that all of them are plagued by fake profiles, scammers and criminals looking for money, not love.Millions are lost to these scammers each year – and worse still, the crime may be underestimated, as victims are often too distraught to reveal the extent of their losses.They’ll pan for gold among tens of thousands to find a few pieces of gold. If they’re a different person than on their profile photo, bail! If the person has a Facebook profile with 10 friends, well that’s a dead giveaway as well. For example, we know people don’t use the word ‘wire’ in regular dating communications. Report to the local police and ask to be referred to their cyber crimes unit. The problem is, most of these scams are cross-border and it becomes tough to coordinate jurisdiction.It used to be easy to just Google phrases – criminals often reused them – but now it is less so. Q: What should I do if I suspect someone IS a scammer? That’s a red flag and is usually picked up by dating sites auto-detection systems. But the scammers know better to use that word on dating sites now. Its exhausting, and most victims just want to put the entire event behind them.
But it also means we get some extraordinary insights into the sorts of things that scammers, fakes and fraudsters will try to do to get money (or worse) from their intended victims.
Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s. His cancer took him swiftly, before she had time to process what was happening.
It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother.
Not only does one report after another highlight how many people are being duped by scammers every year, but we’ve had many members of Stitch tell us their stories about how they’ve lost money themselves.
My favourite story is that of Maria*, one of our members lost close to ,000 to a scammer from Ghana.