If you think that dating and matrimony websites and apps do not stop growing, you are right! Many Indians have activated their accounts on many matrimonial websites and apps. However, not all users who create profiles have genuine intentions. “Romantic” or “trust” frauds can cause more prominent risks to the person involved with internet fraud. Here, we provide a brief overview of the dating and matrimony scams in India and how to avoid false love.
The Common Scams
Most of the scams start quite innocently. Scammers make contact with victims via social networks or email, using common interests or as an excuse to present distant interpersonal links, such as a wedding or other meetings. Other scam guru creates highly lucrative fake profiles and waits for the victims to communicate to begin talking. When a scammer decides to hunt you, the possibilities are endless, but here are some of the most common variations.
The 10 Scams and frauds of Online Indian matrimony sites and apps:
1. Romantic Scams With Military
A Soldier’s Perspective pointed out, these scams are common and often difficult to detect. Scammers can use the name of a real soldier and his physical resemblance to creating an entirely false profile. They send e-mails that appear legitimate, present themselves as military officers about to end their service, often with adult children, and often claim that they lost their spouse tragically. The emails include jargon, charges, and military base locations, which impresses the victim. The scammers begin by creating a strong emotional bond, but before the doubt takes place in person, the “soldier” is mobilized.
Next, the scammer asks for money to set up a reliable Internet connection, pay plane tickets to return home, or supplement alleged “limitations” of the medical or pension coverage of the Armed Forces. In many cases, scammers have one or more partners who employ doctors or lawyers to achieve a steady flow of money. Very often, military scams go on for months or even years before arousing victim’s suspicions.
2. Intimate Activity Scams
Victims are contacted by potential admirers living in Eastern Europe or even in Southeast Asia and establish friendship through various social networks. After an intense period of seduction, the scammer asks the victim to connect with them through a webcam and “chat”. Mysteriously, the scammer’s webcam records everything, but continues to fill the victim with praise and, with a combination of flattery and persistence, convinces his “partner” to partially undress or perform other acts of an intimate nature.
Next, the scammer reveals his true identity, informs the victim that he or she recorded a video and threatens to share it with common friends on social networks or publish it online unless you send money. When the victim agrees, the cycle begins; financial demands increase until the victim finally refuses to continue paying.
3. Fake Dating Sites
The leak of Ashely Madison allows you to get an idea of the universe of fake dating sites. The services claim to offer legitimate meetings, but they have very few members or scammers abound. Pay attention to the enrollment questionnaires, which request very little personal information, but focus on questions about finances. Also, be very careful with a large amount of attention you receive after creating your profile.
If your profile does not contain more than a few lines of text and does not include a photo or defined preferences, but you begin to receive numerous messages from potential suitors, you have likely registered in a fake dating site.
4. Cut, Copy And Paste
If the messages and profile descriptions seem too correct with others, it is doubtful. Frequently, scammers do not bother to write their material, but rather extract it from other websites or dating profiles. In this case, it is convenient to search the suspicious text on the Internet to find out if you find matches. If you find them, do not send messages or respond to this scam guru.
5. Strange Links
Legitimate users often post links associated with their favourite music sites, travel destinations, or hobbies. As a common rule, scammers fill their profiles with links to poor quality “spam” websites that try to sell a product or teach you how to “make quick money.” You can also find links to adult content websites, a cautious sign that the profile is not entirely legitimate.
6. Accelerate The Relationship
Although the initial weeks of new love often involve intense emotions, scammers try to speed up the process through abundant praise, kind words, and intimate details of their life that they “have never shared before.” The most complicated thing is that, after some chat sessions or emails, they start asking for small amounts of money to cover unusual expenses, such as being stranded in a foreign country, having a sick relative, or just being victims of a robbery. Moreover, they need you to send them a money order as soon as possible. If a suitor ever asks you for money, end the relationship.
7. He is not a Person- He is a Bot!
There are strategies to create a profile in online dating and matrimonial websites with a high probability of being successful. According to Sean Rad, the co-founder of the Tinder application, these are the keys to the perfect photo:
- Taken by a professional photographer.
- With an animal
- Doing sports or some hobby.
- At work.
- Something fun or creative.
The scammers know it. Furthermore, they analyze it to create bots, computer programs that mimic human behaviour.
Once they decide to deceive their victim, they invite the victim to access a fraudulent link. Usually, it is a “premium” service that invites you to pay or give your bank details.
On other occasions, they send the link to a fake site or spam messages and calls to verify the account.
8. Sexual Blackmail
In most cases of “sextortion” or sexual blackmail, scammers take the conversation out of a platform they are using.
It is usually custom to invite the conversation first through WhatsApp and then Skype.
The goal is to manipulate and get to have sexual encounters in front of the cameras to be able to record everything and then ask for money in return.
The best: Do not send money to those you do not know and be as cautious as possible.
9. Malware or Viruses
Hackers could target significant traffic for the spread of malware and/or viruses. Some users could be diverted to clone websites, where you unintentionally download malware from their computers.
Hateful individuals could embed cookies or tracking technology geographically to track visitor’s sites that meet a particular profile.
10. Target of Violence
Dating sites that lead members to quick meetings and random links can be used to target people to commit hate crimes. It is a form of catfishing, where fake users meet their victims online and then attract them to an isolated place.
How to be More Protected on Online Dating Sites
- Use Firewalls: Firewalls help filter websites and potentially harmful downloads.
- Use antivirus: they help prevent malware and computer viruses.
- Create a disposable email account: this will avoid jeopardizing your personal or professional account.
- Use a prepaid card or Bitcoins: keep your bank accounts isolated from unreliable websites.
- Read the opinions: it is best to make sure you are browsing a reliable site.
- Register manually: avoid doing so through Facebook to share fewer data about yourself.
- Be careful with catfishing: some scammers may seem like the “perfect” person.
- Do not disclose your information: primarily financial or too personal. You do not know who is on the other side.
- Use a VPN: a virtual private network ensures secure and encrypted connections for greater privacy.