online dating

Watch for online dating scammers, study warns

Sunday, February 17, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: online dating, scams, warning

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
Genetically white woman now claims self-identify as black: If you can choose your gender, can you also choose your race? What about your species? Can a human claim to be a llama?
(NaturalNews) International criminal organizations are increasingly targeting online dating websites in scams that can financially and emotionally devastate their victims, warns a study by researchers from the University of Leicester and the University of Westminster.

"Professionals need to understand the awful details of this crime," researcher Monica Whitty said. "In romance scams, people have to deal not just with losing thousands of pounds. They have to deal with the psychological trauma of being both robbed and jilted by a 'lover.'"

Since 2007, nearly 230,000 people have been victimized by such scams in the United Kingdom alone, the study found. Scammers fake interest in a relationship in order to convince the victim to give them money. Alarmingly, the researchers found that while many victims of online dating scams were in fact suspicious when asked for money, they disregarded these suspicions because of their strong feelings for their (fictional) sweetheart.

New measures needed

"Daters need to be told, from the moment they sign up, that if a person is not willing to meet them in the first month they should move on," Whitty said. "They also need to be told never to respond to requests for money. Dating companies could target advice at particularly vulnerable individuals especially those with high romantic ideals, previous mental health problems or a history of abuse."

The justice system also needs to adapt to this new type of crime, the researchers said. The study showed that when they find out that they have been scammed, many victims go into denial and can even become suicidal. For that reason, the researchers suggest that police should notify a health professional as soon as an online dating scam is reported.

A victim's trauma may also make prosecuting the case more difficult, the researchers warned. For that reason, the researchers suggest that courts treat victims of such scams as "vulnerable witnesses," allowed to testify from a distance.

"Imagine having to confront a criminal in court when you had believed them to be the love of your life," Whitty said.

Protecting yourself

Users of online dating sites can make themselves less appealing to scammers by protecting their personal information, experts say. For example, all phone numbers and addresses (including email addresses) should be kept hidden until you have met someone in person. Users should be wary of profile photos that look too suggestive, or too much like model shots. Other major warning signs are incomplete profiles or messages that seem to have been poorly translated from another language.

More detailed safety tips can be found at Get Safe Online ( and Knowthenet (

Tony Neate, Get Safe Online's chief executive said: "As more of us bring our personal lives into the virtual world, it's crucial that people are extra vigilant about the information they share." He added, "The internet has revolutionized dating and has many benefits, but we want the public to take our advice and enjoy meeting new people safely. Don't let online crime stop you meeting someone special this year."


Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Online dating at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.