Swipe left, don’t get scammed by a fake romance

avoid dating scams

Trying to find a date can be difficult, but making sure that the person you're speaking to on a dating app isn’t a scammer shouldn’t be.

With the help of Genevieve Noakes, APAC head of compliance at international money transfer specialist Wise, we have gathered some tips on how to avoid getting scammed while looking for love.

“Romance scams can be difficult to recognise for the victim because they have an emotional investment in the relationship,” says Noakes.

Too true, so let’s take a closer look.

How to avoid a dating scam

It is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of romance and emotions. While falling in love no one wants to think “is this all a lie?” So in the world of online dating it doesn’t hurt to be careful. In 2021, Australian lost more than $56,000,000 on fake romances, says the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch division.

So when being wooed be mindful and remember the tips below.

  • Don’t share personal information like bank accounts or credit card numbers with your new match.
  • Be mindful of what you post on social media, as scammers can use this to better understand and target you.
  • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches and reverse image searches to see if the image, name or details have been used elsewhere.
  • Keep a watchful eye for common scam and dating red flags.

Dating scam red flags to remember

Catching red flags can be tricky, especially when the person you swiped right feels like the one. The world would be a lot easier if magic warning signs appeared in the middle of a conversation to warn you of danger! 

If you’re looking for love online, it's likely that dating apps are designed to combat romance scams, but if you started the fling on a gaming or social media app, such safeguards may not exist, says Noakes.

So, let’s run through some red flags warnings that your match is not real:

  • You don’t receive straightforward answers to your questions.
  • They’re not willing to video chat or talk over the phone.
  • They constantly stumble over remembering details you tell them.
  • You are frequently called by pet names rather than your name. (This can be an indication that the messages are coming from a script, says Noakes.)
  • There are promises to meet in person but they always come up with excuses not to.
  • They frequently talk about financial or money struggles.
  • They ask for monetary gifts or help.

Noakes says that “often once a relationship is established, a scammer will make up a story about needing money, such as to help with a medical emergency, illness or injury for a family member, or to pay for a visa or ticket to visit you.”

It’s good to be aware of this.

A general rule of thumb is that if something seems off, it probably is. However, if you find yourself falling victim to a romance scam, don’t beat yourself up. Unfortunately, scammers are quite good at their job and know how to play on our emotions. If you do find yourself being caught in a scam, consider reporting it to Scamwatch

To learn more about how to avoid scams check out our Family Finance page to find all our guides and tips.

Romance Disclaimer: Mozo is not a romantic adviser. You should consider seeking independent romantic, emotional, dating, or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances.