Can You Get Your Money Back After Being Scammed By A Romance Scammer?
Technology has been a blessing to many including the dating world. The dating industry has felt the magic of the internet of connectivity through the creation of dating sites and applications.
Truth be told online dating has been a major boost in the 21st century. It opened the doors to thousands of people that have ended up getting married and starting great families.
This statement shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean it is all a bed of roses. Sometimes, online dating can go so quickly, and without you knowing you are caught up in a romance scam.
These are the most common online romance scams in the world;
- Military romance scams. With military romance scams, fraudsters may use the name and likeness of an actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile.
- Intimate activity scams.
- Fake dating sites.
- Code verification scams.
- Malware scams to your bank account.
- Photo scams.
- Inheritance scams.
In fact, according to research done by the Federal Trade Commission in 2020, more than a hundred million dollars have been lost to romance scams. Now the question that follows is how can I get my money back after being scammed by romance scammers? Read more to find out;
Table of Contents
Get Your Money Back After Being Scammed By A Romance Scammer
It is important for you to understand that these romance scams start as simple small favors. Most of the amounts the so-called partners ask for range from $100 and gradually move up to huge amounts. Most of the scammers have enticing stories about how they will refund the money back in a couple of days, how a cheque is yet to mature and they can’t wait. In some way, there is always an urgency for cash in their lives. They have so much to sort out and they are busy in a way to do it themselves.
If you see any of these signs know that is a recipe for chaos, heartbreaks, and a potential scammer trying to find an easy way into your bank accounts.
Before you know it, you have already given your whole savings to someone. To be on the safe side if you have any lack of getting back your money then it is vital to warn you in advance that don’t send money to anyone unless you know them and if you don’t please ensure, you have all the transactions receipts to maintain your facts.
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First Thing First–Call Your Bank
You have been scammed by someone and you had sent the money to them via a green dot card that you loaded then this is easy for you to get your money back. All you need to do at the onset is call the bank that issued you with the gift card receipt and report the scam.
Another way of getting your money back especially if you sent it with your personal debit card or credit card is to request the bank to reverse the transaction. It is easier because in most cases such receipts are available and all the records are with your debit or credit card company.
Most of the banks upon providing proof are entitled by law to refund back any such amounts. In such cases, the bank takes up further investigation to have a conclusive outlook on the issue.
Because many dating scams take a long time, it means money is swindled in small bits without one knowing/realizing it is a scam; you have been swindled properly. Report immediately you learn of the scam.
Serious cases must be reported to the national fraud intelligence bureau right away for police to take action on the perpetrator.
The Length & Amount Stolen
The bigger the amount involved the longer it may take for proper investigations to be undertaken and a refund issued. If it is a one-time scam, it is easy to retrace and refund the money right away.
Most of these scammers are always in need of cash quickly and as such, most of the amounts they ask in the beginning are small amounts so as not to arouse suspicion of any evil doing by the victim.
If the transactions are spread across many months, it may take time too to get the funds returned to you. This doesn’t mean you won’t get your money back it just means it will be delayed. This is more so because each transaction has to be proved as fraudulent for a refund to be done.
Obtaining The Proof
In the current digital world, the proof is a vital tool especially if you are thinking of curbing a dating scam. The reason why proof is important is that it allows the bank to process your money back faster.
To get this information you can check your bank if you had any transaction done through the bank. If it is a dating website, you can request from the website all the chats and data to substantiate your claim.
You can also get a lot of vital information about a person on their social media accounts if they have any accounts or contacts online. Most romance scammers never have such profiles but a few may forget and leave a trail.
As a victim, ensure you have all the valuable proof you can get, be it website URLs, any usernames, and even photos of the romance scammer from popular social media sites to share with the bank. This array of evidence will help you claim your refund with ease.
How To Protect Yourself
Now that you have known how these romance scams happen, it is vital for you to know how to protect yourself. remember prevention is better than a cure. To avoid romance scams, there are a number of things one has to do.
Each step ensures that you are not only vigilant but also aware of romance fraud, its characteristics, and how these romance scammers plan their tricks. Most of the scammers ensure they have won a victim’s trust to the level that one can’t tell or read all the red flags.
How do you ensure that you are safe as you try finding your soul mate or a valuable relationship? Here is what you need to do:
Never Send Money
This is the most basic and undoubtedly the most secure way. If you get into a new relationship and someone is always asking for monetary favors, then that is a red flag. Don’t send money to anyone online unless you know them. Don’t allow that early love spark to dupe you into disclosing sensitive information.
It is sometimes hard for you to say no sometimes but the truth is told; it is okay to say no. Until you have enough proof, even if it is a new crush and you are so into them. Sending money that first time is what sells many victims out.
Don’t be too quick to believe stories shared by such scammers. Most of them insinuate and put you in a position that makes you feel you are the only one who can help. Don’t just send money, never do that!
If you meet a new person on any online dating apps, don’t disclose any bank details or carry out any bank transfer to them. Don’t send any bank account, credit or debit card, or wiring money to any person without doing your due diligence otherwise, you will fall victim.
One of the ways to ensure you are not caught in a romance scam is to always be on the lookout. There are so many ways of doing that, they may range from looking keenly at one’s Online dating profile photo. If it appears like a stock photo, then run for your dear life. The goal is to get a lover why hide your true identity? Ask yourself that question all the time.
Most romance scammers depict themselves as models in most of the posts on these social networking sites. Some operate in cahoots and appear inconsistent yet suspicious if you are keen enough they will swindle all your hard-earned cash.
Apart from that, with modern technology, one can reverse image search on google to find its legitimacy. Most of these scammers never fill in their profiles in full, be on the lookout for all the lies and false depictions.
Take Advantage of Resources
It should be hard for one to be scammed online due to the vast number of helpful resources one can get on the internet. Before transferring money to any particular individual remember that a romance scam comes in many ways. Look at the signs.
With a quick google search, one can reverse a potential suitor’s image and confirm its legitimacy. Through that, if the image is a stock photo just be weary.
If you must engage, do so cautiously. Again another way is to carry out background checks on such individuals. You can do so by visiting reputable websites as Been verified. On the site, you can perform any check you intend to ensure you have all the doubts erased before you get deep in with someone.
Lastly, be vigilant all the time, even the good ones change. Make sure to spot any slight change and know how to respond appropriately.
Agencies to report to:
Have you been scammed by a romance scammer? If so, and you are in the US, the first thing is to report the online dating scams to the federal trade commission. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI’s) internet crime complaint center can come in on cases outside the US but affect a US citizen.
If you are in the UK, such romance fraud cases are handled by Action Fraud. While Australian citizens are encouraged to report such romance fraud cases to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Each country has different police agencies that sort out such cases. Be sure to check and reach out to all the relevant agencies.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Stolen Each Year?
Did you know that of all romance scams committed on the internet yearly, online dating scams lead? Between 2010 -2021, unsuspecting victims have lost in excess of a billion dollars just in bank accounts, cash app, and western union transactions.
That is just a number that can be proved what about all the other transactions that cannot be substantiated? It means that is a big number. In 2020 and 2021, victims lost nearly $300 million combined.
On average, these online dating scammers take between $200-$2600 per victim. In other instances, they take in excess of $1 million leaving the victim depressed, hopeless and some even commit suicide.
Do Scammers Go To Jail?
Are you a Netflix fan? if so then you have watched the “Tinder Swindler”. In short, such a scammer was arrested, and he is in jail now.
What you should understand however is that the likelihood of a dating scammer going to jail depends on his/her location and the amount in question.
Some banks won’t press charges over a few dollars and for one to be jailed it depends on the willingness of the bank to go that far to push for an arrest.
Can I Get Scammed Again?
Yes, you can. It is not finally over if you let your guard down. Once bitten twice shy may not work for you at all. These scams come in all types of different approaches. Some may seem quick and others may take time. The best insurance is to be watchful all the time.
The tips I have shared below are a footprint that will help you be safe and on the right side. Implement them and be on the lookout! Insulate yourself with them if you want to be on the right side of the digital dating game as they call it today.
Important tips to note:
- When on any social media site don’t accept any friend requests from individuals, you don’t know.
- On your dating profile, avoid revealing too much information. These details are what can make someone manipulate you.
- Don’t be too fast to leave a dating site to start chatting with someone on another social media account or outside the app messaging services. Those who ask you to switch that fast are actually fraudsters.
- Again, take things slowly as you exploit the inconsistencies that may come out as you engage. Be on the lookout for things like complimentary messages that are copy-pasted from different sites. Always find out by google searching some of the texts sent your way. These signs necessarily reflect a fraud.
- Romance scams come in many forms. Be wary of sending compromising photos. This helps ensure that nobody uses them to extort you. Give the fraud a hard time to figure out how to scam you. Don’t be fooled with a plane ticket or fake profiles to give out your bank information.
- Do you suspect something on the first day? Cut the communication off immediately. Be sure to report it too to the dating app so the individual can’t scam another unsuspecting victim.
- If you are meeting a partner, be sure to inform a few friends or family members. Ensure you are not alone with the person in the initial stages.
In conclusion, you should understand that all online dating scammers prey on vulnerable users. The only way to insulate yourself is to ensure no one sees you as vulnerable or easy.
Understanding the common mechanisms that online dating scammers use is a great way to bypass romance fraud and forge genuine connections instead. Because the goal is to find love, peace and create great bonds. A romance scam is not what you sign up for when looking for love on online dating apps.