Valentine's Day: watch out for romance scams!

modified: 2023-02-14 17:11:02

Five tips to avoid getting scammed online for Valentine's Day. Scammers profit the most from people's loneliness.

  Valentine's Day: watch out for romance scams!

As Valentine's Day approaches, scammers of all kinds try to take advantage of the loneliness of some people to extort money from them. Thus, grazers can extract several hundred thousand euros from their victims. Here, we give you five tips to recognize them and avoid them as Valentine's Day approaches

The modus operandi of online scammers: watch out for Valentine's Day

First, grazers target their victims: they often choose relatively old people over 50 who are coming out of a difficult period. More specifically, they operate through social networks or dating sites by carefully studying the profile of their victims and identifying their flaws. Valentine's Day can be an argument they could use to manipulate you.

To put it simply, their modus operandi always revolves around two things: scam and blackmail. First, they will establish contact with the victim with a seductive approach. Once the first contact has been established, their goal is to prove to the victim that they can trust him. Otherwise, they use the means of blackmail to extract money from them.

Really, romance scam is the most common. Basically, they post themselves in the position of victim and abuse the kindness, the compassion of the person they have in front of them. They attract pity by saying that they are going through serious financial difficulties and exaggerate by saying that they are on the edge of the abyss. Thus, the victims are caught in a spiral of heightened empathy and enter into the scam naturally by wanting to help the grazer. In short, it will be the beginning of an endless chain.

Unfortunately, the victim will mistakenly think of doing a favor to a distressed romance member.

On the other hand, there is the webcam blackmail which consists in blackmailing the victim after extracting images with a sexual connotation from him. Scammers risk to take advantage of Valentine's Day to further abuse the trust of victims.

How do you spot an online scammer and get rid of them?

First of all, pay attention to the profile. Do not accept profiles from people you do not know, or whose account illustration is questionable. So, if the profile picture is non-existent or, on the contrary, very attractive, you should be wary. To get to the bottom of it and determine if your suitor is as handsome as in his photo, it is possible to do a reverse image search on the Internet to verify that the photo does not appear on other profiles elsewhere on the web. .

Secondly, flee those who tell you that they are soldiers or workers on oil rigs. In fact, it is a wonderful excuse for them to justify long absences abroad. It is also a good way to ask for money for Internet connection or a plane ticket for example.

Thirdly, be careful if everything is going very fast. Indeed, the grazer will tend to quickly engage and make fiery statements from the first days. For them, time is money, hence the need to go very quickly.

Fourth, the big red flag is money requests. This should immediately alarm you and make you go away. This is the moment when you have to say stop at all costs. Block the profile and run away, even if this person wants to prove their good faith to you.

Lately, requests for compromising photos. The grazer relies on a relationship of trust with his victim to push him to participate in calls to which he would never have given his consent in normal times. Unfortunately, once the photos are saved, the scammer has everything he needs to blackmail you. Attention, for Valentine's Day, the scammer might find judicious to ask you.

                                                                                                                                              Source : TF1 Info