Online dating is one of the best ways to meet new people, and potentially, a new partner. For years, people have managed to hook-up and meet up through by getting to know each other on the internet.
Sadly, the internet is filled with scammers that try to trap people into shelling out cash by using their emotions against them. A popular scam that has surfaced in recent years is the non-existent goods scam.
The story goes a little something like this. You meet a guy on an online dating website and you fall for him, hook, line, and sinker! You’ve been talking for months now, and have even dwelt on the topic of moving in together. As a special gift to you, he sends out a package of jewelry and cash and tells you to wait for it in the mail. Days later, you find out that your package has been held up at customs, and they want you to pay a fee to have your package released. Little did you know, the account you sent the cash to belongs to the man you’ve been dating. The moment he receives the money, he’s gone. If you’ve ever gone through a similar scenario, then yes you’ve just been the victim of African fraud.
How to outwit this online fraud scenario
The thrill of finding a potential partner can cloud our judgment, especially when he knows how to act like the perfect prince in shining armour. Keeping a level head when purchasing developing relationships online can save us a lot of trouble, time, and money.
If you’re wondering how you can steer clear of these online scams, then follow these helpful tips:
- Find out more. Odds are, this guy has given you his name and a little of his background. Try using a basic search and see if his story checks out. You can ask him about his family, where he’s from, and about past experiences that you can verify by searching on the world wide web. Be wary though, some Malaysia scammers can be extra thorough and can make fake accounts and profiles that will make it seem like their story checks out. Keep a discerning eye when checking for information.
- Get a tracking code. Whenever you send a package through a courier, they will label it with a unique tracking code that will allow you to track the progress and location of your package through their website. If in case the courier of choice has no website, then you can call the company to check if there has been any record of a package with your details. Give your name and address, as well as the name of the sender. This will make it easier to verify if the package is indeed real.
- Asking for money is a BIG red flag. Once he says that you need to shell out cash, DON’T DO IT! Odds are you’re going to get victimized by a delivery scam. Check the account details. Oftentimes, if it is a legitimate service asking you to pay a fee, there will be all sorts of options to make your payment. If all he gives you is a single bank account number, then beware. Always keep a level head when dealing with payments and fees especially when they’re requested from you online.
So the next time you find yourself considering whether or not to make that payment, ask yourself if you can really trust that guy. If your gut starts to feel bad about it, forget the man and move on. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t forget to place report too.