India is a country where more than 50% of the population is young. This means the number of people using dating apps and websites are on the rise. In the year 2018, dating apps have tripled their user base in India. Dating apps and websites are a medium which help users find the right match. While the number of people using these apps is on the rise , online dating frauds too are increasing. In this blog, we will discuss what is online dating fraud and how to avoid this.
What is online dating fraud?
Under the online dating fraud, fraudsters contact users on dating apps and social media through a genuine looking profile. Once they gain the trust of users, they wipe out money from bank accounts or steal personal information.
Signs of Online Dating Fraud
- Asking you to provide your personal information: If someone is planning to steal your money or identity, they need information on you. So, they might ask some weird and unexpected questions like what is your bank balance and so on. Kindly stay away.
- Not revealing much on them: Fraudsters seek information, but eventually they gather personal or financial information which can be misused.
- Not speaking on call and not meeting up personally: After you get connected to a person on a dating app or social media, you normally want to speak to them over the phone, to get to know them better. But, fraudsters will refuse to speak over the phone and they won’t agree on a personal meet.
- Asking for money: This is the main intention of online fraudsters. Once they gain your trust, they will ask you for money. They will give various reasons like they can’t afford a flight ticket to meet you as their bank account is blocked, or they need money for medical treatment and so on. They might even say that an expensive gift is sent, but it is stuck in customs at the airport. To get it cleared, they will ask you to deposit money.
- Pushing for a serious relationship too fast: Normally, couples who meet each other on dating apps, take time to build a relationship and fall in love. But, fraudsters try to get close really fast by pretending to be romantic and emotional. They want to build a relationship real fast.
Example of Online Dating Application Fraud
27-years-old Priya Seth has been accused of kidnapping and murdering Dushyant Sharma whom she met on Tinder. In and out of jail more times than she can count, she reveals how she has duped thousands of men in the last eight years and casually describes how she and her accomplices murdered a man, and stuffed his body in a suitcase only to throw it along the Delhi-Jaipur highway.
Reports at the time revealed how the trio had trapped 27-year-old Dushyant Sharma through dating app ‘Tinder’. Sharma had landed on Priya’s radar after they met through the dating app and he lied to her by claiming to be a millionaire. Priya, the kingpin of the racket then kidnapped Dushyant with the help of her partners, Dikshant Kamra and Lakshya Walia.
Upon asking his father for ransom the trio realized that Dushyant was a small-time trader and did not have the kind of money he claimed to possess. They then took an amount of 3 lakh from the victim’s father without telling him that they had strabbed his son to death the same afternoon. The case had come to light after police recovered Dushyant’s body stuffed inside a suitcase alongside the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Within then hours of his body being found, police had arrested Dushyant’s killers.
Precautions of Online dating application fraud
- Take time to get to know someone before meeting.
- Research them online.
- Ask a friend for advice and their opinion.
- Always meet in a public place.
- Avoid drinking too much on your first date.
- Don’t go home with them on your first date.
- Avoid putting lots of personal details on your profile.
- Talk to mutual friends.
- Arrange your own transportation.
- Consider carrying a self-defense tool.