Imagine your world is fantastic one day and the next you’re a victim of an online catfishing scam.
You become smitten with being loved and in love that you do anything for the person behind the computer screen.
The only problem is that the other person is not in love with you and never will be.
Some victims of deceptive love will drain their bank accounts, and investments, max their credit cards and take out a home equity line of credit.
The number of men and women who fall prey to online dating scams is incredibly problematic.
Scammers stop at nothing to get what they want which is money targeting vulnerable people.
Today, I will share how Mrs. CBB and I met on a dating app and seven catfishing red flags.
What Is Catfishing?
Catfishing is another term used for an online dating scammer who seeks vulnerable people.
Catfishing is a deceptive activity where a person creates a fictional persona or fake identity on a social networking service, usually targeting a specific victim.
The practice may be used for financial gain, to compromise a victim in some way, as a way to intentionally upset a victim, or for wish fulfillment.Wikipedia
Online dating has become mainstream because you can pick and choose potential matches based on photos and profile descriptions.
During the covid-19 pandemic where there was nowhere to go, online dating took off.
Despite the social distancing of the past 18 months, the use of dating apps in general has surged as people sought connections amid their isolation.CTV News Lifestyle Dating Changed During Covid-19 Pandemic
However, an online catfishing scam is just as scary as finding a partner without accessing the internet.
Online Catfishing Or True Love
Falling in love online is 1000% possible, and online dating gives people a boost of confidence behind the keyboard.
Finding your soulmate online sounds odd however people meet for a reason and it can be anywhere.
Although not everyone who participates in online dating is a scammer, they are out there.
The most vulnerable people targeted are seniors which is heartbreaking.
Many seniors are known to have money in retirement investments and savings bank accounts.
I’ve always been an advocate of asking my readers to discuss with parents and grandparents the red flags that accompany online or telephone scams.
It’s easy to wonder how someone scammed did not see the warning signs.
The truth is that falling in love with someone often means the blinders go on.
It’s as if we create a bubble world that we live in and the perpetrator can do no harm.
Online dating websites allow scammers to hunt for emotional vulnerability in members searching for love.
However, catfishing is not the fault of the website it’s the people involved who easily give up money for a fairy tale. It’s also the scammers who have no care about who they steal from.
Falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world, but don’t let your heart out of the bag without caution.
How I Met Your Mother On An Online Dating App
One day our son will ask us how we met, and we’re ok telling him that we met on an online dating website.
Mrs. CBB and I understood that online dating could end in financial and emotional disaster.
It was a rainy day in 2005, and I had the day off from work, so I took my dog for a two-hour run.
After I exhausted him, I knew he would want to eat something and settle for the evening.
At the time, I was single and working full-time to pay the mortgage on the house I bought when I was 24.
It was around six months after I split up with my ex and paid her out so I could keep the house and continue working.
After she took off pregnant into the sunset with her behind-the-scenes lover, my life went on.
I was devastated but knew that everything happens for a reason, and I still believe it to this day.
A few weeks after we split up one of my ex’s “Friends” came around to the house unannounced.
She wanted to know if she could hang out with me and already knew what had just happened.
Can you believe it?
Well, it’s true and I was not interested in becoming her friend or a pal to hang out with.
What a great friend and to be honest this is why I’m always suspicious of people’s intentions.
There was no attraction for me to have friends with benefits as I’m not that kind of guy.
I didn’t want a pal to hang out with as I had my circle of friends and that was enough for me.
Plenty Of Fish Dating Website
After the dust settled, I joined a dating website called “Plenty of Fish” to test it out.
I felt like that guy who couldn’t get a date so I didn’t tell anyone that I was on the website.
Plenty of Fish is an online dating platform connecting singles worldwide.
It was easier to see who I was talking to and find out their interests before sending them a message.
After a few days, the women started contacting me and wanting to connect.
I chatted with a couple of ladies and met them in person but there was no connection.
I was just about to give up on Plenty Of Fish when an 18-year-old girl messaged me.
Not only did she JUST have a baby she had nowhere to live and was staying in a shelter.
I kindly told her the truth that she was too young for me and I wasn’t ready for a baby.
Finding Love Miles Apart
Then, one day a message came in from Mrs. CBB that she liked my profile, so I connected with her.
That was the best decision of my life and we began chatting almost daily until I found out she lived in Canada.
She was a bit older than me, no kids and had a good career and a strong financial mindset.
Unfortunately, she thought I was in Canada as well but I was in the UK 6500 miles away.
Although we were in two different time zones we still made the effort to chat once a day.
After months of talking, I decided to fly and see her in Canada.
I showed her mother on camera my passport and any other identification that I had.
Looking back I could have had a fake id and passport but I was sincere and thankfully she believed me.
I want to stop before I go on and warn you that an online dating scam can include fake identification.
My First Visit To Canada
My first visit to Canada was for two weeks and I fell in love with Ontario as it was so spacious.
Related: Why I Love Canada
One thing I had never seen before was a proper basement because they are rare in the UK.
After my trip to Canada, Mrs. CBB booked two weeks holiday in the UK.
It was a whirlwind romance and I fell in love with her and the rest is history.
Online Dating Success Story
My second visit to Ontario lasted four months which allowed me to learn more about Canadian culture.
During my stay Mrs. CBB and I got married however I had to go home to tie up loose ends.
Upon my arrival back to the UK, I worked full-time while waiting for my permanent resident card from Immigration Canada.
Our immigration case was straightforward including information about our relationship and marriage with letters from family and friends.
We also included receipts we kept, flight tickets, cab rides and our honeymoon in London, UK.
She wanted to tour London as she had never been before however, I had seen it too many times.
After the immigration package and clean medical bill were complete I sent them off to be processed.
After 103 days, I received a letter while Mrs. CBB was visiting the UK that my permanent residency was offered.
We’ve been married for 16 years and have one child together and thrive as a family.
Although our online dating story is successful there are many which are not.
Popular Online Dating Websites
So many dating websites are available for Canadians, so I picked the most popular for 2022.
When we used Plenty Of Fish, it was a free online dating website; however, it seems a membership is necessary.
However, joining one of many Canadian online dating websites might be worth it if you’re serious about online dating.
The best online dating websites in the world have clients falling prey to dating scams.
A woman friend of Mrs. CBB said she dislikes Plenty of Fish because it’s filled with “losers”.
That comment solidified my earlier thoughts about how I felt like a loser at love by going on Plenty Of Fish.
I don’t really but I admit at first it was very weird as I had never experienced online dating before.
Catfishing Online Dating Scam Red Flags
Unfortunately, many Canadians fail to recognize online dating scams resulting in financial ruin.
Although there are more red flags than what I’m discussing below I’ve decided to share the most common ones.
1. Dating Profile Is Prestigious And Reeks Of Money
If you read a profile and find that everything is too good to be true it’s likely a scam.
Don’t fall for flashy words such as rich, money, boats, cars, mansion, jets, lavish holidays etc.
I’m betting that this will lead the scammer to ask to borrow money from you.
You’ll be heartbroken when you discover the person was catfishing and you are the victim.
However, it amazes me how many people, mainly women fall for this verbal diarrhea.
Look on YouTube and you’ll find many dating scams where victims have lost everything.
2. Photos Are A Huge Catfishing Red Flag
Keep an eye out for dating scam profiles that have only one photo, blurry photos, no photos or suspicious photos.
Often you may find photos are all selfies or gym photos with no shirt or picture-perfect bodies
Altered photos are another online dating red flag because you’re not seeing the genuine person.
You might notice that the photos of a person are similar but slightly look different or altered.
We’ve seen dating profiles that have lots of photos but they are not the same person.
Scammers steal photos from public online profiles and use them to build fake dating profiles.
If the person you are speaking to does not go on video cam for you, don’t bother.
Missing Red Flags From A Catfishing Scam
Before I met Mrs. CBB she went on a few dates with men she met on Plenty Of Fish.
There were red flags but she was oblivious to them as she’d never used an online dating app before.
- A guy showed up at her house and she went in his car (big NO)
- The same guy tried to kiss her when he dropped her off and she pulled back and jumped out of the car.
- Another man was a tad bit obsessed with her and wouldn’t leave her alone. He went as far as harassing her over the phone.
- A potential suitor was very short and he did not disclose his height nor did she ask. He also did not look like his photos.
Thankfully nothing too scary came out of her dating encounters but she learned her lesson.
No more men were picking her up at home because she was going to drive to a public place.
If a man or woman is offering to pick you up for a first date that you’ve never met before, do not go.
They could have ulterior motives which could result in sexual assault, murder, rape or being kidnapped etc.
3. Offering Online Love Too Soon Is Catfishing
If you’ve found someone interested in getting to know you on a dating app who says they love you too soon, run.
Getting to know someone is the best way to find out if you both connect.
I believe in love at first sight however I also believe it’s another online dating scam.
The faster someone gets to know you and into your head space the easier it is for them to manipulate you.
- He loves me…
- She loves me…
- Calls you baby, lover, etc but has never met you
- Promises of a big house, trips, shopping trips etc.
- I have money but I’m unable to access my bank account unless I go in person.
- I’m unable to go on a webcam because it’s broken or the army won’t allow it. This translates to I’m married or have a partner or I look nothing like the photo as it’s fake.
Scammers often like to see their victims online but will come up with an excuse as to why their webcam is not working.
The truth is that they don’t want you to see who they are because the photos they shared are not their photos.
It’s easy to take photos from anyone’s social media page especially when they are for public viewing.
Two years ago Mrs. CBB had someone steal her Instagram photos and opened another account pretending to be her.
She was alerted by a friend who happened to see it in his IG feed and she had to jump through hoops to get the account deleted.
4. Money Is The Number One Online Catfishing Scam
Never send money to anyone you’ve met in person that you’re dating or someone you’ve never met through an online dating app.
The biggest online dating scam is sending money to a scammer who promises the world.
Your potential lover may tell you they are working in the army and will be dispatched home soon.
With that dispatch, they will get hundreds of thousands of dollars at which time they will pay you back.
Another huge dating scam is the promise to pay you back once their inheritance, company bonus, or lottery win is deposited.
Scammers will say whatever they need to lie about to get untraceable funds from you.
The scammer might ask you to send gift cards, bitcoin or money transfers all of which you’ll never see again.
Whatever the scammer says will tackle your emotions to get you hooked on them.
When you tell someone too much about your life too soon you’re handing them the ammunition to fire back.
If you send money once the person will continue to drain your bank account and investments through manipulation.
5. Time Zone Love
Sometimes falling in love is hard when coordinates aren’t the same making connections online difficult.
Scammers aren’t worried about anything because they make this their full-time job with no emotional connections.
The fact that an online dating scam works over and over is because Canadians are falling for it.
As silly as it sounds when news of another online dating scam where someone lost thousands of dollars makes you want to shake your head.
Why on earth would anyone send money to someone they have never met or seen before?
Emotional, gullible, low-self esteem, and loneliness, play a factor in why an online dating scam will make someone rich.
A possible online dating scam could reveal that the person who you thought was two hours away is thousands of miles away.
Often the person who is scamming will have meetings or other engagements to go to where they can’t spend time online talking to you.
Online dating scam artists often have more than one victim on the go as a backup just in case they get caught.
6. Unable To Visit
If you’ve made friends with someone who is catfishing you they will either put off meeting you or keep you waiting.
In the documentary The Swindler Swindler, he was scamming many women at the same time.
He would woo one woman into giving him money with promises to pay her back while spending it on another.
Someone who is catfishing could very well be doing the same thing.
The photos share on a dating platform are likely not the person you are talking to if they are catfishing for love.
Money for love is the way I interpret catfishing along with emotion, stress and not understanding why or how.
7. Inconsistencies and Short-Tempered
Scammers will often be short-tempered if they don’t get the money they want from you.
Typically you’ll see this type of behaviour after they know the person has fallen head over heels for them.
The scammer knows when to jump in to get what they want or else they cut off the relationship.
Emotional fraud is what I like to call these types of scammers as they play with the heart.
The scammer doesn’t want to waste time so they work fast so they get to know you and how much money you have available.
Inconsistencies arise when the scammer tells you one thing but does another.
For example, the scammer might slip up saying they are living in one place but saying another.
Dating scammers often have more than one victim on the go and it’s easy for stories to get mixed up.
Another situation may involve a dying or sick family member that needs financial help.
However, the day before they told you that both sets of grandparents passed away when they were young.
Don’t Let An Online Catfishing Scammer Rob You Blind
If you are using online dating apps read about the different scams that are out there.
Do your research and set guidelines about the person you meet before you get to know them.
Make sure that your online dating profile is up to date and states what you are looking for.
Keep any negativity away from your profile and keep what you say to a minimum.
No one needs to know your life story.
I hope all of you who are looking for love stay safe and that if you do find that special someone that it lasts forever.
Thanks for stopping by to read my blog.
Discussion: Have you ever joined an online dating website? Were you ever a catfishing victim?
Please leave your comments below as I’d love to read your dating stories.
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