The amount of gay dating sites, as well as their total audience have been growing steadily for a number of years now. While most users are searching for love and relationships, inevitably there is a certain fraction of those who attempt to capitalize on others who are too naive and trustful to see that they are being used. Scammers look for financial benefits of someone's sympathy, namely your pocketbook, bank account or credit card. They attempt to attract and then manipulate people, persuading them to support them financially. Nevertheless, don't be frustrated and contemplate a world of loneliness, but get yourself familiar with the most famous scams in the gay dating world so that you or your friends wouldn't become victims of such methods.
1. The Persecuted Maiden Scam
In general, charlatans of this category tend to reside in close proximity to you, but work elsewhere. The scammer tends to be gay and divorced, who has a very close person whom he is deeply in love with.
Several months into your acquaintance, when both of you have got to know each other well enough, a horrendous thing happens to his close friend or relative – he is hospitalized in a terrible state. Your online friend, of course, does not want such a loss to occur and is now piled with medical bills he certainly cannot afford to pay. Now he modestly asks you for your financial assistance. He will surely pay you back as soon as he is able to.
2. The Sense of Security Scam
This category of gay dating scams tends to target people older than 40, recently divorced or handicapped, or a combination of these. Scammers aim to press on any hidden self-doubts relating to age, attractiveness, mobility, etc. They seek to become a strong source of security for their victims.
Charlatans of this category are likely to pose as being significantly younger than their victims. They tend to send you e-mails or messages containing complements about your appearance or sense of humour, anything that is likely to improve your self-confidence. Certainly, this is only done in order to make you feel grateful and, therefore, get access to your financials. As soon as you have developed some feelings for the scammer and you seek to find additional confidence and happiness in your interactions, that person will then find a way to ask you for money. For instance, his parents may have passed away, or a close relative may have ended up in a hospital or diagnosed with a terrible disease and now facing enormous medical bills. Of course, his funds will not be enough to pay for those matters and he will kindly ask you for a loan, which he will pay back to you as soon as everything resolves.
Nowadays, online dating sites, such as Zoosk, provide a feature of photo verification. This is a small security factor that helps to make sure that users do not pretend to be somebody else.
3. The Airline Scam
Scammers of this group are likely to travel a lot for employment, or he may live elsewhere for some time. When you first get to know him, he will convince you that you will see on another very soon, because he needs to travel for work.
When you have developed some feelings for the scammer, he will tell you that due to unforeseeable circumstances he is now unemployed and would like to come home and find a new place to work or pick up an old job. Nevertheless, his continual bad luck has left him penniless and he cannot afford to pay for the airfare to come back. If you want to finally meet him in person and take your relationship to the next level, all you have to do is pay for the ticket or at least provide him with a small loan. Once you agree to help him out, the scammer disappears from your life forever.
4. The Blackmail Scam
Scams belonging to this category are likely to start in a similar way to many other scams. It begins with an online dating website but then is likely to move to a more personal method of communication, for example, e-mail or personal messages. The scammer will be extremely warmhearted, and may even send you presents to persuade you to trust him.
Then, all of a sudden you receive a message from your new online boyfriend telling you a story about him being blackmailed with some intimate conversations. That person is now asking your boyfriend for money that would keep him quiet.
Unfortunately, your new boyfriend is certainly lying and the whole blackmail affair is just a set-up. However, he does count on your feelings, your affection will not let you ignore such a threat to your loved one. He will then convince you that all he wants is to be in a relationship with you, but that is impossible until the blackmail business is over with.
How to Avoid Online Gay Dating Scams
First of all, avoid sending anything to the person you meet online. Do not share any of your personal financial information, e.g. banking details, credit card information, any passwords etc. Most of the well-known dating websites make the security of their members their top priority. For instance, Match.com has dedicated many millions of dollars to the safety improvement of their website. The company has been hiring professionals and applying various security procedures in order to protect their online members. Nevertheless, if you think that you might become a target of a gay dating scam on the internet, do not hesitate to let the website support team know. Reporting such an issue as early as possible, significantly increases the chances to catch the scammer.
Secondly, let one of your close friends know about your new internet boyfriend. If you don't agree to send scammers money, they may become very abusive and if you have someone familiar with the situation, it is a lot easier to avoid personal and financial suffering.
Thirdly, try to be as practical as you possibly can. Statistics say that 4/5 of gay men find their boyfriends on the web, but it is also true that some of the users are actual crooks. Always make sure you browse their profile page very carefully and use Google Images Search to check if any of their photos have been uploaded anywhere else on the internet. Always remember that emotional manipulation is indeed possible. Remain cold-hearted and practical, apply common sense to whatever you are being told, and enjoy your online dating experience.