Online dating scammers


What is the appropriate level of sympathy for these victims?

I always go through wildly varied reactions - ‘aww that poor lonely bloke’ through to ‘whst a plonker, be more cynical.’

I dunno, what do you reckon?


I always feel very sorry for them as they’re usually very vulnerable and looking for love/attention :cry:


All dating is a con of some kind hashtagmakesuthink


Yeah but isn’t there any ‘why didn’t you…?’ frustrating questions that conflict with that sympathy.

I’m pretty cynical though, I suppose if you are desperate to believe, you do. Sad.


Yeah, this is pretty horrific stuff. So sad that people get fucked over like this :frowning:


I think you only have to watch one Derran Brown show to realise that you could only possibly be un-scammable by being cynical to the point of sociopathy. There are so many ways to win people’s trust and these are done over time and using very clever methods.


On a similar topic, my wife’s sister called us last week, having just got off the phone with their grandmother. The grandmother was beside herself with excitement because she’d just received a Facebook message saying that Mark Zuckerberg had selected her as a great humanitarian, and wanted to give her $100,000. All she had to do was go to this website and fill out the form to claim the money. Obviously my sister-in-law explained that this was a scam, but it took a while to get it through to her. And the scary thing is, it’s not like her grandma is typically frail and vulnerable. She’s obviously not super web savvy, but she uses Facebook and email, she’s active, very smart, a retired teacher, has investments and shit. Terrifying how easy she was almost conned just because it was somewhat unfamiliar to her. Scammers must make tonnes from stuff like this.


True. You might have a point.

-Thinly veiled calling me a sociopath-



Well, I’m not calling you a sociopath, I’m just implying you can probably be scammed but no one’s tried yet. Also, it might not be THIS scam because maybe you are better at finding love/already loved up, I’m not sure.


I’m not feeling so cynical after glimpsing into that valentine’s thread. Wow, you guys are hardcore.


Yeah, anyone can be vulnerable in the right circumstances. My dad is cynical as fuck but still ended up giving a woman at a service station £10 for a cab or something when she had a sob story and he was knackered and it only occurred to him afterwards what had happened.


You see £100,000 would make me massively cynical as its simply too much.

I never sign up for £10 vouchers or whatever, but there was a just eat email scam recently offering £10 off that I assumed was legit (during the 2 seconds of deleting it) and I think would be much more widely believed.

Also, nothing sadder than seeing someone done by this. The obviousness of it makes it worse. Can see how people get taken in by a bit of affection.


Aye, maybe I’m just tight. Supposed ‘Long lost school crush’ asks for a score, nae bother.

Anything over £20, don’t kno who u r pal.


I think perhaps i’m incapable of feeling empathy for people, but i honestly don’t know how it gets to the point where someone would hand over their savings to someone online. Unless it was a life or death situation i wouldn’t lend thousands of pounds to a real human i was fully in a relationship with, and i’m not particularly savvy or streetwise, and don’t have loads of offers or a particularly big support network around me and was raised in a shoe and ate coal for breakfast, etc. The ones i do have a lot of sympathy for are those who’ve been intimidated into handing over money, that’s nasty shit and makes me pretty angry, but to me there’s a clear distinction between the two.


You forget you’re an astute businessman though unlike most schmucks. And that’s why the £20k investment you agreed to is going to make the greatest Street Salad Bar in all of Bournemouth!!1


There’s a lot of lonely people out there, I’m probably going to reserve my scorn for those who would exploit that.


I don’t even think this is necessarily down to loneliness (although that is how the conversation will get started) - a lot of people will give money if they’re asked to during a conversation. It’s why the bank will try and chat to you if you phone them, or charity people in the street will initiate a conversation as you go past.

People don’t necessarily give/spend money because they want to, it’s because they feel awkward saying no to the request - I don’t think that’s specific to lonely people.


I wonder if it is an age thing. I grew up in the age before social media and would never dream of seriously interacting with someone who I only knew online. I’m happy to talk and sympathise with anyone, but if they are only a stream of words on a computer screen, in some way I do not regard them as ‘real’.


oh definitely but I do think people trying to exploit others on online dating platforms are counting to some degree on the fact that they’re single and to some degree isolated, as otherwise they’d be able to inform others in their social network who, being outside of the situation, would probably have a slightly less subjective take on what was happening.

The example given in that article partly relied on the fact that David didn’t or couldn’t tell anyone about what was happening.


I think overall I am hugely sympathetic but feel so frustrated that people would fall for it.

Not in a snobby judgemental way but I don’t like to see people duped by arseholes and a wee part of me wants to be stopping people going over the cliff.