Identity Theft Prevention for Online Dating Sites
Looking for love on-line via popular dating web sites
and chat rooms, has also opened up the potential victim
pool available to identity thieves and scam artists.
According to the FBI, there's a particular type of con
artist known as the "Sweetheart Scammer" who
specialize in finding their targets through on-line
dating sites and chat rooms. They specialize in a
scam which starts with identity theft.
Flowers and candy are sent are to the intended victim
that were typically purchased with a stolen credit
card. Then the identity thief will send a fake
cashiers check or money order for the victim to
The identity thief's goal here is for the victim to
cash the cashiers check and ship the amount in post
office money orders to an out of the U.S. location.
If the victim falls for this ploy, by cashing the
fake check the end result lost your own money;
not to mention your personal identity. Furthermore,
you have just opened yourself up to on-line harassment
in the future from this scam artist.
To avoid this trap and to help protect your identity,
here's a few helpful tips:
posting within on-line dating sites.
Use separate e-mail and Instant Messaging (I.M.)
accounts when communicating to prospects within
on-line dating sites.
Do not use your regular email address in anyway as
your on-line persona.
Select on-line dating sites which utilize a double
blind email contact method whereby both parties do not
know each others real identity.
When you're ready for contact outside the dating
service, don't give out your work or home number. They
can both of which input into a reverse look up
directory which would reveal your home address. Sign
up with your home or wireless phone company for
blocking your caller id before you make contact.
Do not give out your name and address (or any other
personally identifying information) early in the
Make sure to understand how to record your on-line
dating chat sessions.
Lastly, if you feel you have been or know some one who
has fallen victim to the fake cashier's check request,
use this resource to report the crime.