What is a dating scam?

On a dating website, a scammer is someone who builds a relationship with you, pretending to be a legitimate user of a dating website then uses fraudulent claims to defraud you. Scammers will ask you for money, personal or financial information or try to redirect you to websites that require payment or download malicious software onto your computer.

Scams of this sort can be very sophisticated and scammers will go to great lengths to build a relationship with you, spending a lot of time communicating with you and perhaps even telling you they love you and sending you gifts.

The key rule is that you should never send money to anyone you meet online and should reconsider your relationship with anyone who asks you for money or who you otherwise suspect may be a scammer.

Scammers will often ask you to send money via a wire transfer service – you will usually be unable to recover money sent this way. You should also never share personal information, such as bank account or credit card details as you risk falling victim to fraud and identity theft.

How can I spot a scammer?

Any of the following behaviours should raise concerns that the person you are interacting with is a scammer:

- they ask you to send them money or provide your personal or financial details

- they ask you to transfer money via a wire transfer service

- they quickly profess strong feelings or love for you

- they are vague about their interests, or what they want in a partner

- they do not answer your questions or their responses are formulaic, nonsensical or repetitive

- they claim to be stationed in or travel frequently to Africa or elsewhere overseas

- they claim to be of mixed African and US, Australian, European or Canadian descent and travel to meet relatives in Africa

- their profile, or their communications with you display poor spelling or grammar

You should carefully consider your relationship with anyone who asks you to move communications with them away from the dating website onto email, instant messaging, the phone, voice over IP or some other medium after only a few contacts. Scammers will often ask you to do this so that you will be communicating only with them, are more likely to reveal personal information and will not receive safety warnings.

You should never respond to a request for money, personal information or banking details, no matter the reason given.

If you are suspicious about any members on Oasis Active then report them by clicking on the Report Member icon/menu option on their profile.