Could That Prince Charming Turn You Into a Criminal – Without You Even Knowing?

Mar 1, 2019 | Dating, Safety Smart

In just the last three years, the Better Business Bureau has received hundreds of Scam Tracker reports, all related to romance fraud. As if dating isn’t challenging enough…

We’ve all heard the stories. So it’s no surprise that dating sites report suspicious activity on their apps. But what is surprising is the way these scammers work – and how they lure innocent women (and men too) into traps – oftentimes stealing their money, and even worse — making them accomplices in fraud.

Accomplices? In fraud? Terrill Caplan of Fraud Aid, a victim advocacy organization, describes the inner workings of these kinds of sick scammers who use their victims as money mules.

According to Caplan, 20 to 30 percent of romance fraud victims were used as money mules in 2018. And the scariest part is, most victims don’t realize what is happening or know that they are actually participating in the crime. The scammers lurk behind charming dating profiles and groom their victims by building a relationship that is everything their victims are looking for in a partner. They send cute texts, deliver flowers to the office… you know the drill. It can take months for scammers to build up a trusting relationship with their victims before asking for money.

And even if you don’t end up in legal trouble, a fake romance can wipe you out. Just look at these numbers:



How do they loop you in?


Usually, after building a trusting relationship, scammers will ask for money for “an emergency.” To a scammer, this is a great way to steal money from their victims without being discovered. And just by agreeing to their plea and transferring the money, you become a participant in a crime, and therefore an actual criminal yourself… even though you are the victim!

Here are just a few ways romance scammers ask for money, luring their victims into becoming money mules for their operations:

– for an emergency
– for a business problem
– for a plane ticket to finally meet

These scams can be extremely dangerous: victims have been pulled into money laundering and drug trafficking schemes — and even convinced to fly overseas to meet in person and end up kidnapped and held for ransom!!!

If you’ve been single in the Internet age, you’ve probably tried online dating. And you know that there is a huge difference between taking a risk that your date might be a little odd, but totally harmless — and taking a risk that puts your entire future, and maybe even life, in jeopardy.

Most of us want to find love – and want to believe someone who seems like they could be “The ONE.” But these people are professionals. They know how to lure you in and how to convince you to trust them.

Don’t risk it. It’s too easy for someone on a dating site to be a fraud. Ask for a SafetyPIN to know that there is nothing suspicious in the other person’s past, to prove they are who they say they are, and to give you instant peace of mind that they can be trusted.

And if they don’t have one, ask them to apply. Most applications are approved within 24-48 hours. If they won’t apply or say they can’t wait that long, that’s a huge red flag.

Additional Posts

Babysitting on the side? Earn DOUBLE when you make this one change to your profile.

Sitters with a SafetyPIN badge reported an average of 17.9 jobs, versus sitters not using a SafetyPIN badge reported 8.4 jobs, over the same period of time. The average amount earned across the board for all sitters was $74 per job. In other words, parents booked SafetyPIN sitters TWICE as often as non-SafetyPIN sitters. Learn More.

But is SafetyPIN fair?

"Isn’t SafetyPIN just one more way to discriminate against people?" We get asked that question...a lot. Following George Floyd's death and the spotlight it put on criminal justice in the US, we hear it even more. And we understand why. Black, brown, and lower-income...

Safety Matters: Looking for a nanny or babysitter?

  Before choosing a babysitting app, make sure you know what “background checked” really means?   In this article: Surprising facts about background checks – and why they don’t always mean what you think App-by-app comparison of trust and safety standards...