Chargebacks911 COO Monica Eaton appeared in a recent feature for Reader’s Digest that took a hard look at the risks of fraud in modern dating.
Reader’s Digest is America’s fourth-largest magazine by circulation. After nearly a century in publication, RD stands out more than ever in today’s cultural landscape due to its optimism, faith, heroism, trust, humor, and wellness themes.
According to the article, romance scams are just one of many online scams. But, like the Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, dating scams are on the rise, and users should proceed with extreme caution.
The crimes typically take place on dating apps and social media, though they can happen in real life, too. They often involve catfishing and love bombing, and other suspect practices. From military romance scams to catfishing, romance scams have one thing in common: They capitalize on our human need for love.
“There were widespread reports of loneliness, depression, substance abuse, and alienation,” says Monica Eaton. “So it’s no wonder that romance scams have been on the uptick: If you’re desperate enough, you’re likely to overlook an awful lot of red flags.”
In most cases, the scammer will give themselves away by requesting money or ‘help’ from their prospective mate. It is at this point that communication should probably cease. Another tip is to be wary of any individual who is too reluctant to meet up in real life.
“When you communicate with someone you’ve never met before, do they only communicate via text?” Monica asks. “Are they unable to talk over the phone? Do they always have an excuse for being unable to video chat? These are obvious warning signs.”