One of the most common issues that we deal with here at Charlotte Private Investigator is romance fraud, also known as catfishing. In this type of scam, the scammer will set up a dating profile to attract marks—they’ll flirt to entice you and get you invested in the idea of a relationship, and then squeeze you for money. In this article, our team will go over a few ways to recognize catfishing fraud to help you avoid falling victim to these ploys.
- Love Bombing- One sign of catfishing fraud is a process known as love bombing, in which the person will shower you with compliments and declarations of love. They’ll profess that they feel a deep connection unlike anything they’ve felt before. While this may seem innocent on the surface, this behavior is a way to pressure you to get emotionally invested in the relationship as quickly as possible—the person may even try to guilt trip you if you don’t declare your love back. This type of behavior is a tool of both catfishers and other abusers, so you should avoid anyone who pressures you in this way.
- Avoiding Face-to-Face Contact- Another sign that someone is trying to commit catfishing fraud is that they avoid face-to-face contact. If they keep finding excuses not to video chat with you, then it’s likely that they are hiding their face to prevent you from finding out that they are not who they say they are.
- Requests for Money- A third sign of catfishing fraud is requests for money. If an online match is asking you for money early into the relationship, then it’s likely that they are just trying to scam you. A common strategy is for the person to ask for money so that they can come visit you in person, then they take the cash and run once their victim has sent it.