Online Dating: Student Scam
How the Online Dating Student Scam Works:
(with video below) This scam was reported to us by a fellow reader in Los Angeles, who almost fell for it and sent us an email with the full story.
Imagine this scenario: You find yourself scanning through profiles on various online dating websites when you come across a post that captures your interest. A girl who claims she is a student in town says she will "make you happy" if you help her out of a bind.
She's poor, but needs an essay or textbook from school in order to pass the class. The essay is online as a PDF file, on a certain website. She says she will perform sexual acts on you if you go to the website and purchase the essay for her.
For some guys, this may sound too good to be true. And it is. The "girl" they meet is also the one who operates the website. Once she gets the credit card, it's as good as maxed out.
This scam takes various forms, but the essay item for purchase seems to be the most popular. Not to mention that the girl is most likely a guy, just like in many other cases. He is just using stock pictures of a beautiful girl stolen from the Internet.
Watch the video below to see a different variation of the online dating scam, with an actual victim explaining what scammers do exactly:
How to Avoid the Online Dating Student Scam:
Just like other online dating experiences, the best way to get to know the other person best is face to face. In this case, don't even bother asking for a meeting. If a person you're "dating" online is asking for money before you even see her/his real face, it's a guaranteed scam. Needless to say, you can be approached not only on the online dating websites, but also on social media, on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Sometimes, to get your trust, the scammers even send an accomplice to meet you. In this case, you really have to learn how to read all the signs. If you are really looking to start dating somebody starting online, just join legitimate websites that offer that possibility.
How to Report the Online Dating Student Scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to Protect Yourself More:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.