A new study sheds light on online dating scams and the responsibilities of dating companies.
Conducted by Monica Whitty, with the University of Leicester, and Tom Buchanan, with the University of Westminster, the study found even when victims felt suspicious when an online match asked for money, they still fulfilled the request.
Researchers said since 2007, nearly 230,000 individuals in the U.K. have been the victim of fraud stemming from their use of online dating sites.
Most scams followed the same pattern, with the victim engaging in an online-only relationship with another user, deepening their emotional bond and connection until the other user asks the victim for money.
“Even when victims felt suspicious when
asked for money, they still fulfilled the request.”
According to the study, users asking others for money are almost always a part of a criminal organization that creates fake profiles in the hopes of taking advantage of single people.
After accumulating and reviewing the data, Whitty said it’s up to the dating companies to provide users with the necessary tools and information needed to stay safe.
“Daters need to be told, from the moment they sign up, that if a person is not willing to meet them in the first month, they should move on,” she said. “They also need to be told never to respond to requests for money. Dating companies could target advice at particularly vulnerable individuals, especially those with high romantic ideals, previous mental health problems or a history of abuse.”
Source: Cision.com. Photo source: in.com.