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Police estimate that Aussies send around million to internet scammers every month!
Although the majority of these covert predators are based in Africa, mainly Nigeria and Ghana, they show up on our dating sites as attractive, Western-looking, perfect potential dates.
Do they seem way too perfect to be a normal person?
Search their photos using Google Search By Image – if you find the same images on lots of different sites linked to different names or if the images turn up on a stock photo site or modelling site, you might want to think twice. If they claim to be a brain surgeon and part time pilot, who enjoys running monthly marathons and volunteering to save the children in Africa, your alarm bells might start ringing. Early in your interaction, ask them to send you a photo and if they refuse, you might become suspicious.
Be aware of anyone who talks about major illnesses, traumas or unusual life events in the context of ‘feel sorry for me’.
A key indicator of a Catfish is that they will not want to meet you in person (or via webcam).
Be aware of anyone who constantly makes excuses as to why they can’t meet.
A good guide is to aim to meet in person within one month of connecting online.
Online predators are known to target people they perceive as vulnerable as they are considered to be easy marks, so make sure you protect yourself from this.
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