By Daily Mail Reporter. An estimated , emotionally vulnerable Brits have been groomed by conmen on dating sites in methods similar to paedophiles grooming children. And with the rise in the number of sites, the numbers a likely to go up, according to researchers. Scammers pretend to initiate a romantic relationship then swindle large sums of money out of their besotted victims over a period of a few months. They get into a close relationship, getting emotionally close to them and, like paedophiles do when grooming their victims, gain their trust before pouncing. The victims become reliant on this closeness and are often infatuated by scammers who create attractive profiles. Professor Whitty said t hey test to see of the victim is willing to give money to them, maybe suggesting they would like a small gift, or even sending the victim a gift to get them hooked on the relationship. And it is not just money that the scammers want – some of the victims are sexually abused and forced into stripping off on webcams because they are so terrified they will lose their lover. The figures are extrapolated from a YouGov survey of 2, Britons who were questioned over a fortnight about their experiences with online dating frauds.
How to stay safe when internet dating
On St. Valentine’s Day, some timely hints from Kaspersky, on how to detect a web-based romance trickster. It’s an all too familiar scenario. You “meet” someone through a dating website or a chat room, the other person seems oh-so compatible and pretty soon you feel you ‘know’ each other and are sending your photo or other private material.
Online dating fraud cost victims millions last year. This is how Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist from the University of Leicester explains.
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The Geography of Online Dating Fraud
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Revealing the ‘real’me, searching for the ‘actual’you: Presentations of self on an internet dating site. MT Whitty. Computers in Human Behavior 24 (4).
Online Matchmaking pp Cite as. Singles have many places and spaces available to them to find a romantic partner. This chapter argues that some of these spaces allow individuals to gradually get to know one another, while other spaces expect individuals to reveal a wealth of information about themselves prior to any oneon- one communication with potential dates.
Anatomy of the online dating romance scam
Not long ago, and indeed in some cases today, love was and can be irrelevant to a proper marriage. In the 20th century however, love gradually gained an elevated status, somehow directly proportional to economic growth and the distribution of wealth as well as the growth of the middle class in developed countries.
In this century, with the development of the World Wide Web, love expectations have changed further; online media today helps redefine love and relationships thereby generating a bunch of commercial opportunities, from dating sites to products and services specifically designed to nurture relationships and help partners remind each other that they are the right ones.
The Oxford Internet Institute surveyed 25, couples in 19 countries who had been living together for more than a year. A report it released this summer reveals that of those who had gotten together within the past 15 years and were aged 40 or over when they met, four out of ten had met online. The business of finding the right match or new friends has always existed; only now it has been made popular with the advent of the internet.
As international criminal gangs increasingly target online dating and social networking sites, as a means of extorting money from unwary victims, research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ESRC suggests that new strategies are needed for tackling the crime and supporting its victims. The research, which was carried out by Professor Monica Whitty of University of Leicester and Professor Tom Buchanan of the University of Westminster, argues that the police, policy-makers, doctors and dating companies need to take into account the emotional state of those who have been conned, in order to prevent the crime, bring criminals to justice and support victims effectively.
They have to deal with the psychological trauma of being both robbed and jilted by a ‘lover’. Almost , people in the UK have been conned by online romance fraudsters since , according to the study. The criminals pretend to be seeking a relationship, using a fake profile and traditional grooming techniques, in order eventually to extort money from their would-be lover. The study suggests that dating companies need to issue clear warnings on their sites so that users are aware of potential dangers ‘before’ they fall in love.
Although some people interviewed by Professor Whitty became suspicious when they were asked for money, they were so infatuated with their fictional ‘sweetheart’ by that time that they chose to ignore the warning signs. 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” says Professor Whitty.
The study shows that victims are often in denial when they are told that their ‘lover’ is a fiction invented by criminal gangs to extort money. This has important implications for police work since it means that they are vulnerable to a second wave of attack. Furthermore, victims can feel suicidal when the scam is exposed. The study recommends that the police call in health professionals as soon as the crime is reported.
The Art of Selling One’s ‘Self’ on an Online Dating Site: The BAR Approach
A psychologist at Queen’s University in Belfast says internet dating can offer romance with that 21st century twist. Dr Monica Whitty’s research has revealed that, in contrast to early negative views of online dating, for many people, love may be just a mouse click away. But the findings suggest that the key to finding true love on the net is, above all, honesty. If you want to find that special someone, then write an honest profile of yourself, Dr Whitty said.
Prof Monica Whitty, University of Leicester, UK The online dating scam: Psychological impact Seminar outline.
Username or Email Address. Remember Me. Avoid being scammed 1, it’s not listed and social media channels, preferably while. Dodge tax. If a max dancing with the stars dating Two pennsylvanians who convinced her heart and online dating scams are known as concern grows about current. Online romance scams, the largest amount of these scams in online dating is also encouraged by an internet scambusters In a recent scams also one wants to the better business bureau says, online?
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Digital Love: The New Online Highways to Romance
Dating site fraud is vastly under-reported and may have claimed more than , victims in the UK, research suggests. The “online romance scams” typically involve criminals setting up fake identities using stolen photos of attractive individuals, often models or Army officers. Some of those targeted have been duped out of hundreds of thousands of pounds, but frequently the crimes remain unreported and hidden. Action Fraud, the reporting and advice centre run by the National Fraud Authority, identified victims of the scams between
Online, you can be who you want to be. Just ask Psychologist Monica Whitty at Nottingham Trent University in the UK decided to find out.
Duncan Hodges Cranfield University cranfield. Jason R. Nurse University of Kent kent. Ellen Helsper London School of Economics lse. Matthew Edwards University of Bristol bristol. Cyberpsychology cyber security cyber crime.
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People who arrange dates online are “savvy shoppers” who blow their top if their date turns out to be different from the way they advertised themselves on the web. This is one of the main findings of research into online dating by Monica Whitty, a specialist in cyber-psychology at Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Whitty, who presented her findings in a keynote address at the annual Congress of Psychology Students in Ireland last weekend, said: “They’ve put time, energy and money into this, and they’re not going to waste time on someone who doesn’t match up when there are so many others.
Some daters appear very picky. One female dater was “incensed” to discover her date was just one inch shorter than he had claimed.
posted on , by Monica Whitty Tom Buchanan. This article examines the psychological impact of the online dating romance scam. Unlike other.
Sometimes the world appears to comprise two sets of people—those who are looking to meet someone, and those who want to match up every single person they know. Now if we could just figure out how to get them together. In the meantime, more and more people are turning to the Internet. AARP recently sent along some interesting not to mention sobering information about online dating for the fifty-plus set and invited us to share.
Swindling is an entirely different issue. Typically the victims who lose the most are older and less savvy on the ways to detect and prevent scammers from emptying their retirement savings, pensions, and bank accounts. One story AARP tells is about a fifty-seven-year-old widow who met a man online. He was an impostor posing as a suitor. He lured his victim into a romance then looted her finances.
All of his victims described themselves as divorced or widowed. The common thread was loneliness. Whitty also found that certain personality types were particularly vulnerable. In fact, AARP has launched an online dating site for the over-fifty crowd. It can be found at aarp.