Social media and apps have become a part of our lives in every sense. From the way we communicate to how we do our banking and shopping, and even finding love. It was only a matter of time before online dating became more than just a niche for the adventurous. From Tinder and Grindr to WhatsApp and Instagram direct messages, our phones are beeping, often with the hope of finding Mr or Miss Right on the other end. “People have always used all means available to them to try and make connections, including romantic connections,” says Irene Jones, a Johannesburg based relationship counsellor.
“There isn’t anything particularly special about online dating or people using their apps to connect with possible lovers. The only thing that you have to really think about, is the fact that the internet is filled with people who are pretending. Catfishing (where people pretend to be someone they are not, especially with their looks) is not new, but many still fall, victim, because as you get digitally smarter, so do the scammers,” she says. Unfortunately, scammers posing as potential romantic matches online, is common, and often what they want is money. “I’ve dealt with people who’ve been scammed in different ways online. In some cases, it’s people pretending they want relationships when they actually just want sex. In others, it’s people who are hunting for gullible individuals to give them money,” Irene says.
TYPES OF SCAMS
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