Thursday, 2 October 2014

Online dating can be bad for your wealth

RSVP is a traditional dating agency, away from the world of internet dating websites, running members only singles events and selecting hand-picked one-to-one matches. One of the prerequisites of becoming a member is that one of our client advisors meets each prospective member before joining. We do this to ensure the safety of all our current members, as well as to make certain that everyone actually is who they say they are and genuinely interested in finding a partner.

But not all companies involved with dating can guarantee this crucial point. Online dating websites that allow anybody to register for free with just an email address have time and again proved to be an easy way for scammers to find vulnerable targets.

In August, four people appeared in Winchester Crown Court after being charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Two of them have since been convicted. This happened after an elaborate scam on the well-known dating website, where a profile of an attractive man was set up to entice women and then ask them for money after they had gained their trust. In a ploy distressingly similar to those Nigerian Prince Inheritance email scams, the group hooked vulnerable ladies by exploiting their emotions and as the BBC reported:
“Prosecutors said the men eventually started asking the women to pay money for legal fees in India to release £100m in inheritance they said they were owed.
Many of the women started handing over money ranging from £700 in one case to £174,000 in another case. A total of £220,000 was handed over by the women to the gang, the court heard.”
Everyone who has ever dated knows how nerve-wracking it can feel when you first begin dating. You have to put yourself out there, make yourself vulnerable under the expectant gaze of the opposite sex and then get to know someone all over again. It’s incredibly sad that some people have managed to con others when they’re in this frame of mind. It’s very brave to try to take up alternative dating routes when the traditional meet-someone-in-the-pub-or-the-office has not worked out, so the threat of criminals posing as charming singles who suddenly need to borrow a little money should make you a little wary but hopefully not put you off entirely.

Here at RSVP, we're obviously keen to point out the myriad advantages of traditional introduction agencies. But if you choose online dating, our top tips are:

  • If something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. So, beware.
  • Always tell someone where you are going, the name of the person you are meeting and when you expect to be back.
  • Be instantly on your guard if whoever you’re talking to starts asking for money under any circumstances.
  • Don't flaunt yourself or your wealth.
But if you really want to stay safe and hang on to your wealth, contact us at RSVP and find out more about how we keep you dating safely at RSVP.

To read more about the case, follow the links here and here.