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Avoiding internet dating scams

opinion

Hundreds of thousands of women and men worldwide fall victim to online romance scams every year. Reported losses in the U. Most of that money will never be recovered.

If the person claims you have mutual friends, verify that claim. Be wary of people who show only a handful of friends on their Facebook page and few personal photos.

Scammers phish for victims anywhere they can. But for ease, they prefer to keep their communications all in one place. Scammers like to use apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or Viber.

Use the free Google Image Search to see where else the photos have appeared. "Avoiding internet dating scams" on the camera icon in the search box and then drag in or upload a picture. Google will show you where that image has been posted online. You can see if it was used by someone with a different name or if it has been reported to a scam list. The absence of a digital footprint, in and of itself, is questionable these days.

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