Romance Scams

As our love life has nearly entirely moved online, dating app users become increasingly vulnerable to romance scams. At Flure, we do everything to guarantee your safety, but scammers can go to great lengths in their schemes. Learn how to recognize a swindler with our article about how romance scams work, and keep your wallet and heart untouched!

What is a romance scam?

A romance scam, also known as a confidence trick, is a type of cybercrime that involves feigning romantic intentions toward a victim, exploiting their naïveté, compassion, and vanity. Scammers create fake profiles on dating apps to target potential victims. And if you think you are too smart to fall into the romance scam trap, think twice: the losses to this kind of cybercrime alone surpassed a billion US dollars in 2022! The criminals can wait for months to build trust and use a third party to trick you!

Warning signs it’s a scam

Malicious schemes can shock you with their complexity as swindlers create various scenarios to manipulate. While their profiles can look completely normal at first glance, learn to spot the red flags that can tell you this person might be a scammer.

Suspicious profile

  • Stolen photos. Scammers rarely show their faces. They prefer to hide behind stolen pictures or, sometimes, they use attractive celebrity pics to make you fall for them!
  • Too-Good-To-Be-True Descriptions. Scammers often create attractive profiles; they may claim to have prestigious jobs, high incomes, or an exceptionally charming personality.
  • Inconsistent information. They will try to lure you with emotional or intriguing stories, but you might feel the information doesn’t add up. Inconsistency is a red flag on dating apps!
  • They rush to make a connection. Scammers often declare deep feelings unusually quickly.

Communication patterns

  • They can’t meet you in person or make a video call. Some scammers will come up with the most ridiculous excuses why they can’t video chat with you, and they are very, very far away from you to meet in person. Common scam scenarios include serving in the army, working on an oil rig, or traveling.
  • Awkward communication. Scammers can write with typos, sometimes gibberish, or in CAPITAL LETTERS. If it’s an international scam, they also can write in a foreign language or use slang words (typical for cybercriminals from Nigeria and Ghana).
  • They will ask you for the money and tell you how to pay. The main red flag: they start asking for gifts or money, citing various emergencies, debts, or travel expenses.
  • They want to move off the dating app. Scammers will ask you for your contact information to continue the conversation somewhere where you can’t report their profile.

Emotional trap

  • Playing on sympathy. They often tell tear-jerking stories to convince you they are in need and require financial support.
  • They create a sense of urgency. Scammers will want you to act quickly and send money without thinking.
  • Gaslighting. Scammers can get abusive or angry if you question their behavior or refuse to send money.

How to avoid a romance scam

To protect yourself from scammers, follow these tips:
  1. Never send money or gifts.
  2. Keep sensitive information private.
  3. Use Flure’s in-app messenger.
  4. Do your research, check the information, and be skeptical.
  5. Report suspicious profiles.

Popular online dating scams

Military scams. One of the most common schemes is when scammers create a fake profile of a soldier and ask for money once you’re “hooked.”
Catfishing. Creating a fake online dating profile that lures victims into a relationship.
Phishing. Tricking victims into revealing personal information like banking details, sometimes by sharing unsolicited links.
Money scams. Scammers use various scripts about financial hardships, medical emergencies, or travel expenses to meet the victim in person.
Crypto scams. Another popular scamming scheme that involves investment offers or suggestions to teach you how to trade and invest.

What to do if you've been scammed

  1. Stop communication: Immediately cease all communication with the scammer.
  2. Report to authorities: Report the incident to your local law enforcement.
  3. Contact your bank to report the scam. Ask them to stop any transactions. Change passwords on all your devices and online accounts like banking and email.
  4. Inform the dating app about the scammer so they can take appropriate action.
We at Flure are responsible for our users’ safety and for creating a secure space for people to get to know each other. This is why we have a complex, multi-leveled moderation process and use AI to detect fake profiles. Nonetheless, remembering these basic rules and staying aware will keep you safe on the internet and protect you from financial and emotional harm.