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Online Dating Scams in 2024: Parents Guide

The Most Reliable Parental Control App

FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids' devices.

Millions of people turn to social media and dating apps, especially teenagers, searching for their soul mates. While some get lucky, others fall prey to petty online romance scams. Unfortunately, online love scams have increased threefold in the last two years. According to a recent survey, it was found that almost 304 million dollars were lost to dating scammers in just 2020. And, the cases are only rising, especially among teenagers.

online dating scam

So, how to make sure your kid is not dating anyone shady? Well, in this article, we will be focusing on some of the most effective ways to track your kid’s online dating activities. So, let’s begin.

Part 1. How to tell the signs of online dating scams?

The person that your kids are in love with can be a criminal, an imposter, or just a thief. What do teenagers consider normal behavior a serious dark fraud to exploit them emotionally and financially? It is often very hard to understand the true intention of the faker, but you can look for these little signs:

  • They establish a relationship quickly

Romance scammers hardly give any time to focus on the reality of the situation. They are always in a hurry to take the relationship forward without knowing more about you. They will pretend to be deeply in love with you and sometimes propose to marry (within days or months). A genuine person would not be in such a hurry; rather, they would take time to know the person in front.

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  • Scammers always claim to be located in distant regions

In most online dating scam cases, the scammers pretend to be stationed far away. They can tell your kids that they are military personnel or a doctor with an international organization, or anything that makes them appear well to do. Yet, their identity cannot be verified easily. All these fake tales may appear very interesting, but deep down, it is only trouble.

  • Their profile is too good to be true

A genuine profile has multiple pictures of the individual, family, friends, and much more. However, the profile of a scammer will revolve around your liking. There will be a few gorgeous photos and too many similarities. They might display their hobbies and interest as something that you too are interested in. But that’s just an act to lure the bait.

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  • Scammers always say they need money for emergency

Once they are sure that the individual has fallen for them, they will start playing the role of a victim. They may tell stories like - they are stuck in an emergency, or it is a life and death situation, and they need money for it. Besides, they will ask for the money via wire transfer, gift cards, or into someone else’s bank account to hide their identity.

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This is often the final step of the scam, and if your kids are unable to recognize it, they will end up paying the scammer and may never hear from them again.

Quickly play this video to get awareness about online predators.

Part 2. How can parents help teens avoid being scammed while dating online?

The threat to online scams is constantly rising, and most teenagers or not smart enough to recognize the fraud. As a parent, you must educate them about online dating scams and prevent emotional turmoil. Some of the steps that you can take are:

  • Open a conversation about their love life

Develop a strong bond with your kids so that they can comfortably talk to you about their love life. Knowing whom they are dating and where they are going will help you understand what they are going through in their life. Whatever you do, never try to judge them, which will create a boundary that’s hard to break.

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  • Introduce the scamming signs to your kids

There are always some signs that make online dating scammers different from real people. If your kid is dating online, you have to be extra cautious and introduce them to these warning signs. Make them understand the red flags like:

  • Their lovers are far away
  • Their profile seems too good
  • They break promises to visit
  • They need money
  • Don’t give your kids access to the credit card

Most times, teenagers don’t have enough money to spare, but if they have access to your debit or credit card, they can easily pay the scammers. Besides, teenagers are tech-savvy and can access your credit card even if you have not allowed it. Make sure they do not have access to your credit card, and your cards are protected with three steps verifications. As long as they don’t have access to the card, they will not pay the money.

  • Engage them in other activities

Teenagers rush towards online relations because they don’t want to be alone. As parents, you have to make sure that they don’t develop feelings of loneliness. To do so, you can keep them busy in different activities. Motivate them to focus on their studies and utilize the rest of the time in family activities like picnics, sports, and other indoor games.

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Part 3. How to report online romance scams?

The criminals who carry out online dating scams often adopt a fake identity. Unfortunately, they are best at what they do and will appear genuine. If your kids have been scammed through any such scam, then you need to report it as soon as possible.

You should gather all the available information like their name, pics, account address (if they provided any), etc., and report it to your nearest cyber-crime office. Parents can also register the complaint with ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Besides, they should also notify the website or app where the kids met the scammer.

Part 4. Is there anything else parents can do?

Until now, we have discussed what to do if your kids have been scammed while dating online. What if you can prevent the incident altogether? It is not impossible to create a safe online environment for your kid; you have to be a little sincerer. Take help of these extra tricks:

  • Use the safety feature of the websites and app

If you are tech-savvy, you must know about the safety features of the apps and websites your kids are using. For instance, a parental control feature on apps like TikTok tries to block insensitive and adult content. Even smartphones these days have a few safety features like GPS tracking.

Watch YouTube videos, read educational articles, and learn more about the parental control features of the apps that your kids are frequently using. Enable these features for extra security.

  • Use an antivirus

Just like computers, even smartphones can be infected with malware and viruses. In some cases, if the scammer in the subject is tech-savvy, they can also hack into your kid’s phone, gaining access to media files and all kinds of personal data. To prevent such a situation, you need to subscribe to an antivirus program that can offer safe browsing, location tracking, scanning malicious apps, and much more.

  • Parental Control App

Parents can also take the help of parental control apps to safeguard their kid’s online activities. Even if they are dating online, apps like Wondershare FamiSafe can track whom they are talking to and where they are going. Some of the most appreciated features of this app are activity report generation, screen time management, app control, browser history management, safe search across all apps and browsers, explicit content detection (including love slang), driving report, and real-time location tracking .

Along with these features, parents also appreciate its straightforward and efficient interface. So, whether you want to block an app, establish a screen schedule, or create a geofence for your kids, just go for it, and whenever they cross these limitations, you will be sent a notification.

Part 5. Conclusion

Even though online dating has gained immense popularity these days, it is also a dark side, especially for teenagers. There are predators who can be ruthless and vile towards your kids. That’s why it’s so important to track your kids' online activity. And the best way to have complete control over all their online activities is by installing a parental control app like Wondershare FamiSafe.

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