Colorado Springs

SCAMBUSTERS: Online daters beware

Online daters beware

FOWLER, Colo. - Online dating is quickly becoming the 'new normal' when it comes to finding that special someone.

It can be easy to fall for the 'love language,' but you have to keep in mind, not all matches are legitimate.

These scams are commonly referred to as 'catfishing' or to 'catfish' someone.

The idea is: scammers will make fake profiles, usually impersonating someone else to lure you in.

Meet Tara Carter

Tara Carter is looking to start a new chapter of her love life, but she learned first hand finding a partner online is tough.

"I've tried many sites, but it's hard to trust who you're talking to," said Carter.

A couple months ago, she came across the site "Meet-me."

"It seemed pretty legitimate at first, people were honest to talk to. Well, they seemed honest anyway," she said.

It wasn't until a few months in...

"Things started to get a little weird when they always started to ask for money," Carter said.

Scammers would always cite some sort of 'personal emergency.'

"I got little red flags. They wouldn't even ask for a certain amount, then they just wanted money," she said. "If I had to total up how much people asked me to send them over the years... it's probably $2,000."

In some cases, if you don't pay up, they'll try to scare you.
 
"So he actually called me on the phone and started threatening to fly down here to come see me, he went off his rocker and was crazy," Carter said.
 
Det. Jon Price with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has seen many of these cases. The 'romantic tactics' don't surprise him.
 
"These scammers are working 24 hours a day, they'll do whatever it takes to fool you," Price said. "Don't think it won't happen to you."
 
The moral of the story?
 
If you're dating online, and the man or woman refuses to meet you in person for a long period of time, that's a red flag.
 
Anytime a potential date asks you for money citing an 'emergency', don't fall for it.
 
Do you have a scam you'd like us to investigate?
 
Contact me at stephanie.sierra@krdo.com
 

 


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