Alec Couros was used by scammers to catfish thousands of women and he’s a victim too

Alec Couros was used by scammers to catfish thousands of women and he’s a victim too

And, reluctantly, she did. At first, she just tiptoed around the many dating sites, window-shopping in this peculiar new update. The choices were overwhelming. It wasn’t until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in. The scams were coming, and she didn’t want to face them alone. She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match. She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her episode. It would have been easy to burnish the truth, but she presented herself honestly, from her episode 57 and hobbies “online, rock collecting” to her financial catfish “self sufficient”. And her pitch was straightforward:.

‘She was beautiful, funny – and she scammed me’

The woman who contacted us at PIX11 Investigates said she wanted others to learn from her mistake and agreed to be interviewed, though she wanted her identity withheld. Many people have found their match on internet dating sites, but there is clearly potential danger involved when you reveal personal information to strangers. It is one of many sites that are free, with no strings attached.

POF claims to have over 10,, members worldwide.

Romance scams (also known as catfishing) Romance fraud happens when someone believes they have met their perfect match through an online dating site or.

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Romance Scams

Romance fraud happens when someone believes they have met their perfect match through an online dating site or app, but the other person is in fact a scammer using a fake profile to build the relationship. They slowly gain your trust with a view to eventually asking you for money or obtaining enough personal details to steal your identity. It plays on the need we all have for love and companionship and many people fall victim every year.

We’ve got some signs and tips that should show you how to avoid online dating scams. What is catfishing on the internet? ‘Catfish’ is a

To some, Alec Couros is a charismatic oil contractor from Nashville, Tennessee. To others, he’s a well-travelled civil engineer from England. After seven years and two beautiful children, his marriage ended in an amicable divorce. Or maybe his wife died. It depends on who you ask. Thousands of women, from Brazil to the United States, believe he is their one and only; star-crossed lovers brought together by fate. For more than a decade, he has been the unwitting face of a global online “catfishing” scam.

To this day, Alec isn’t sure why he or rather, his pictures were chosen — or what backstory the scammers might settle on, on any given day. But he traces it back to sometime in , when he received a “frantic call” from his then-partner, questioning why a woman they had never met was contacting him on Facebook, lamenting the end of their relationship. He initially wrote it off as a prank, but within three months, more women were coming out of the woodwork.

Alec, who lives in Canada, now estimates the number of victims to be in the thousands — most of whom matched with “him” on social networking or dating sites. Others were targeted through less detectable avenues, like the online game Words With Friends, where scammers use the benign nature of the platform to develop a rapport with victims.

In some cases, they will even create fake accounts using pictures of Alec’s daughter, parents and brother to foster a sense of authenticity.

This Is Where You’re Most Likely to Be Catfished in the USA in 2020

With the advent of the internet age, and rapidly changing personal technology like smartphones and tablets, the way we connect and communicate has changed drastically, and Online Dating Scams are on the rise. Our social media and internet dating habits have brought with them both new possibilities and increased dangers. Social networks like Facebook and dating applications like Tinder, Grinder etc, are regularly used by unscrupulous catfish looking for victims of Online Dating Scams or even just by lonely people who deceive others in order to gain some extra attention.

Social networks and dating sites are preferred by catfish as these are places where people are at their most vulnerable — searching for love, or feeling they are amongst friends, sharing personal stories and details.

A photo of Alec Couros. For more than a decade, Alec Couros has been the unwitting face of online dating scams. (Supplied: Alec Couros).

The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge.

They can be motivated by the desire to live vicariously through a fake persona, to extort money from a victim, to make mischief or any number of other intentions. Other sinister cases can involve sexual predators or stalkers who use this online anonymity to get close to their victims. There are several truly bizarre examples out there, like the girl who was catfished twice by another girl who posed as two different men.

Your date looks like a supermodel Online dating scams usually start with an attractive person initiating contact through social media or dating sites. A common theme is that catfishers use picture of models, actors or a member of the beautiful people club. Most catfish scams will use an attractive profile picture to keep the victim hooked and to make them want the fictional person to be real. Self-confidence is one thing but alarm bells should go off if a model suddenly contacts you to ask for a date.

However, imposters often claim to have shared interests to ensure that they have a topic of conversation. They can either pick a personality type that they think will appeal to their mark or choose to mirror the person they are trying to ensnare. Maybe your new online date does is just as obsessed as you are with snooker, s manga, French poetry and freestyle climbing. The average Facebook user has friends so people who only have a handful of friends may be fake.

Year of the Catfish: 27% of Dating Site Users Scammed

Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.

g is where someone uses false information to cultivate an online persona for The phenomenon known as catfishing is a uniquely modern one: a single lie, for you and wants to move your communications away from the dating website or app; sharing compromising material, which scammers can use to blackmail you;.

For crying out loud, Jon Louis was even teaching a class on fraud when he got taken in — hook, line and sinker — by the dreaded internet species known as catfish. Looking back a year or so later the scam is obvious to him, but oh my, how joyful it was to feel his heart flutter again. It seemed like a reasonable investment in a long-term relationship.

Victims are commonly between the ages of 40 and 69, but those over 70 lose the greatest amount of money to the cons, the FTC reports. Be sure to protect your heart — and your money. Even the skeptical among us can, like Louis, let our eyes get too starry to see straight. And professional scammers know how to make those chemicals flow. As long as social isolation exists, some measure of danger will be there, Dodson and Van Deusen say.

Social-media pressures can lead people to seek fulfillment from external sources rather than internal ones, a self-defeating strategy, Van Deusen said. It starts with a friend request, or a match on a dating site or app. The kind stranger seems smitten, even in love, and eager to start a committed relationship. Then, almost always, they suggest you move your conversation to a private channel such as email or a chat app.

Dating Site Scams – Online Dating

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable. This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment.

With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space. Online.

Catfishing is an online con where someone assumes a new identity in order to seduce a stranger on the internet. Others do it in order to trap people into handing over money or services. The only way you can really protect yourself from these tricksters is to know the signs and catch the catfish at his or her own game.

In a catfishing scam, a person on the internet will create a fake identity and try to romance or seduce their target. More often, they are online criminals using proclamations of love to part innocent people from their money. If you meet someone on a dating website or on social media, scroll to their Facebook profile right away. Most scam artists have fake profiles that are doctored to look real. Check their friends list first.

Also check when they created their profile. If their internet presence began just days before you met, you should probably be seriously suspicious of their motives. In this day and age, most real people have established social media accounts with more than a few followers or friends.

Online Dating Scams, Red Flags, and What is “Catfishing”?

Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. If you’re online dating, read these tips so you know how to spot a catfish. If you’ve been scammed out of your money by someone who wasn’t who they said they were, there is help and support available. Get support.

One man tells of how he was tricked in a romance scam as banks warn who used dating websites had been subject to a catfishing attempt.

The rapid development of Internet-based technologies has changed many aspects of our lives. One area of human communication that has been effected by technological advances is the opportunity for online romantic endeavors. The Internet has now made it possible for a person to date without ever leaving their home. The use of Internet dating sites, social networking sites, and dating applications has enabled humans to date 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, days a year Rege, It is estimated that one in four dating relationship begin online, making the Internet the second most common way that dating couples meet Cocalis, Popular sites such as Match.

Catfishing victim speaks out after being caught in online dating scam

If someone claims that a photo is from a July catfish fireworks party but is dressed in a fur coat, in daylight, that might spot a dead giveaway that someone is lying. Cut and Paste Profile Alert Introductory letters on dating websites are often copied by catfish tactics. See if the same information appears in full places or has been copied from someone.

Put the copy in a web episode engine and search for it online. For example, someone claiming to be from St. Spelling and Grammar Fail Hear the words when you read their writing, and check their spelling and grammar.

A W5 investigation into romance scams airs Saturday at 7pm on CTV. to try to get an inside look at the shadowy world of internet scammers. “Catfish” is a word that didn’t even exist a decade ago, but is a term used to.

Catfishing is a deceptive activity where a person creates a sockpuppet presence or fake identity on a social networking service , usually targeting a specific victim for abuse or fraud. Catfishing is often employed for romance scams on dating websites. The practice may be used for financial gain, to compromise a victim in some way, or simply as forms of trolling or wish fulfillment. Catfishing media has been produced, often featuring victims who wish to identify their catfisher.

Celebrities have been targeted, which has brought media attention to catfishing practices. The modern term originated from the American documentary Catfish. In the documentary, one of the characters mention a fishing urban myth relating to cod and catfish as the inspiration for his use of the term “catfishing”. Catfishing has become more widely known throughout the subsequent decade, thanks to a television series which followed the main star of the movie, Yaniv Nev Schulman, helping other people investigate their possible catfish situation.

The term rose in popularity during an incident involving University of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o in

10 Most Horrifying Real Online Dating Scams


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