Studies show that by 2025, Singapore and other East Asian neighboring countries will experience a shrinking and ageing population and workforce. The decline in birth rates can be seen as partly due to the rise in people opting to marry at a later age as well as married couples not producing more children.
Deciding when to marry and when to have children is typically something that is partly reliant on a number of socioeconomic factors. Adding to this is the fact that single persons are becoming too pre-occupied with their careers as well as higher education opportunities. In other parts of the world, the figures might not be as high but the trend of single persons deferring marriage is, still, something that cannot be overlooked.This could be one of the reasons why online dating websites have increased.
While there are a number of websites that aim to provide clients with a chance at a lifetime romance, there are also those that are only in it for the money. The negative connotation about online dating was brought about by increasing reports of unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of this need for companionship for their own selfish gain.
For the single men out there who are sincerely seeking a serious relationship over the internet, be wary of the following red flag signs in order to avoid being a victimized by a scam.
- Their profile picture looks too good to be true. The first step employed by scam artists is creating an attractive profile to draw you in. These fake photos are used by scammers to cash in on one’s weakness for physical attraction. You wouldn’t want to pass over on somebody so gorgeous, would you? What you need to do is check just how many profile pictures the account has. You can also make use of Google Image in order to check whether the said picture is just something that has been downloaded off the Internet.
- There seems to be a scripted answer for every situation. Scammers hold a well-rehearsed script that they use to repeatedly scam others. Oftentimes, this script appeals to one’s emotion.
- Does not answer your emails in a personal way but changes the topic with each contact.
If it appears as if you are talking to more than one person, you probably are. There have been cases where scam artists actually work in groups of no less than 3 people. In most cases, they would take over answering emails and chats.
- Does not give a clear and honest revelation of who she really is and focuses on you, the victim all the time. The scam artist would want to get more information about you that can be used to your disadvantage. He keeps a distance so that it would be easy for him to escape when the right time comes. After all, your communication is only limited to this dating website. You might also find him insisting more on checking where you live, where you work, and how much money you are making.
- Fond of telling tales that lead you to sympathize over her situation. This is the scam artist’s way of grooming and leading the victim towards her main goal of getting you to send money. These scam artists use all sorts of stories pertaining to severe life circumstances, disasters, family deaths, hardships and other misfortunes to keep their victims concerned and entangled in their schemes. Then they ask their victims to send money to help them surmount these alleged hardships.
- Caught with inconsistent facts in her story. As they say, a person of integrity doesn’t need to memorize what she is saying because she is not hiding anything; but, a person who’s got something up on her sleeves, would get caught with a differing and inconsistent reply to the same questions. If the person you are talking to keeps changing his answer, it might be time to make a quick escape.
- The romance suddenly comes to a halt after you’ve transferred money to her account. After being bombarded with declarations of undying love and devotion from your partner, you find yourself caught up in this romantic shackle. You find yourself in a seemingly committed relationship where it is quite hard for you to say, “no”. After you have sent whatever it is that she needs, you then realize that she has started becoming distant and cold. A few days later, you find yourself being told that it’s not you, it’s her.
According to the IC3, this so called “romance scam” over the net involves organized criminals who go through chat rooms, dating websites and social networking sites for potential targets. They try to establish trust with these people and, with a fake profile, pretend to be in critical need of money. Victims mostly fall in the age range of 40 years and above, divorced, widowed, disabled and often elderly. With this kind of fraud in the online dating business on the rise, financial institutions has branded it as a “high risk” business.
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