Perhaps one of the last places you would expect to find fraud is at a place of worship, or from a religious person who shares your faith and good intentions. Unfortunately, church scams are a real...
Church Scams: 4 Tricks Used By Online Dating Scam Artists
By Top10BestDatingSites Staff
Perhaps one of the last places you would expect to find fraud is at a place of worship, or from a religious person who shares your faith and good intentions. Unfortunately, church scams are a real and widespread problem and the online dating sites are a great place for religious scam artists to look for targets. As good Christians who look for our compatible match online, we are taught to follow Christian values of kindness, and charity to lead our way. Sadly enough, there are online con artist who take advantage of our kindness and emotionally manipulate us to help them out in their great misfortune by giving them money. As we may some times be blind to these deceitful scams, here are some “not so holy" church scams to watch out for:
1. Affinity Scams
Affinity scammers target members of an identifiable group, such as a religious community. They might even convince a respected leader from the community that a particular cause is worthy, and use them to help bring in funds. If at one point in your online dating journey, you are approached by an intriguing person who will talk highly of religion and ask you to donate to a charity or cause and it’s not entirely clear why they need your money or where it’s going – then investigate further before donating for a “good cause”.
2. "Sob-story" Scams
A fellow Christian you met online may be in need of financial help, perhaps to travel somewhere for a family member’s funeral, or to help a loved one suffering from illness. They ask you for money, knowing that your Christian values of generosity and kindness might lead you to help them. However, once you do help them financially they disappear soon after.
3. Gifting Clubs
Gifting clubs are pyramid schemes where new club members give “cash gifts" to high-ranking members. If you get more people to join, you become a high-ranking member and are promised a much larger gift than your original investment.
Names are created for these gifting clubs such as “Christians helping Christians" or “Women empowering women" – but they all work the same way and are illegal. Only a few people profit from these schemes and most lose their investment.
4. Nigerian Scams
These are upfront payment or money transfer scams, which got their name from the first wave of such scams that came from Nigeria. There are many variations of this kind of scam, but a typical example is when members of a community are told that they are entitled to buy cut-price cars (or other equipment), thanks to a religious bequest. All they need to do is pay an advance deposit…
How to Deal With “Christian" Scammers
Most dating websites, such as match.com, screen for inappropriate content and block unsuitable users – but scammers can be tricky to spot. If someone identifies themselves as “Christian" in their online profile, don’t assume that means they must be an honest and good person. You can always ask them personal questions about their belief and their values to try and understand if they are truly spiritually knowledgeable or are just in this for the scam.
Before you become an active user on any dating site, read its safety guidelines. Don’t think that you are smarter or more experienced than the scammers, as they are constantly coming up with new ideas and techniques. ChristianMingle, a leading Christian dating site, takes safety very seriously and has excellent advice for protecting yourself online. It also has a toll free customer care number that you can call if you are unsure about someone’s behavior, as well as a “report abuse" button.
It’s not pleasant to think that a religious scammer wants to take advantage of your values and beliefs. After all, your intentions are pure and your love quest for that special partner is blessed. However, don’t be discouraged and remember that the vast majority of Christian online daters are just like you – Christian online daters looking for love. Don’t let suspicion take over your enjoyment of the dating experience; just be sensible and vigilant with regard to any suspicious behavior.