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All About the 'Sugar Daddy' Scam Which is Luring Victims Looking for Love and Stability

In 2022, 70,000 individuals fell victim to romance scams, losing $1.3 billion in total.
Cover Image Source: Sugar Daddy Scam | Pexels | Photo by Vija Rindo Pratama
Cover Image Source: Sugar Daddy Scam | Pexels | Photo by Vija Rindo Pratama

With the evolution of technology, many now turn to online dating apps in the pursuit of lifelong companionship. However, a significant challenge has emerged with the surge in online dating scams, as scammers are exploiting the platform not only to manipulate individuals into false romantic relationships but also to extract money from them while playing with their emotions. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning, urging caution and emphasizing the need not to blindly trust individuals encountered online.

Save yourselves from getting scammed in love. |Pexels
Image Source: Save yourselves from getting scammed | Pexels

BBB underscores the severity of the issue by citing reported cases where victims have suffered financial losses amounting to hundreds of dollars. One victim shared a regrettable experience, recounting a personal savings loss of approximately $19,500. These apps mostly target users on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and various dating apps. 

Nowadays, exercising caution when engaging with individuals on social media or dating apps is necessary. BBB has sounded an alarm regarding a new scam wherein scammers pose as "sugar mommas" or "sugar daddies." Exploiting casual connections, these fraudsters promise a weekly allowance for affection, concealing their true intent of orchestrating a fraudulent scheme to run away with the victim's money.

Image Source: Pexels/Tero Vesalainen
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Tero Vesalainen

The scam starts off with the perpetrator sends a check or simulates a fund transfer through platforms like PayPal or Cash App, labeling it as the promised "weekly allowance" after eliciting a small favor. Once victims are lured, they are coerced into transferring a portion of the received funds for various purposes such as bill payments, purchasing gift cards, facilitating third-party transfers, or making substantial donations to fictitious charitable organizations. Falling prey to these deceptive tactics, victims end up losing significant amounts of money in search for love.

Regrettably, the accounts utilized for settling credit card balances in this scheme are fraudulent. Once the credit card company detects the deception, the recently deposited funds vanish from the account, leaving the victim liable for both the initial balance and the expenses incurred through the purchase of gift cards.

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by RDNE Stock project
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

To avoid falling victim to such scams, individuals must recognize potential red flags. These include avoiding sharing sensitive information such as banking details, home address, or mobile number with new romantic interests. Additionally, one must raise suspicions if a supposed sugar daddy offers to pay off debts or urges the individual to take their conversations from dating websites to more private channels.

Finally, victims who suspect they are dealing with a scammer or have already fallen prey to a scam should contact their bank or financial institution immediately, even though the recovery of lost funds may not always be possible. Such prompt actions can help mitigate further damage by blocking access to compromised accounts.

While sugar daddies and mommies can bring financial support along with companionship, scammers exploit these dynamics. It is important to stay vigilant for fraudulent individuals posing as such figures, particularly in the world of online dating, where scams exist in large numbers and can drain you emotionally and financially.