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Online Safety

Staying safe online is our topmost priority.  In order to achieve this, we kindly charge our members to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities on the site.  Your cooperation is much solicited at all times.

 

Romance Scam, What is it?

Romance scam is when a criminal uses the internet, under false pretense, to attempt to or actually obtain money and/or goods from you or gather/steal your personal data, such as passwords through a confidence trick.
 
Site like ours work very hard to protect all our members from online scam accounts. However scammers continue to devise new ways and strategies to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
 
You should always act with caution when meeting people online and be aware of type of actions scammers may take to persuade you to send them money or extract your personal information.
 
Under no circumstances should you give, send or lend any money, cash, Western Union payments, or any other valuables to any member of the site!
 
If, for any reason, you suspect an account of being a scammer, report it immediately using the ‘Report User’ link on the profile page and cease all contact with that person.
 
The followings are some typical examples of online scam techniques:
 
The Travel Expense Scam

a) After communicating with a member, from overseas or another part of the country, they will suggest that you meet face-to-face, however they just don’t have enough money to cover the cost and will ask you to help out by paying the whole or half the amount of the travel costs or hotel costs.  Sometimes they will even suggest you meet mid-way to reduce the cost for each person.

b) Some scammers will even send you scanned examples of fake tickets to prove that they are supposedly genuine, however at the last minute an extra cost or emergency will occur. They will request you pay this for them so they do not have to cancel the meeting.

The Overseas Emergency Scam

One of the most popular of online scams.  The scammer will create a fake identity and proceed to communicate with you to build trust.  They may communicate with you for weeks making you think you are getting to know them very well.  All of a sudden you will get a message regarding an ’emergency’ overseas that has happened, all too often in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal or other West African countries.  Emergencies can range from accidents, medical illness or robbery.  You will be requested to send a single large sum or many small sums of money to assist.  The scammer will have always been located in the country that the ’emergency’ happens, but will often pretend to originate from a western country such as United States or United Kingdom.

 The Medical Emergency Scam

After communicating with a member, they or someone pretending to be a friend of theirs or even their doctor will contact you (if you have exchanged phone numbers) regarding a medical emergency for the member or one of their family. They will ask you to assist by sending a single large sum or many small sums, for various medical bills.

 The 419 Scam

The ‘419 scam’ or advance fee fraud has been around for a long time. The scammer usually promises to share some percentage of a vast fortune (usually millions of dollars) with you, all they need is a fraction of the money to unlock the funds. They will request you send them this unlocking fee so they can transfer the funds to your account, before you transfer the remainder on to another account.

 The Fake Police Scam

After already being scammed, an associate of the the scammer will contact you. They will pretend to be a member of the police force, local to the scammer and will offer to arrest the scammer for you, however they will require a small fee to cover the paperwork and will request you send this.

Military Dating Scam

Scammers in this category usually steal pictures of military personnel (whether serving or retired) and the victim’s data that they have obtained from online sources such as Wikipedia and use it to set up fake profiles on dating sites.  It is common to see them impersonating US Military personnel who had served or is serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and who is in possession of a huge amount of Gold fortune which value runs into Millions of US Dollars which is fake.  They will now want to re- settle with someone that they want to scam and would be asking for financial assistance in the hope that they will eventually sell the Gold to start a new life.  This is fake.

 The Money Order Scam

Usually after a few months of communication with an overseas scammer, they will contact you with a great offer. They will have some money orders from your country that they will request you cash for them so you can forward them on the money, keeping a percentage for yourself.  If you receive the money orders and deposit them in to your account it may take a few days or weeks for the fraud to be detected. Victims of this scam can be hit twice, first when they forward the cash to the scammer and second when their bank recovers the cost of the forged money orders from their accounts.

 The Disaster Relief Scam

Unfortunately every time there is a disaster, scammers who have already begun communication with potential victims will contact you. They may try to scam you in two ways.

a) The scammer will pretend to be collecting donations for the disaster and will usually ask you to send them your personal information directly, or push you to a scam website collecting donations.

b) The scammer will pretend to be a victim of the disaster and will request your help for medical or travel costs by sending them money.

 What is Phishing?

Scammers are after your personal information to misuse for their own needs, sometimes they want to send you spam, they want more information, passwords, etc. to attempt to steal your identity.

The most common method of phishing is through ‘confirm your account’ emails.  Always check the sender’s address and the URL that any links within emails are trying to take you to.  If you have and doubt just delete the email.

If you receive any suspicious emails claiming to be from Worbuzz, we suggest that you delete them immediately. Remember, if you need to contact us,  you can do so by clicking here Contact Us.

 I’ve been scammed, help me.

If you think you have been scammed you should:

  • Cease all communication
  • Save copies of all your evidence
  • Report the member to site Administrator
  • File a police complaint

Worbuzz can only take direct action against another site member when communication has been kept with the secure environment of the website. This action is is only limit to the suspension or removal of member accounts. If communication has been taken off the site there is little or no action that we can take in this respect.

Worbuzz will work law enforcement agencies, if requested.  We can only release information regarding member accounts (in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act) after receiving a Police information request.  Please get the officer dealing with your case to Contact Us directly.

 

How to Spot Romance Scammers on Dating Sites?

Warning Signs

  • They will usually ask you to contact them by email that they have important things to discuss with you,
  • they will claim they don’t often come on this site,
  • they will claim the site is not safe for them,
  • they will claim they suddenly picked interest in your profile,
  • they will promise that they will send more of their photos to you,
  • they will suddenly start to address you as dear, love, etc.

Spotting Scammers

To be able to effectively spot a scammer, you will need to perform a combination of the following tests.  These are for guidance only and not exhaustive and cannot usually be relied upon.  Trust your instinct the more, if in doubt, cease all communication with the individual and report them immediately.

  • Profile picture – Right click their photo, click search on Google
  • Email – Google their email, would likely return results
  • Location – Often claimed they are now in a location outside their place or birth
  • Photos – Sporting photos of white people and are based in Accra, Ghana or other West African countries
  • Communication – they ask you to contact them by email outside of our site, asking for financial help, they avoiding direct answer to your questions, they suddenly go offline, they often lack good grammar, they send out generic scam email, etc.

Reporting Scam, How to?

Sensed it?  Report it!  Simple as ABC.  We’ve put a number of measures in place making it easier to report any abuse of our site to us immediately.  You can use the Flag icon in comments to flag any inappropriate conversation, use the “Report Profile” link found on a User’s profile, create a support ticket by going to your MY ACCOUNT > SUPPORT.

 

Where to Report Scam?

First report to us and your local police authorities.

 

Useful resources:

UK – Action Fraud:
http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

UK – Local Police Authorities:
http://www.police.uk/

US – Internet Crime Complaint Center:
http://www.ic3.gov/

Australia – Online Reporting System for Advance Fee Fraud:
http://www.police.qld.gov.au/

Canada – Reporting Economic Crime Online:
https://www.recol.ca/