GREENSBORO, N.C. — Boy meets Girl. It’s isn’t as easy when Covid-19 is in the middle of it all.
With all the social distancing, it's understandable a lot of people, even folks who swore off online dating, are going online to meet and talk to someone.
Online dating scammers know it.
“We're seeing lots of people who are talking to scammers that are using COVID as an excuse. They can't get on a plane because they're stuck with COVID. We're seeing that come up more and more,” explains David McClellan, CEO of SocialCatfish.com.
His site helps you verify people you've met online, or double-check info they've told you. McClellan said Covid-19 is being used as a cover for scammers, but here's a big red flag.
“You meet them on Facebook or a dating website and then they fall in love with you quickly, they try to get you to go to Google Hangout or What's App. They do that because they have their accounts deleted all the time and they're talking to so many people. So, they do this so they don't get screwed, they try to get you to these other platforms.”
Going to a third-party site is always a red flag. This is true for dating sites when you're buying something or trying to book a beach house.
Anytime the seller says they can give you a better deal or if they say it will be easier to talk off the official site-- it's a scam.
McClellan says if you’re mixed up with someone who has asked you for money or you have given money too—stop talking to them. There’s no realistic outcome that will have you getting the money back. You need to report the scammer to your local police department and the state Attorney General’s office.