A man in northern China has been arrested over allegations that he used a voice -changing device in an online dating scam that conned. Related Story: How romance scammers use mind games to open victims' wallets you have probably come across the term "catfish", first coined in the documentary of the same name. It's hard to stop the addiction. Last year in the UK, online dating scammers conned their dates out of fulfilling, so all-consuming that victims get addicted to it,' says Whitty.
Some of our key findings included: Loneliness was mentioned by 41 per cent of the respondents as the reason for their catfishing. I just wanted to be more popular and make friends that could talk to me, some part of the day. Others claimed that a lonely childhood and ongoing struggles with social connection were contributing factors.
Gift exchanges the latest ruse as online love scams continue to burn Hongkongers
Dissatisfaction with their physical appearance was also a common theme, represented in around one-third of responses: I had lots of self-esteem problems … I actually consider myself ugly and unattractive … The only way I have had relationships has been online and with a false identity. If I try to send my real, unedited pictures to anyone that seems nice, they stop responding to me. It's a form of escapism, or a way of testing what life would be like if you were the same person but more physically attractive.
Some reported using false identities or personas to explore their sexuality or gender identity. I was catfishing women because I am attracted to women but have never acted on it … I pretend to be a man as I would prefer to be in the male role of a heterosexual relationship than a female in a homosexual relationship.
More than two-thirds of responses mentioned a desire to escape: It could seem magical, being able to escape your insecurities … But in the end, it only worsens them. Many reported feelings of guilt and self-loathing around their deceptive behaviour: It's hard to stop the addiction. Reality hit, and I felt like a shitty human. More than one-third of participants expressed a desire to confess to their victims, and some had continued relations with them even after coming clean.
Somewhat surprisingly, around a quarter of respondents said they began catfishing out of practicality, or because of some outside circumstance.
The shocking rise of online dating fraud | Daily Mail Online
Being too young for a website or game meant I had to lie about my age to people, resulting in building a complete persona. A Mt Gambier man shares his three months of dialogue with dating scammers who assumed the alias of a Russian woman. No simple solution What does it take to become a catfish, and how should we deal with this growing problem?
Unsurprisingly, our initial research suggests that there's no simple answer. Social catfishing seems to provide an outlet for the expression of many different desires and urges. Although not yet officially a crime, it is never a victimless act. As we move further online each year, the burden of harmful online behaviour becomes greater to society, and a better understanding of the issues are needed if we are to minimise harm in the future. More than of those conned were women. Police said the number of internet love scams reported between January and May more than doubled compared with the 63 cases in the same period of Wong adds he is not surprised victims of the scams are overwhelmingly female, and points to overseas studies that have found a similar correlation.
Understanding why, however, is a different matter.
Internet dating scams: who is preying on those seeking romance online?
Intoxicated by his flattering words, she did not become suspicious that he only responded to her every six hours or so. That was what threw me off and made me vulnerable. As the two flirted online, Yau shared her deepest thoughts and secrets.
Reasons range from financial difficulties to fines or medical emergencies.
Earlier this month, a year-old fitness trainer was arrested on suspicion of being involved in at least 18 cases between February and June. The scams usually follow the same pattern, starting with the fraudsters gaining insight into the backgrounds of the victims by making use of social media. They then become acquainted with their targets and move on to having a closer relationship — a modus operandi observed by Sham Shui Po district councillor Ramon Yuen Hoi-man from the Democratic Party, who has been helping victims, including Yau, since February.
He says he has received at least 10 complaints of this nature. Yuen says fraudsters, instead of asking for cash directly, have turned to the idea of exchanging gifts to avoid blowing their cover. They also took pains to ensure they did not get caught on surveillance cameras in shops. Yau says of her case: