Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a shady group of people have discovered another way to prey on those worried that they are forever alone. At least according to the Sacramento Bee, our nation’s most adorably named paper:
MoneyGram is warning consumers to watch out for a new scam targeting those looking for love on dating websites.
The scammers are making the rounds as Valentine’s Day approaches and find their victims via dating sites. They pose as a potential mate, build a relationship online and eventually ask the victim to make and send a sex tape, says Kim Garner, Senior Vice President of Global Security and Investigation for MoneyGram International. Once a tape is sent, victims are threatened with having it released online unless they wire money via MoneyGram or other money wire transfer service.
Now listen, I know it’s tough out there, and I know that I am always telling people they should try online dating, but we all know not to send sex tapes (or whatever the solo version of a sex tape is, yikes) to complete strangers from the internet, right? I hope so. Even sad girls on 4chan don’t give it all away for free.
Here, according to SacBee, are some things to watch out for:
What you should beware of:
A relationship that only exists online. If you cannot reach the other person by phone or other means, it could be a problem.
Requests for money or financial help early in an online relationship could be a red flag.
Always know the person to whom you are sending money. Never send money to strangers.
I would add: anyone who asks you for a sex tape, ever. How does that even go? Like, what does that request sound like? “Hey so uh, I’ve been thinking, this is really starting to feel like something special. Can I get like a video of you having sex so I can be sure we’re meant to be together forever?” I don’t know.