8 Warning Signs Your Date is a Romance Scammer in the UAE | ExpatWoman.com

8 Warning Signs Your Online Date is a Scammer

Keep both your heart and wallet safe by looking out for these online dating red flags in the UAE!

Posted on

11 March 2024

Last updated on 11 March 2024
What are the signs that your online date is a fraud

Don't let love blind you from these red warning flags!

Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the safest countries in the world, the country is no stranger to seeing the occasional scam or fraud.

SEE ALSO: Common Scams in the UAE You Should Be Aware Of

Scammers target vulnerable people in a variety of ways - and one of which is through love. Romance scams in the UAE can be a dreadful experience to those who fall victim to it.

Being able to recognise the red flags early on can save you a lot of time, effort, money, and emotions. Here are some to watch out for!

1. They're hiding their social media profiles from you

We understand that not everyone is on social media - some of us prefer privacy or have little to no interest in using social networking apps.

It's when they're limiting communication with you to just SMS, emails, phone calls, or video calling, that you should be wary. They might be a scammer who is operating under a false identity, or chances are they're hiding another lover or spouse by keeping you away from their social media profiles.

If they do share their social media profile with you, check their Friends list, Following list, and Followers list. The smaller it is, the more likely it's a secondary fake account.

How to tell if your online date in the UAE is scammer

2. They don't have WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps used in the UAE to communicate with family, friends, or colleagues. If your online date is a long-time UAE resident yet they don't use WhatsApp, it's a warning sign that they're a scammer, or are hiding something from you (such as a spouse).

What if they haven't lived in the UAE for long?

It's more reasonable if they're new to the country. New UAE residents might ask for messaging apps that are local to their country, for example: Viber is popular in the Philippines, LINE and Kakao Talk are more commonly used in Japan and South Korea, Telegram in Singapore, and WeChat is the go-to for mainland Chinese.

It will take time for new UAE residents to adapt to the emirates' local culture and preferences - but don't allow for too much time.

3. Love bombing within a short period of knowing you

Love bombing refers to when someone excessively showers another person with affectionate words and gestures.

Red flags that your online date is a scammer

If you've only known your online love interest for a very short period of time, yet they are love bombing you with heaps of compliments, gifts, etc., be on guard as they might be trying to manipulate your affections.

Gifts and compliments are a lovely gesture, but too much of it can be suspicious.

4. Asking private details about your family and life

In the early stages of seeing someone, it's common to share details about one's life, family, interests, hobbies, and dislikes. These can be good talking points or to seek similarities for a long-term relationship. However, be careful of sharing too much information to your date.

Many online accounts use question and answer quizzes to test if you're the real owner of the account. For example - What is your mother's maiden name? The name of your first pet. The name of the street you grew up in. Which school subject did you enjoy the most?

This is particularly dangerous if you do online banking, as some banks use Q&A to help you gain access to your bank account.

Warning signs of a romance scam in the UAE

5. Borrowing money from you

A big red flag is if they're asking you to lend them money, reasoning it as an emergency, a family situation, a trusted business investment, or they forgot to bring their wallet.

Occasionally it might be a real emergency and it's reasonable to lend a few dirhams to help them out. But do not lend too much of your hard-earned money.

First and foremost, they should be asking their own family members or friends for support, or they can use a credit card or take a loan.

6. Refusing to take pictures

Another warning sign is when they refuse to take photos or videos together, even if you tell them you won't share or post it online.

If they insist that they don't want their photos taken, be wary as they might be hiding their identity or are avoiding any hard proof of connection to you.

What are the signs of a romance scam

7. Not introducing you to friends or family

It's normal for couples to eventually introduce their significant other to their friends and family members. A red flag is a partner who is evading the topic of meeting friends and family, or they're expressing no interest in doing so.

8. Reusing the same photo(s)

If you haven't met him or her in person yet, keep an eye on the photos they choose to show. Seeing the same profile pictures for weeks and even months can be a big warning sign, especially if they're not showing their face in the photos.

Trust your gut instinct

Even if your situation might not fit any of the above red flags perfectly, we advice listening to your gut instinct when something just feels off about this person. Sometimes if they're too good to be true, it really might be.