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Telegram has gathered a newfound wave of users who are not so nice. Romance scammers are taking Telegram and using it to manipulate unsuspecting users into relationships that consist of their sexual content being used for blackmail. In this blog, we will discuss what Telegram dating scams are, how you can avoid them, and what you can do once you become a victim.
Telegram is an app that provides free instant messaging and video and audio calls. That doesn’t mean the app can’t be used for other purposes like dating.
Most dating scams stem from actual dating apps like Tinder or Hinge but migrate to other platforms such as Telegram to keep the conversation going.
Moving the conversation to Telegram is also a strategic move because it allows scammers to access a victim’s personal phone number, giving them more accessibility to connect.
So, what happens once a scammer gets their victim on Telegram?
For starters, they try their best to keep the connection going and will love bomb their victims, which is a manipulative way of showering someone with love and affection to get them to do what they want.
Then once the victim feels comfortable and lowers their walls, the conversation will turn more flirtatious and sexual, and the scammer will be more forward with their sexual advances. This is when the exchange of sexual content gets brought up, and since the unsuspecting victim feels comfortable, they agree, and that is when their images and videos are saved without their consent.
Once a romance scammer has a victim’s content, they will harass and threaten to expose it to the world if their ransom is not paid. To intensify the threats, they will also do a deep dive into their victim’s social media accounts and threaten to send their sexual content directly to all of their friends’ list.
The best way to protect yourself from scams is to research before getting involved in any online relationship.
Start by researching the person’s profile and checking out any reviews or posts from other users about them.
If there are concerns or warnings about someone’s behavior on the platform, then it’s best to steer clear. Additionally, if you come across someone whose profile appears too good to be true—such as having many followers and an overly professional bio—it might be wise to question whether they are genuine.
Be Wary of Red Flags
When engaging with someone on Telegram, watch for any red flags that may arise during conversations. Some common warning signs include they ask you for money; they start talking about sex or relationships before you’ve gotten comfortable with one another; quickly becoming pushy or
demanding; they refuse to video chat or meet in person; they give you suspiciously generic compliments; and/or their stories don’t add up when compared with other conversations you have had with them. If any of these sound familiar, then it might be time to move on and find someone else who shares your same interests more genuinely.
If you must continue talking with someone who has raised red flags but you want to stay safe while doing so, there are some steps you can take, such as using a different phone number or email address than your regular ones so that they won’t have access to your personal information; never sharing pictures without blurring out identifying features such as tattoos or birthmarks; never sending money under any circumstances; and be wary of anyone asking for personal details like bank accounts numbers or passwords.
These precautions can help keep your interactions on Telegram safe and secure while allowing you to explore potential relationships on the platform.
If you are a victim and need direction on handling a Telegram scam, follow these tips.
· Document the threats and any telling information like names, numbers, emails, etc.
· Do not give in to your scammer’s demands.
· Stall for as long as possible until you seek professional help.
· Block and report their account to Telegram.
· Secure all of your social media accounts and update your passwords.
· Report the crime to the authorities and cybercrime experts.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that if something feels off about your conversation with someone on Telegram, then trust your gut instinct and move on!
Telegram dating scams can be devastating financially and emotionally, so it’s essential not only for yourself but also for others that we all work together towards keeping ourselves safe online by recognizing the signs of a scammer early on in our interactions with them. Romance scams are illegal, so report the crime to the police! You can also report cyber crime to us here at Digital Forensics. Give us a call today to see how we can help.
Our experts have helped thousands to stop blackmail. Contact our sextortion helpline 24/7
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