Last Updated on August 17, 2023
Have you ever met a stranger on a dating app or through social media and then quickly had a deep and meaningful conversation with them? Such moments are a regular experience online. Over 57 million people use dating apps in the United States as of 2022.
Yet not everyone has good intentions on dating apps. Oil rig romance scammers are having a field day with their popularity. They assume fake identities and contact women to extort money from them. They use various tactics to lie, deceive and steal from their victims.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports indicate that nearly 70,000 romance scams occurred in 2022, of which the average reported loss was $4,400.
If you are reading this, you want to know more about oil rig scammers. No worries, I will tell you everything you need to know about them.
What Are Oil Rig Scams?
They are a variation of the romance scam. The scammer may claim to be an oil rig engineer, supervisor, marine engineer contractor, drilling engineer, or even a petrochemical engineer.
Before asking you for money, the scammer will be careful to keep their identity a secret. They’ll also act under the pretense of starting a relationship with you.
Every action of these scammers is about getting your money. They will do so by heaping compliments on you and trying to win your heart through any means necessary. They might work quickly or go for the long haul.
Offshore drilling rig workers are a good cover because they spend most of their time at sea, so it is easy for scam artists to pretend to be in this line of work.
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How To Spot Oil Rig Scammers?
So, here are the top red flags to know whether you are talking to an oil rig scammer:
They Work Offshore Very Far Away
Even though some people actually work on an oil rig, it is imperative to look out for any mention of this profession in an online chat. If you hear it, it is a warning sign that you should research and verify if they are who they claim to be.
The usual lie is that he is a widower or otherwise single for a tragic reason. He’ll sound perfect.
Sharing Or Posting Fake/Stolen Images
Most scammers will not post their real faces on social media. They will use attractive photos of other people to entice people to their profile.
Declines or Avoids In-Person or Video Meetings
When you ask them to come on a video call, they may say it is not allowed, or they can claim their internet connection is too weak. They’ll use various excuses whenever you bring up the topic. It is a red flag if you keep hearing the same excuses every time.
They Lie And Deceive You Into Believing Them
Romance scammers take great care in the details they share with you. You like something, so that is what they like too. You are ready to settle down, and they are too.
If it seems like they are too perfect of a match, they are.
Asks for Favors, Money, or Gift Cards
The oil rig scammer never asks for money upfront. He will work into your good graces and discuss why he needs money.
For instance, oil rig scammers usually say they are on the ocean and need money for something urgent such as food or paying a debt (a good debt). They might ask for help for imaginary family members. Romance scammers will tell you that you are the only one who can help them through this tough time.
I advise against wiring any money or sending gifts. If you send that money, it is never getting returned. And once they get an inch, they will take a mile and keep returning for more money.
Pushes You Into A Relationship
Be wary of those who attempt to coax you into romantic relationships very early.
The scammer will always try to initiate a romantic relationship, and romance with them can evolve rapidly. They call it love bombing for a reason. For such opportunistic people, romantic relationships are just another way of manipulating you into giving them something monetarily.
May Use Blackmail To Extort Money
An oil rig scammer may attempt to extort money from a victim, depending on the circumstances of their interaction.
Protect yourself online; never send anyone compromising images or videos of yourself, especially if you have never met them offline. The scammers can blackmail you into providing them with money or other financial benefits.
How To Avoid Oil Rig Scams
Snoop Around With A Reverse Search Image
Since online dating scammers create fake profiles using stolen personal information and photographs from real individuals, they often do not leave a digital footprint. As a result, they do not appear on social media sites, LinkedIn profiles, work or university profiles, school listings, etc.
Try the following:
- Conduct a simple Google search for the scammer, his name, and other relevant information, such as “Name + Engineer + Place.”
- Use Google’s reverse image search tool to verify the image’s authenticity.
- The reverse image feature will provide the source of the stolen images, including stock image websites and social media profiles.
- Finally, wait for their reaction in case any disparities are present. If the scammer is lying, you should be able to detect lies from their response.
Observe For Signs Of Love Bombing
- Stay alert for matches that are too clingy or try to force a commitment on you immediately.
- One may fall in love quickly. Still, it is a warning sign for oil rig dating scams.
- You don’t feel like you can take your time and get to know someone.
Avoid Moving The Chat To Other Private Platforms
Scammers often seek to shift from the online dating platform to a more private (less moderated) form of communication. It is an opportunity for scammers to gain access to personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers. In rare cases, a scammer might get a credit card number.
- Avoid this by remaining on the online dating platform or app until a potential date gets confirmed.
- Many online dating sites provide critical safety features; you will not get this security if you move to another messaging application.
- Never provide personal phone numbers or email addresses, as this can be a source of vulnerability for scammers. It allows them to engage in other forms of deception, such as phishing emails.
How to Protect Yourself from an Oil Rig Scammer
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Don’t Disclose Personal Information
Strike an appropriate balance between disclosing just enough to establish a connection while safeguarding yourself by:
- Using unique pictures: Reusing your social media images on dating websites gives fraudsters access to other profiles and more details about you.
- Keep information vague: Keep your personal information private, such as your place of work and contact details. This advice applies to your profile as well as online chats.
- Keep the conversation on the original app: When a scammer tries to remove discussions from the app, it is a dead giveaway.
Cut Off Communication
Block a scammer quickly, so they cannot persuade you to send them more money. Distance yourself from the scenario entirely. Avoid yelling or alerting the fraudster that you are aware of their scam. It only gives criminals another opportunity to deceive you.
Try Not To Judge Yourself.
Never jump to conclusions or rush into anything you are unwilling to do. Don’t shy away from asking questions. If the match is true, the other person will understand you are just being careful.
Scams involving online dating are too frequent, and it is easy to fall for a sweet-talking hustler. Avoid punishing yourself for it.
Alert The Dating Platform and Authorities About The Scammer.
The dating platform can deactivate the fake account and prevent others from becoming victims soon if you report the scammer immediately.
Another thing to do if you get scammed is consider sending a report to the FBI Division: Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Another thing you can do is also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Request Alerts On Fraudulent Activity And Freeze Your Credit Account.
Never give away your financial information. If you naively gave the fraudster personal or financial information, freeze your credit and notify your financial institutions immediately. They can add extra safeguards to your accounts.
Don’t Transfer Funds
Never transfer money, cryptocurrencies, or gift cards to someone you met online. These payment modes are almost impossible to recoup or recover.
Use A Password Manager and Two-Factor Authentication
If the scammers get access to your personal data, ensure you change your passwords. Also, make sure you have a good password policy. In other words, you should not use the same passwords for different social media accounts and never reuse them more than once a month.
You can further protect yourself with secure passwords; use a password manager such as Bitwarden. Not so fast, you should not forget to use two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your accounts. The best part, you also protect yourself against SIM swap scams and account takeover fraud.
Consider Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft can happen to anyone, regardless of the type of scam or how much data/access you have given out. It can happen immediately, within months, or even years after the incident.
Also, if nothing occurs for a few weeks or months, that does not mean you are safe. You should be on the watch for suspicious transactions and credit checks.
This vigilance can be a challenging task. Therefore, using an identity theft protection service that provides secure services and features to protect your account and credit is vital.
Protect yourself from identity theft, financial fraud, and malware with an identity theft protection service such as Aura. In the event of identity theft, Aura will provide you with an insurance policy to cover any eligible losses resulting from the incident and access to 24/7 fraud resolution experts.
💯 Act Now: Get Aura today to protect yourself from identity theft. With it, you get identity theft protection, alerts, and insurance. Oil rig scams will be less of a risk!
Remember To Always Be Safe On Dating Apps
The dangers of dating online can be overwhelming, but never give up hope. Dating apps can be a safe way to find love if you are careful and know the red flags. Make it your priority to research their photos and profile. And stay aware of the warning signs of a catfish scam. Always trust your instincts if something seems fishy.
Invest in Aura if you are still concerned about the risks associated with online dating. Keep yourself safe out there, and follow your (rational) instincts. You will find the right person if you keep at it, staying safe in the process.
Other Types of Scams You Need To Know: