Is that ‘sugar momma’ a scammer?

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Move over, fake sugar daddies. Women can lie about having deep pockets, too.

 

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You’ve probably heard of women who have a “sugar daddy” who pays their bills in exchange for adult favors or other forms of affection. Men can have a sugar daddy, too, but there’s also currently a “sugar momma” scam out there making the rounds, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker.

 

“In this new twist on a romance scam, a con artist offers to become your “’ugar momma’ (or ‘sugar daddy’) and pay your bills. But according to recent BBB Scam Tracker reports, it’s really a way to trick victims out of money,” says the BBB.

 

Here’s how the sugar momma scam works.

 

A woman contacts you through a dating or social media site, offering to deposit a weekly allowance of several hundred dollars into your bank account. Then they ask you to deposit portions of the money to accounts for friends they want to “help out” or, in one case, even send funds to a nonexistent orphanage. Then their check doesn’t clear, and you have to pay back that money to your bank. One person reporting the scam to the BBB got taken for $20,000. But you don’t have to get tangled in the apron strings of a sugar momma.

 

Below are five ways to protect yourself from sugar mommas (or daddies) out to swindle you under the guise of romance.

1. Understand how check scams work

If your new sugar momma sends you a fat check for your first week’s allowance, that doesn’t mean she’s legit. The check could be counterfeit, which will land you in financial trouble. That’s because banks generally make funds from a check deposited into your account available within a couple of days. However, if you spend or transfer that money and the check turns out to be counterfeit, the bank is allowed to recover those funds from you.

 

Think you could easily spot a fake check? Don’t be so sure.

 

“Regardless of the format, the checks usually look professional and convincing,” warns the BBB.

2. Watch out for fake profile photos

Just because the photo in your sugar momma’s dating or social media profile shows a suntanned, bikini-clad hottie on the deck of a yacht doesn’t mean it’s actually a photo of her. It’s easy to steal photos from online sources such as social media, and using someone else’s photo to trick victims is a typical romance scammer move.

 

So do your research before opening your heart – or your bank account – to any supposedly wealthy woman who claims she’s eager to support you financially. To find out if photos are stolen from an online source, perform a search on a website such as Google Images.

3. Look up profile details online

The BBB recommends performing an online search for the profile, name, email address or phone number to see what comes up in search results. You may find out that your sugar momma’s details actually belong to an 80-year-old grandma living on a fixed income in Cincinnati instead of this woman who claims she’s rich and wants to support you financially.

4. Ask detailed questions

If you connect with someone on a dating site who immediately offers to support you financially, that in itself should be a flapping red flag. However, if you still want to pursue this person and arrangement, make sure you ask a lot of questions first.

 

Jot down what she tells you about where she’s lived and currently resides, previous relationships, where she works and other details. The more questions you ask, the more likely she is to trip up and provide conflicting information about her life if she is trying to con you.

5. Never send money or sensitive personal information

If someone you don’t know well and have never met in person asks you to send or transfer money, don’t do it.

 

“Cut off contact if someone starts asking you for financial or personally identifiable information (PII), like your credit card number or government ID numbers,” says the BBB.

 

Related:

This article originally appeared on Debt.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

More from MediaFeed:

This dad’s fake photos are adorable & a bit frightening

 

Kenny Deuss of Antwerp, Belgium, is a regular guy. He takes regular photos of his kids, uses Photoshop to create images of said kids in questionable situations, and posts them to his Instagram account, @Onadventurewithdad. That account became a hit with Instagram users, although at first the photos were not necessarily intended for public consumption.

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“When my first daughter was three months old, my girlfriend had to go back to work after maternity leave,” Deuss told MediaFeed. “Every Tuesday, it’s my turn to watch the kids, so my girlfriend regularly asks for a photo to see if the kids are OK. This is when I decided to do something fun with it.”

 

The photos show the couple’s children, Alix and Aster, in various non-baby contexts, such as receiving a mouthful of beer at feeding time or tending to a barbecue grill that’s engulfed in flames. But while it’s tempting to believe that Deuss receives regular visits from Child Protective Services for his trouble, he said that in general, people know not to take it seriously.

 

 

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“There are a few people who jump to conclusions too fast and think it’s really dangerous, but those people quickly realize that it’s all edited and see the joke,” he said. “I think that short shock effect before realizing it’s fake is what’s making the images so funny.”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

Deuss said the main thing that keeps him updating his Instagram page with new photos is that it’s fun, and that he likes to bring people some much-needed merriment. If those people are sleep-deprived parents with an infant in the house, even better.

 

“Most of my images are made to bring people joy and laughter,” he said. “I’m very glad I can bring some joy to people’s lives.”

 

Here are some more of our favorite photos from Deuss’ account. We hope you enjoy them, too.

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“Alix has decided to collect money to buy some new toys.

Let’s hope her new store will be a success.”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“When dad says we can’t have any more cookies, he clearly underestimates our will power. Teamwork makes the dream work!”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“You don’t need much to enjoy the view. Dad is alway on the look out for all the dangers in the streets.”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“We spend two days at the Belgian coastline. Apparently there are a couple of aggressive seagulls there. If someone finds their nest with Aster in it, please let me know.”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“Happy birthday Alix! Even though we only have a small party due to COVID, we’re having a blast!”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“Dad is afraid of heights, so I helped him out with some chores today.”

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

“A hot cup of coffee makes my day.”

 

More from MediaFeed:

 

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

Courtesy of Kenny Deus

 

Featured Image Credit: AndreyPopov/ istockphoto.

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