How to Avoid Internet Love Scammers

When I fell in love with an Indian online, I was bombarded with ‘he only wants you for a British passport’, from various people in my life. It was only when I told them all that he was living and working in America, they shut up. It was our choice to move to India, anyway, that’s another story…

So many people are meeting their spouses online these days and it has become socially acceptable. If you are from a Western country and meet an Indian love online, people automatically think ‘he only wants a passport’. Why do people think this? Well, it’s a common phenomenon. Many see the Western world as a paradise, and they see their ticket to ‘paradise’ on Facebook/dating websites/chat rooms. There is also a common misconception in India, people think that everyone in the West is wealthy, so getting a Western spouse is literally like hitting the jackpot. Even now, obviously married, I get messages from Indian men proclaiming their love and wanting to marry me? Wah?

I have been in contact with women who were fooled by Indian men typing from an internet cafe, desperate for an American green card or a European passport or to have money wired into their bank accounts. It’s by no means only Indian men who do this, but because of the title of my blog, it’s the Indian’s I am told about. I have also had some of these scammers contact me themselves, ‘can you instruct me on the next step in getting a British wife, I want to live in the UK’. Gah! No!

There are many women and men who have fallen in love with an Indian online and have gone on to have genuine and happy marriages (hi!). I believe in love above all things, but there are people out there trying to fool us. I have shared many online love success stories with you, but I don’t want to fool anyone into thinking that every single online love affair has a happy ending or is genuine.

So, how to avoid those who care solely about your Nationality and your ability to improve their lives? Here are some tips…

1. ‘Random’ Facebook friend requests

It’s not always someone trying to ‘scam you’, but the chances are, if someone is going around adding ‘random’ people on Facebook, they have a motive. Plus, it’s probably not completely random, they may have a type of person in mind. I know of several couples who have married through ‘random’ Facebook friend requests, they were lucky. Just be vigilant, has your new ‘friend’ targeted you? Are they proclaiming their love immediately? Does it feel suspicious? Do they have a really low facebook friend count (this could show that this is a second account for targeting purposes)?

2. Skype Skype Skype

It’s easy to type lies, so much harder to speak them. If your new love doesn’t want to video chat, or says they don’t have a webcam, this should be a huge warning sign. Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t most laptops have inbuilt cameras now? If you do Skype and things don’t feel right, think about it. Does your love look a lot different on Skype than they did on their Facebook photos? Do you still feel that same connection after coming together ‘face to face’?

3. Rushing into things

I know I sound like a complete hypocrite by saying this, but don’t rush into things. If your love is asking you to send them money so they can buy a flight to come and meet you or if your love is insisting on setting a date for a legal marriage before you’ve even met, press the brakes. Are you suspicious of an ulterior motive? Do they only send you compliments on your looks and marriage proposals and never want to talk about personal or emotional matters?

4. If you come to India before you’ve met in person, try and get someone to come with you

I don’t think my mum would have let me go to India alone without meeting my husband first, luckily we met in London. In many cases the Westerner comes to India first. India, I love you, but your cities and airports can be very scary and dangerous places for foreigners! Try and get a travel companion, the added bonus is that they can meet your love too and report back about how lovely he or she is!

5. Culture shock

You have a different religion, race, culture, nationality, language, upbringing, diet and the list goes on. Sometimes these things are not a problem, sometimes these things cause huge conflict. Make sure that you are not going against any of your personal values to make the other person happy, relationships (especially intercultural ones) sometimes require compromises. These things might not be an issue whilst chatting online, but when the relationship becomes ‘offline’, things might change. Before you commit, talk about your values and talk about your beliefs. Talk about your goals in life and discuss the future. The culture shock might not be between you and your love, it might come later, once you meet their parents…

6. Indian parents

In India, many people are still very traditional. They want their children to marry someone within their caste, who has a good education and many Indian parents want to choose their child’s spouse themselves! Even if they accept a Westerner, then they might want to check if your astrology chart. Something which may seem trivial to a Westerner can be make or break a relationship for an Indian. I know of Indian men who have broken off engagements with Western women because the astrologer said they were not compatible.

Are you planning on moving to India? Will you be expected to live with you new in-laws? This is a very difficult thing to do, even for Indian’s who have grown up in the culture. The lack of space, lack of control and lack of privacy is really stressful, trust me, I know. Initially I thought it would be great but after a couple of months, it became really (really!) difficult.

7. Trust your gut

I am a firm believer that you cannot manufacture an immediate spiritual and mental connection. On the other hand, you can make someone fall in love with them by figuring them out and manipulating them, this usually happens over time. Some people feel suspicious at first but then fall so in love with the idea of being in love with an exotic person from an exotic land (which can easily be confused with being in love with the person themselves), they completely ignore any of those visceral feelings of ‘danger, danger, danger, flashy red lights’.

Love can blossom online, no doubt about it, but always be cautious. Do not ignore those small suspicions, don’t jump in headfirst. AND, if your online Indian love does turn into online disaster, don’t lose hope and don’t lose faith. Love, genuine love, can still be found. 

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Any other tips? Have you met any of these tricksters? 

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