“I’m open to paying you $4000 weekly if you keep me happy… You just have to buy me a $20 Steam gift card first to prove you are genuine…” Red flags are everywhere in this message! Have you ever received “sugar daddy” offers via social media? Or are you a member of SugarDaddy.com, SeekingArrangement, or SugarDaddyForMe? Watch out and don’t fall for these fake sugar daddy traps. Read on to see how sugar daddy scams unfold and learn some useful tips to protect yourself.
How sugar daddy scams work: the 3 steps
The relationship between sugar daddies/mummies and sugar babies is that the former provides their money, while the latter offers their companionship in return. As more and more people are seeking such relationships, online scammers have been making a killing! But how?
Step #1: Hunt you down on social media/a dating app
First, they pose as sugar daddies/mummies and hunt for sugar babies online, for example, via Instagram, Twitter, or dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. They will send you private messages and perhaps spend days chatting and flirting with you. Eventually, they will invite you to become their sugar baby, promising you a high weekly or monthly allowance:
Step #2: Win your trust with fake transaction “proof”
To win your trust, they will probably send you some “proof” of others who’ve successfully received payment. For example, they show you fake PayPal/Cash App transaction records, or they might use stolen credit cards/fake checks. No matter how, they will do their best to make you believe they’re legitimate, but this is when the tricks start!
Step #3: You have to pay first!
Before you get your money, they will ask you to pay first – either with money or your sensitive credentials. (And then they will vanish! Gone with your money and personal information!)
1. Requests for payment in advance
Most fake sugar daddies will ask you to send them money or gift cards to “verify” you are not a scammer (how ironic!) Here’s an example from Grindr. The scammer requests a $100 Steam gift card from the victim:
2. Requests for personal information
Besides direct payments, your banking information is also precious to scammers. Telling you that they need your data before they can send you money, these fake sugar daddies/mommies try to trick you into providing credentials like your bank account user name and password:
Once you reveal your credentials, the scammer can access your bank account and take control of it. They can transfer every cent out and even use your account to conduct other cybercrimes and trick more people. Watch out!
5 tips to avoid sugar daddy scams
Never reveal your personal information! Avoid sharing things like phone numbers, addresses, and passwords.
- Be extra suspicious when strangers say they will send you money or any other kinds of rewards online. Free gifts are always a major red flag!
- Requests for money/gift cards are also signs of scams.
- Report to the FTC, FBI, or the social media network where you met the person if you suspect a sugar daddy scam.
- Think before you click on any links. Use Trend Micro Check first!
Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links – and it’s FREE!
After you’ve pinned Trend Micro Check, it will block dangerous sites automatically! It is now available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check.
Add an extra layer of protection to your device with Trend Micro Maximum Security! It includes Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing, and Anti-spam Protection to help you combat scams and cyberattacks. Click the button below to give it a try:
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