Gay Dating Scams in 2023: Things to Know and Protection

In the fast-paced digital age where online connections have become the norm, the LGBTQ+ community has found both companionship and a sense of belonging through various online platforms. Unfortunately, this same technological convenience has also opened up avenues for manipulation and deceit. Among these, one insidious trend has emerged with increasing frequency in 2023 – gay dating scams. These scams, perpetrated by individuals exploiting the quest for connection and romance, have wreaked emotional havoc and financial damage on unsuspecting victims.

The scope of gay dating scams is vast, ranging from fake profiles and love interests on dating apps to sophisticated blackmail schemes. As these scams evolve, they become more nuanced and harder to spot, making awareness and education crucial.

This article will delve into the realities of gay dating scams, exploring how they are conducted, the tactics used by scammers, and the ways they impact victims. More importantly, we will provide comprehensive strategies for prevention and protection, as well as steps to take if you find yourself a victim of such a scam.

The Mechanics of Gay Dating Scams

Navigating the landscape of online dating can be thrilling, yet it comes with a caveat due to an undercurrent of insidious scams that prey on unsuspecting individuals. Understanding the mechanics of these scams is paramount to safeguarding oneself. Scammers are cunning and utilize a variety of strategies to defraud their victims. They employ sophisticated techniques, creating elaborate narratives designed to manipulate emotions and extract money or personal information.

In this section, we’ll delve into some of the most common schemes used in gay dating scams. Each of these scams follows its unique pattern and manipulative tactics. By dissecting them in detail in the following sections, our aim is to enable you to identify these scams early, understand the red flags, and effectively protect yourself in your online dating journey.

Sugar Daddy/Momma

The ‘Sugar Daddy/Momma’ scam is a common trick in the dating scam playbook. In this scheme, the scammer poses as a wealthy, an often older individual seeking companionship with a younger person. They present themselves as someone who wants to pamper their partner, offering gifts, lavish trips, and financial support.

Scammers might create elaborate profiles on dating websites, using stolen photos and false identities to make themselves seem genuine and desirable. They may initiate conversations with potential victims, using flattery and promises of financial security to create a sense of attraction.

Here are some main characteristics and red flags to watch out for:

  • Quick Attachment: The scammer often expresses strong emotions or affection very early into the online relationship to build trust and connection.
  • Excessive Generosity: They might promise extravagant gifts, trips, or propose an allowance to prove their wealth and show their interest.
  • Avoiding In-Person Meetings: Despite their claims of deep affection, they usually have an excuse to avoid meeting in person. They may cite business trips, health issues, or the current pandemic situation as reasons to delay a face-to-face meeting.
  • Request for Financial Information: Once trust has been established, the scammer might ask for the victim’s financial information. They could disguise this request as a way to provide financial support or transfer funds.
  • Financial Emergencies: In some instances, the roles can be reversed. The ‘sugar daddy/momma’ might claim to have a sudden financial crisis or a blocked account and ask their ‘sugar baby’ for a ‘temporary’ financial assistance.
  • Lack of Verifiable Details: The scammer’s personal details, including their name, location, job, and photos, may be impossible to verify or could reveal inconsistencies upon scrutiny.

Underage Tactics

The ‘Underage Tactics’ scam is a deceitful strategy where a scammer initially poses as an adult on a dating platform. After establishing contact and exchanging messages, they may suddenly reveal that they’re actually underage. The situation often escalates quickly from there, leading to demands for money under the threat of legal consequences.

In some instances, a third party claiming to be a parent or a law enforcement officer might get involved, insisting on financial compensation to avoid legal prosecution for engaging in conversation with a minor.

Here are some of the main characteristics and red flags of this scam:

  • Sudden Age Revelation: After a period of conversation, the individual reveals they’re underage. This revelation typically occurs after a rapport has been established or after the exchange of explicit content.
  • Third-Party Intervention: Soon after the age revelation, a third party presents themselves as a furious parent or a law enforcement officer, adding credibility to the threat of legal action.
  • Demands for Money: The third party will often demand money as compensation or to cover expenses like therapy for the ‘underage individual’. They may stress urgency and threaten legal action if their demands aren’t met.
  • Method of Payment: They often ask for money to be sent via untraceable methods, like wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or prepaid gift cards.
  • Avoidance of Legal Processes: Despite threatening legal action, these scammers will usually dissuade you from contacting your lawyer or law enforcement, claiming it will only complicate matters or increase potential penalties.

Birthday Gifts

The ‘Birthday Gifts’ scam is a strategy where a scammer manipulates the emotions of their victim to gain financial benefits. They might claim a birthday or other significant event is coming up, and suggest that they’re isolated, lonely, or facing financial difficulties. The scammer then hints or directly asks for expensive gifts, money, or gift cards, playing on the victim’s sympathy and desire to make their ‘partner’ happy.

Here are some main characteristics and red flags of this scam:

  • Emotional Manipulation: Scammers typically build emotional connections with their victims before asking for gifts. They may share stories of financial hardship or loneliness to elicit sympathy.
  • Significant Dates: The scammer may claim that it’s their birthday, an anniversary, or another significant date, using this as an excuse to request a gift.
  • Expensive Requests: Scammers usually request high-value items, significant sums of money, or gift cards from well-known brands. They often claim these gifts will significantly improve their life situation.
  • Urgency: There may be a sense of urgency to their request, with the scammer stressing that their special day is fast approaching.
  • Avoiding In-Person Delivery: Even if you live close by, the scammer will typically discourage in-person delivery of the gift, instead providing a shipping address or preferring digital gift cards.
  • Continued Requests: After a successful attempt, the scammer may continue to find reasons for additional gifts or financial support, perhaps inventing new significant dates or personal crises.

Avoiding Calls

The ‘Avoiding Calls’ scam is a tactic commonly used by online dating scammers, where they consistently dodge direct phone calls or video chats. This strategy helps them maintain their false identity and avoid getting caught in their lies. By keeping their interactions strictly with text, they can continue to manipulate their victims without revealing inconsistencies in their stories.

Here are some main characteristics and red flags of this scam:

  • Consistent Excuses: The scammer constantly avoids phone or video calls. They might cite a variety of reasons for this, including poor internet connection, being in a different time zone, a faulty camera or microphone, or being in a location where they can’t speak freely.
  • Delayed Responses: Scammers often take a long time to respond to messages, possibly because they’re managing multiple victims simultaneously.
  • Inconsistent Details: If the scammer does agree to a phone call, you might notice inconsistencies in their accent, language proficiency, or personal details compared to what they’ve shared via text.
  • Reluctance for In-Person Meeting: Scammers will usually avoid plans to meet in person, always coming up with new reasons to delay a meeting.
  • Controlled Interactions: The scammer may only want to communicate through specific channels, like email or a particular messaging app, which allows them greater control over their false persona.

Explicit Photos

The ‘Explicit Photos’ scam, also known as “sextortion”, is a nefarious strategy in which a scammer encourages their victim to send explicit photos or videos. Once in possession of these, the scammer then threatens to distribute the content to the victim’s family, friends, or public platforms unless a ransom is paid.

Here are some main characteristics and red flags of this scam:

  • Request for Explicit Content: The scammer might encourage or pressure you into sharing intimate photos or videos. They may use emotional manipulation, professing deep affection and saying that sharing such content is a way of proving trust or intimacy.
  • Threats of Exposure: Once they have the explicit content, the scammer switches gears and threatens to release it unless they receive money. They may even show proof of having researched your social connections as leverage.
  • Demands for Money: The scammer often asks for a specific amount to be sent via an untraceable method like cryptocurrency, wire transfer, or prepaid gift cards. They may promise to delete the explicit content once they receive the payment.
  • Urgency and Fear: Scammers capitalize on fear and urgency. They may set deadlines for payment, pressurizing their victims into making hasty decisions.
  • Continuous Blackmail: Even if a victim pays the initial demand, the scammer may come back asking for more money, using the same explicit content as continued leverage.

Prevention and Protection Against Gay Dating Scams

The digital world offers countless opportunities for connection, but with it comes the necessity for vigilance and self-protection. When navigating the landscape of online dating, it is crucial to arm yourself with knowledge and adopt strategies to guard against potential scams. Here are some effective approaches:

  1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Understanding how these scams operate, the red flags, and the common narratives used by scammers can help you detect a potential scam early.
  2. Protect Your Personal Information: Be cautious when sharing personal or sensitive information. Scammers can use details about your life, job, and relationships to manipulate you or steal your identity.
  3. Verify Their Identity: Utilize online tools and social media to verify the person’s identity. You can use our site to verify your partner. Real people must have a traceable digital footprint. Genuine people should have a traceable digital footprint. Be aware that scammers often use fake photos or details, so if something doesn’t add up, proceed with caution.
  4. Be Wary of Rapid Progression: Genuine relationships take time to develop. Be wary of someone who expresses strong feelings very quickly, especially if they haven’t met you in person.
  5. Never Send Money or Gifts: No matter how convincing the story, never send money, gifts, or personal banking information to anyone you’ve met online.
  6. Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter suspicious activity or believe you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it. You can contact local law enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S., or similar bodies in your country. Also, inform the dating site or app.
  7. Prioritize In-Person Meetings: If it’s safe and possible, prioritize meeting in person before the relationship progresses. Choose a public place and let someone know where you’re going.
  8. Trust Your Gut: Listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to stop communication or report the person. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Remember, the goal of online dating is to form genuine connections. By staying alert and using these strategies, you can protect yourself from scams and focus on finding meaningful relationships.

Navigating the world of online dating requires not only an open heart but also a vigilant eye. The rise of gay dating scams in 2023 is a worrying trend, yet being aware of the prevalent schemes empowers you to detect and avoid these potential pitfalls.

Equipping yourself with knowledge about these scams, along with the techniques to protect yourself, can drastically reduce the risk of falling victim to these exploitative practices. Always remember the core principles of safe online dating: protect your personal information, verify identities, avoid sending money or explicit photos, report suspicious activity, and always trust your instincts.

However, it’s crucial not to let fear overshadow the primary purpose of online dating, which is to connect and build meaningful relationships. By being cautious and vigilant, you can enjoy the journey of online dating while ensuring your safety and well-being. Scammers may be out there, but so are genuine people looking for real connections. Keep safe, stay alert, and happy date!


What are the common types of gay dating scams in 2023?

The common types of gay dating scams include the Sugar Daddy/Momma scam, the Underage Tactics scam, the Birthday Gifts scam, the Transportation scam, the Avoiding Calls scam, and the Explicit Photos scam.

What are some red flags for gay dating scams?

Red flags can include rapid escalation of a relationship, requests for money or gifts, reluctance to meet in person, consistent avoidance of phone or video calls, and requests for explicit content.

How can I protect myself from gay dating scams?

Educating yourself about scams, being cautious with personal information, verifying the identity of your online contact, being wary of rapid progression in a relationship, never sending money or gifts, reporting suspicious activity, prioritizing in-person meetings, and trusting your instincts are all good strategies for protection.

What should I do if I’ve been scammed?

If you believe you’ve been scammed, stop communication with the person immediately, document all interactions if possible, report to the dating platform, and contact your local law enforcement. In the U.S., you should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Can I still find real relationships online despite the scams?

Absolutely. While it’s crucial to be aware of scams, remember that many people successfully find meaningful, genuine relationships online. Stay alert and cautious, but don’t let fear discourage you from seeking connections.