HI5 DOES NOT CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS. PLEASE BE SAFE WHEN INTERACTING WITH USERS.
Safety and Meeting People Offline
- Take caution when communicating with strangers and be careful about the information you provide
- Never include your last name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, place of work, or any other identifiable information in your profile or messages
- Stop communicating with anyone that pressures you for personal or financial information
- If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting, always tell a friend or family member where you are going and when you will return, meet in a public place with many people around, provide your own transportation, do not agree to being picked up at your home
Dating and romance scammers lower your defenses by appealing to your romantic or compassionate side. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
Common Warning Signs:
- The person you just met asks to chat outside of hi5, using email or instant messaging applications or Skype
- They write about how meeting you is "fate" or "destiny"
- Their writing is crude; spelling and grammatical errors abound. They start with a generic message, often calling you "Dear" or "Pretty"
- They claim to be from the United States but are "working" overseas
- They ask for money
- They often state they are a widow with a small child to care for
- They often state they are trying to get home when their deployment is over, but there is a difficulty that you can help them with
- The scams often involve carefully worded romantic requests for money from the victim to purchase special laptop computers, international telephones, military leave papers, and transportation fees to be used by the fictitious “deployed Soldier” so their false relationship can continue.
- DON’T EVER SEND MONEY!
Common Scammer Characteristics/Behaviors
- Contact is at unusual hours for your time zone (they are often in Africa)
- If you ask them complex or direct question, they often go offline.
- They tend to ignore personal questions you post, keeping things generic
- The details they give you are often different from what was stated on their profile, one of the more common inconsistencies is giving different answers to is their birth date, height/weight, and age etc.
- They often misspell the cities/towns they claim they are from and are unfamiliar with any of the local landmarks and attractions
Recently, military scams have become more popular. Scammers steal pictures of members of the military and contact people on different dating sites. They abuse the trust people normally have for the integrity and credibility of men and women serving their country. They have even been known to steal and abuse pictures of fallen heroes.