In today’s article, we’ll be explaining the sugar daddy scam, which — as you can imagine — involves fake sugar daddies promising their victims gifts and money in order to get them to share their personal information or even money. Let us start by examining sugar daddies and sugar mommas, cause yes – they also exist.
Who are fake sugar daddies and sugar mommas?
These two are nothing but scammers pretending to be rich people who want to support a younger person financially in return for companionship. However, their real goal is to get personal information and even money from their victims.
Fake sugar daddies and sugar mommas target young people in search of a job and/or desire a luxurious lifestyle. They tend to hide their true identity under a fake profile while keeping all communication online.
Some of the promises these scammers will make include covering your debts, a weekly allowance, or simply spending money on you.
After they gain some trust, they proceed to trick their victim out of their money.
How does a sugar daddy scam work?
After they find their targets — cause they do this on a scale — they send messages to potential victims. Here’s how they do it:
1. Make contact on social media. They create fake profiles and use other people’s photos to support the illusion of a wealthy lifestyle. Then, they send messages to many young women and men to offer them money and gifts for dates and other relationship benefits.
2. It’s all about trust. Their idea is to engage you in a conversation by asking some questions and sharing their fake personal story. Along the way, they may also send some fake proofs of their intention and could, for instance, share screenshots of previous transactions they made with people like you. Needless to say, this “proof” can be easily fabricated, and it is fake.
3. Ask for an upfront payment. This is where their scam gets its true form. In order to “validate your account” or “cover transaction fees,” they will ask for an upfront payment, which is relatively small compared to the real sum you’ll get once you accept their deal. However, the moment you send them that money — chances are they will disappear. In many cases, this request comes in the form of a gift card, which is hard to trace.
4. Make a fake transaction. In case you need additional proof, some sugar daddies and sugar mommas will even make a transaction toward your account. They could use a stolen credit card for this or issue a check that will bounce because there are insufficient funds in the account. If they used a credit card, they may even ask for a portion of the money back on a different account. Believing they’ve just been paid, the victim will transfer the smaller amount without thinking twice. However, when the stolen credit card is blocked, and the bank cancels the initial payment (or when the fake check bounces), the victim ends up gaining nothing and losing that small amount.
5. Getting the victim’s personal and financial information. If they don’t ask for money, they could ask for your personal information and misuse it in a number of ways. Credit card details are what they’re up for, but they’ll take whatever they can get.
Now that you know how this works let us explore…
Where do sugar daddy scammers congregate?
Basically, where there are young people – you’ll find sugar daddies and sugar mommas. In that sense, you will find them on:
- Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. As noted above, the scam begins with a simple message that is sent to many users looking for an answer to start the conversation. That conversation may then be moved to a different app like WhatsApp.
- Dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. These are also the platforms that sugar daddy scammers frequent, targeting people looking for a date. There, they also search for young and naive users.
- Forums and messaging apps such as Reddit, Whatsapp, and FB Messenger. Again, messaging apps with groups where young people come is also the place where sugar daddies will be.
Which payment methods do these scammers use?
We were surprised to learn that sugar daddies and sugar mommas are rather prolific regarding payment options. Several reports from across the Interwebs suggest they will take all kinds of payment options, including PayPal, gift and prepaid cards, Cash App, and, of course, cryptocurrencies — which are notoriously hard to trace.
How can you know that someone is a sugar daddy and a sugar momma?
You can easily tell that a person is a sugar daddy or sugar momma:
- They offer you money. There is no such thing as free lunch, let alone free money. Yes, it sounds too good to be true because it is. Simply ignore such messages and report them if you can.
- They only send you direct messages. And you don’t know them. Also, they don’t want to move to other channels like phone calls or video calls, let alone meet in person. That’s fishy.
- Their profile looks too polished. And you know why that’s so – because it’s fake. They also tend to have just a few friends, which is because they have a (relatively) new account. Their previous account(s) may have been blocked or removed.
- They ask for money. Or they ask for gift cards or crypto. If they really are a sugar daddy or sugar momma, they don’t need your money, and they could easily cover “transaction costs” and all associated costs.
- They ask you to provide personal information. Even worse, they ask for your credit card or bank account details. Not even your bank clerk will ask for this information in a text message. So yes, you can ignore such messages.
Alas, say you weren’t too careful, and you ended up as a victim…
What can you do if you’ve become a victim of a sugar daddy scam?
The sad truth is that, in many cases, you won’t be able to recover your funds. You can:
- Report the case to the authorities — including the FTC, FBI, and the police — and the social media network where you met the fake sugar daddy. They may be able to take action to track that person down and try to prevent further criminal activity.
- Write it all down. You will have to provide the details to the authorities and everyone else who will be responsible for your case. Make sure to have those details ready when they ask for them.
- Inform your credit card company in case you’ve sent them money with your credit card. You may even have to block your card and bank account and even change your passwords (if you provided that information to the sugar daddy scammer).
However, the best defense is NOT to be in the position to have to deal with all this. Use your brain, and don’t be fooled that easily. Read before you click, and NEVER trust anyone offering you something for (virtually) nothing. And, of course, use a VPN. We had to add that there. 😉