Monthly payment, trips to topical locations on a whim, the sugar lifestyle can sometimes seem too good to be true. And well, sometimes it is! Whether you're just getting started or consider yourself a seasoned sugar baby, keep yourself (and your bank account) safe from the sugar daddy scammer.
So how do you weed out a payment scam from a legitimate generous offer? Determine between windfalls of real money and shadowy illusion?
This article will help ensure you don't fall victim to the underbelly of the internet. You'll learn tips on how to stay alert, identify red flags, and avoid sugar daddy scams.
Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby relationships occur when a successful older man financially supports a younger person (usually a woman but men can be sugar babies too). Sugar daddies often send gifts or money via online transactions to their respective sugar babies, who provide attention and companionship.
Sugar momma relationships are also a thing, albeit less common, so we'll be using the term sugar daddy throughout this article.
It's an agreement that works well for both consenting parties, so the trouble isn't in the sugar relationship itself. Many young women consider paid arrangements a very viable option while trying to build financial freedom.
But it's a grey area, and most women who have decided on this lifestyle keep their pursuits to themselves. This tendency to not reach out for support combined with negotiations with a stranger does mean that it comes with risk.
Because whenever we say "Online Transaction," you better believe that sparks the attention of sly scammers worldwide. A promise of lofty sums quickly becomes a polite request for banking information, a confusing message about your cash app, and you're worse off than when you started.
Sugar Daddy scams occur almost exclusively through social media. A scammer will slide in your DMs on Instagram or send a private message on dating sites to strike up a conversation.
They offer to be your sugar daddy and mention how they plan to "spoil" or pay cash monthly in exchange for your companionship. But then, things start to get dicey. The scams can deviate from here, so we've listed the most common examples below.
This scam is the most financially destructive. Credential chasers are after the holy grail: Your bank information. They'll falsely claim that they need all your data to transfer money into your account.
Once you communicate that you're game to receive $5,000 a month, the account will ask for a small token of "proof" to verify YOU'RE not a scammer. It's reverse psychology, and it works far too often.
A bright red flag waves tall when a self-proclaimed sugar daddy says that to add you to his payroll system, he needs verification for his "accountant" that you're not a scammer. It will just take a small payment of twenty-five dollars to activate. And after that? Free money every month!
This example is catfishing you the old-fashioned way. The grandpa from Wyoming steals pictures of bigshots he finds on Facebook and poses as a successful catch. The main prerogative is usually to elicit photos and engagement from you. While you won't likely lose money to this type of scammer, you will waste your time.
In a sugar daddy scam, hopeful young people essentially get catfished in the worst way. First, they waste time talking to a fraudster (and time is money). And second, if they share their banking information or send a pre-paid gift card as a symbol of being "trustworthy," they pay money in the process. Sometimes LOTS of it.
You can imagine how falling victim to such a scam will feel deflating, especially if you're a young woman still finding her place in the world. What's more, there's no lack of judgment surrounding this lifestyle choice. The sugar baby is often too ashamed to report what happened and won't reach out to friends or family for support.
While anyone can be a sugar baby, it most often appeals to Gen Z or millennial women. They are most at risk. It can feel counterintuitive because these generations have the best handle on social media, but you'd be surprised how many young people fall for it.
The gap that likely needs to be bridged is literacy in financial safety. Online scammers prey on this lack of knowledge and know how to play the game to secure payment. If you don't have decent life experience in safe financial practices, you'll want to be extra careful when negotiating money with any prospective sugar daddy.
To avoid losing time and paying money to sugar daddy scams, there are a few key signifiers that your night in shining sugar daddy is a con with zero intention of actually providing support. Pay attention to the following to avoid fake sugar daddies or sugar momma scams:
Is the wealthy guy frequenting your text messages for real? Don't just take his word for it and end up with stolen credit card information. Put on your scrutiny hat and dig a little, baby!
Try requesting a specific photo of him. Whether he writes your name on a piece of paper and takes a selfie with it or holds up eight fingers, you're verifying the man behind his online presence. Fake accounts send fake checks, so it's a priority that you know he's real.
Sugar daddies can get scammed just the same by falling for fake sugar, but the tactics look a little different. These scams most often involve a classic case of catfishing. While these men may receive even less sympathy for being exploited for money, it's important to point out that their hopes for connection are valid too.
In a sugar baby scam, the scammer will steal other women's pictures to create a fake identity and online account. You think you've received a message from a real bombshell on Instagram, but your hopes of meeting up in person never come to fruition. Instead, prepare to receive endless excuses followed by another request for payment.
Sugar daddies also need to be careful of blackmail. The threat of being exposed to their family is appeased only when they pay more (and more) cash.
Anything can happen when relationships, funds, and social media are involved. So it's important to point out that a good sugar relationship feels secure. Both parties are happy, heard, and respected. It follows the course of any healthy relationship, and nobody becomes the victim.
If you find that this isn't your experience, it's crucial to rethink your arrangement and confirm that you're not falling victim to a sugar daddy scam.