Picture this, you open your inbox and find a message from an older woman wanting to shower you with gifts and money. It sounds almost too good to be true, and unfortunately, it is most of the time.
If you're a young man and you find yourself being scammed or want to avoid falling victim to fake sugar moms, keep reading our experts' insights to learn the best tips and tricks to avoid scams.
Sugar mommas (or sugar mummy, as they like to say across the pond) are usually affluent, older women who are looking for a sugar baby to spoil. The spoiling can include a weekly allowance, extra money, and lavish gifts.
All sugar relationships have money involved, but there are a few different levels. Here we've compiled a short list of the different sugar dating types:
One of the many sugar relationships is the romantic side. A lot of younger men fall into the romance scam with this one.
This kind of relationship usually requires more than just talking on the dating site. A lot of times, you'll go on dates, reveal a little bit more personal information about yourself, give your Cash App, and more - only to find everything hacked and stolen with no recourse. That's another reason you have to be vigilant with things like this!
The second and most popular type of sugar dating is the sexual relationship. A lot of times, you'll receive sugar momma pay for things like sex and other vulnerable activities. It's because of this that a lot of people consider this line of work as sex work, especially if they send money immediately after sex.
Often, men agree to be a sugar baby mostly for sex. Remember to clear your head and think before giving any information or sending money to these contacts.
The last kind of sugar relationship is platonic. These relationships are strictly friendship-based. Meaning that there are no sex or romantic exchanges. You can still make money (and get scammed) from relationships like these.
Unfortunately, a lot of sugar babies have been scammed by fake sugar mommas. The story of one victim might be different from another since sugar mama scammers have many different ways of stealing money from you, but almost all of them get tricked by the promise of sex and cash.
There are quite a few things that can indicate that a sugar momma is, in fact, a con artist and not a real person. Listed below are the three most damning things that indicate a sugar momma scam can indicate.
The first red flag is an account with no pictures. If you're using a dating or social media site or sugar baby site, many scammers will use fake profiles with no pictures, or have stolen pictures from someone else. Scammers steal photos often, but figuring out if they are stolen is easy nowadays.
You can easily search online (Google Images) and do a reverse image lookup to see if that photo has been used anywhere else. Just copy the image to your clipboard and paste it into the Google search bar. The online search will let you know if the picture has been used on another social media app.
The second indication that you're being scammed is if they ask you for your financial information. If they ask you for your credit card number or government ID numbers, bank account info, a bank transfer, personally identifiable information, or personal money (like several hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars,) run! If you send them money, you likely will never get it back.
If a scammer asks for any of these things, cut off contact. A popular sugar mama scammer tactic is to ask for a sugar baby's Cash App and ask for a small number of funds to "prove you're real." Don't ever send the funds until the scammer sends money.
If they're legit and the funds make it to you, then you might be dealing with a real sugar momma (or sugar daddy.) If not, then you've just made a new needy friend.
The third indication that you're being scammed is if you never received the agreed-upon funds. When dating profiles never send money and only ask for money, then you know they aren't the real deal.
Most sugar mamas and sugar daddies have a fixed income or an income high enough to spend it willy-nilly. They should be offering money to you on a regular basis, not the other way around.
A con artist may try to convince you that there are several thousand dollars heading your way. This is just the scammer stalling, and they'll almost never transfer money to you. This is how a lot of scammers trick victims. Unfortunately, there's no Better Business Bureau (BBB) scam tracker for people like this.
If you make it to the part where you meet your sugar momma in real life, and you're still not sure if this is a romance scam or not, then do the following:
One of the best ways to tell if you're getting scammed is if you meet in real life and something is off. Many sugar mommas won't hide the fact that they're wealthy. If they seem sketchy or flaky, then you might be barking up the wrong tree.
If you never met in person or they refuse to meet, you're sugar mama or sugar daddy might not actually be a sugar mama or sugar daddy.
Another tell-tale sign that you're the victim of a sugar momma scam or check scams is if they seem overly generous on either the dating or social media site you're on or in real life. Sugar dating is supposed to be profitable for the sugar baby, but you know someone desperate when you see it.
If a sugar mama or sugar daddy gives you their bank account number, card number or government ID, banking info, credit card number, sensitive personal information, or promises an insane amount of weekly allowance, they could be using someone else identity and not sending you their own personal money.
In a new twist on the way an existing scam works, they can even send you money only to charge it back from the credit card company, which then charges you penalties.
If you have an outstanding bill or debt, a lot of scammers will prey on this and try to promise you money they don't have to. Don't fall for it!
Victims report how scammers trick victims by making them think they're in good hands. One victim may have had a different experience than another, but the message is still the same. If they seem a bit on the controlling side or expect you to do things you've explicitly said you're not comfortable with, you should dip!
A lot of the time, in situations like this, if a victim told the police or if a victim reported the scammer, the scammer claimed something else happened entirely. That's another reason you must be vigilant. There's not much protecting you from these kinds of people.
If your sugar mom never wants to deposit money into your account, claims they lost money, is controlling, or seems over-generous, it's probably best you take a step back from the 'sugar mom' as they're most likely a scammer.
Make sure you keep our tips in mind when going out and earning your bag!