Sugar baby scams are becoming increasingly common as scammers prey on individuals seeking a mutually beneficial relationship. There are several red flags to watch out for when trying to spot a fake sugar baby scam, including:
- They ask for an allowance before you meet in person.
- The first meeting is delayed repeatedly.
- Photos are fake, and they have many excuses not to video chat with you.
- They act like gaining your trust is their only goal.
- They are ready to promise anything just to get your money.
- Information in their profile is in very poor English, and their messages look and sound weird.
- They ask for money without doing anything.
- They ask for a lot of personal information about you–personal, financial, etc.
At Minc Law, we have extensive experience working with clients to combat sugar baby scams and internet blackmail head-on. While we do not necessarily condone these types of relationships, we are committed to helping victims of sugar baby blackmail and sextortion scams take control of the situation, identify effective strategies to put an end to the harassment, and minimize drawing unwanted attention to this sensitive matter.
In this article, we will explore the signs and tactics used by fake sugar baby scammers and provide practical tips on how to spot and avoid these scams. By understanding the warning signs and being proactive, you can avoid becoming a victim of these types of scams.
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What Does a Typical Sugar Baby Relationship Look Like?
A typical sugar baby relationship often involves a mutually beneficial arrangement where a younger person, known as a sugar baby, receives financial support or gifts from an older person, known as a sugar daddy or sugar momma, in exchange for companionship, intimacy, or other forms of attention.
SeekingArrangement.com, now known as Seeking.com, was established in 2006 and has amassed over 20 million users. Seeking.com also maintains a U.S. student debt clock that continues to approach $1.7 trillion. With income disparities and financial struggles becoming more prominent among millennials, sugar baby sites are becoming increasingly popular.
Despite concerns about the nature of these relationships, more and more college students and recent graduates are turning to sugar daddies and sugar mommas as a practical way to address their mounting student debt.
What Exactly is a Sugar Baby?
A sugar baby is typically a younger person who receives financial support or gifts from an older person in exchange for companionship or intimacy. This type of relationship, also known as sugar dating or sugaring, often begins online through websites or social media platforms and can involve in-person meetings over a longer period of time.
Unlike traditional online scams, sugar baby relationships are often seen by both parties as mutually beneficial and can last as long as both parties remain interested, and the perceived benefits continue to be mutually met.
What Exactly Do Sugar Babies Do?
Sugar babies typically seek financial support from an older partner. They are often young and attractive and may be looking for access to a more luxurious lifestyle. Although the term “sugar daddy” typically refers to older, financially successful men seeking young women, people of all gender identities can and do participate in sugar dating.
Sugar dating can take various forms, ranging from intimate, long-term relationships to more casual and platonic relationships, which may even turn into mentoring relationships. Some sugar baby relationships may involve in-person interactions, while others may be conducted entirely online.
Compensation for sugar babies can range from being paid for dates to receiving payment for phone conversations or other forms of intimacy. Compensation may be in the form of money, payment of living expenses, or gifts of varying worth.
Common Types of Sugar Baby Scams to Know
Sugar baby scams have become increasingly popular in recent years. The pandemic served as a catalyst for this trend, as many people were out of work and needed money. Unfortunately, this has also led to a growing number of fraud cases and victims being financially exploited.
Below, we will take a closer look at some of the most common types of sugar baby scams.
Why Sugar Baby Scams are So Common
Sugar baby scams are common for several reasons, including the fact that dating scams, in general, have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost more money on dating scams in 2020 than on any other type of scam, with losses reaching $304 million.
The pandemic has contributed to this rise, as scammers took advantage of people’s inability to meet in person by creating fake profiles using stolen photos or identities.
Popular Sugar Baby Scams to Keep an Eye Out For
Although sugar babies are more likely to come across fake sugar daddies, this does not mean that sugar daddies are entirely immune to being scammed. Scammers know that genuine sugar daddies have money, which is all they need to exploit their victims.
As such, one must be aware of the most common types of sugar baby scammers when contemplating searching for a sugar relationship on a website.
Real Sugar Babies Gone Sour
This refers to situations where a sugar baby seeks revenge after a breakup by threatening to reveal your secret to friends and family or claiming to be underage and threatening to report you to the police, even if they previously stated they were of legal age.
Some sugar babies may attempt to steal money or assets through the information obtained from being in the relationship. These actions are all aimed at extracting more money from their former partner before the end of the relationship.
Real Sugar Babies Who Were Never Going to Meet You in Person
Another common sugar baby scam involves real sugar babies who are not interested in stealing money directly. Instead, they engage with sugar daddies, earn their trust, and flirt with them, but ultimately have no intention of entering into a physical relationship. They may persuade the sugar daddy to send them money by falsely claiming they need it to pay bills or help a sick family member.
Even though it may appear as though they will eventually meet in person, the sugar baby will continue to make excuses, and a physical meeting will never materialize.
This common sugar baby scam involves fraudsters who create fake profiles by stealing photos and other personal information to make their accounts look authentic and appealing.
However, their sole intention is to convince sugar daddies to send them money via PayPal, e-wallets, or, in some cases, obtain their bank account details. These scammers have no interest in entering into any genuine relationship and use fake identities solely for financial gain.
A Blackmailing Scammer
Another common sugar baby scam involves fraudsters who pose as real sugar babies by creating an attractive account with photos and videos of attractive women. They may engage in teasing or sexual conversations to encourage sugar daddies to send explicit pictures or videos.
However, once the sugar daddy has provided such material, the scammer will then begin to blackmail them, threatening to expose the pictures or videos if they do not pay a significant sum of money.
If you have sent intimate photos or content of yourself to a sugar baby, please see our guide explaining what to do if someone is blackmailing you with nude photos.
The Potential Damage a Sugar Baby Scam Can Cause
Victims of sugar baby scams can experience devastating effects if the scam is not addressed promptly. These effects may include mental and emotional trauma, as well as financial losses.
In some cases, victims may feel coerced into taking drastic measures, such as draining their bank accounts to pay off the scammer, which can ultimately exacerbate the situation.
A sugar baby scam can cause a wide range of potential damage, including:
- Threats to your job: a fake sugar baby may know your job and use this information to blackmail you.
- Risk to your family: a scammer may find out sensitive information about your family, such as the fact that you have a wife and children, and use this against you.
- Identity theft: some sugar daddies may give their sugar babies access to their finances or credit cards, which can put them at risk of identity theft.
- Financial loss: a scammer may trick you into giving them money or access to your bank accounts, leading to financial ruin.
- Damage to your reputation: a scammer may contact your friends and family and share intimate conversations or other information about your relationship, potentially causing personal and professional damage.
The Statistics: The Damage Done by Fake Sugar Babies
Romance scams in the U.S. are a serious problem, with losses increasing from $200 million in 2019 to $304 million in 2020. On average, individuals lost around $2,500 to these scams in 2020, and some men have reported losing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. While not all romance scam victims are sugar daddies or sugar babies, the ease with which scammers can find victims in the sugar relationship world makes it a significant concern.
Traditional dating and mail-order bride sites generally involve relationships that are not about money, whereas sugar dating is focused on cash payments or even a weekly allowance. Therefore, when scammers ask for money on sugar daddy sites, it may not raise a red flag, while the same request on a non-sugar dating site would be considered a major warning sign.
How to Spot Sugar Baby Scams: Common Signs to Look For
If you are looking for a sugar relationship, it is important to know the signs of a potential sugar baby scam. Some common signs to look for include overly aggressive or insistent behavior, a reluctance to meet in person, and requests for money or financial information early on in the relationship.
In the following section, we will delve into these and other warning signs in more detail.
The Common Signs to Look Out For That The Relationship May Not Be What You Expect
If you are in a sugar relationship, it is crucial to be aware of the signs early on that the relationship may not be what you expected. Some common red flags to look out for (if you personally know your sugar baby) include threats to reveal intimate details and excessive demands or requests that go beyond what was initially agreed upon.
If you are involved with a sugar baby you do not know well, it is especially important to be cautious and watch for signs of manipulation or exploitation. For example, if a potential sugar baby asks for a weekly allowance before meeting in person, it could be a red flag. Real sugar babies typically take payment for a date at the beginning of a relationship to protect themselves from fake sugar daddies. However, they typically do not ask for an allowance before a real date.
Another warning sign is if the first meeting is repeatedly delayed, as this could indicate that the sugar baby is not genuine. Some virtual sugar babies may make empty promises to meet in the future but never actually follow through. Additionally, if a sugar baby’s photos are fake and they make excuses not to video chat or meet in person, it could be a sign of deception.
Video: How to Handle Being Blackmailed by Your Sugar Baby
Other warning signs include constant requests for money, promises that seem too good to be true, poor English language skills, and stories of emergencies or stolen credit cards. By staying vigilant and paying attention to these warning signs, you can help protect yourself from being taken advantage of in a sugar relationship.
Is Being A Sugar Daddy Against The Law?
When it comes to being a sugar daddy, paying for companionship is not punishable by law, and the act of being a sugar daddy itself is not unlawful. However, there is a caveat to this – sugar relationships must involve companionship to remain within the bounds of the law.
Companionship is legal and what separates sugar dating from prostitution. As long as a young woman is providing companionship and not just engaging in sexual activities with a sugar daddy, she will not be considered a sex worker.
Despite this legal distinction, sugar dating can still be considered a gray area because it does involve sexual intimacy. However, it is essential to note that sugar babies are not prostitutes – they offer a relationship with sex for money and gifts rather than just sexual conduct for money. As a result, sexual intimacy is not the only goal or service being offered in a sugar relationship.
Steps to Take If You Are Being Scammed By A Sugar Baby
If you find yourself being scammed by a sugar baby, it can be a challenging and overwhelming situation to navigate. It can be difficult to know where to turn or who to trust, especially if the scam has progressed to blackmail.
What Should You Do If You Have Already Been Scammed by a Fake Sugar Baby?
Block the Account of the Scammer
If you have fallen victim to a fake sugar baby scam, blocking the scammer’s account as soon as possible is vital to prevent any further contact or harm.
Report the Scammer to the Platform
In addition to blocking the account of a fake sugar baby scammer, it is important to report them to the platform you were using to seek out the sugar relationship.
This will not only help prevent others from falling victim to the same scam, but it may also aid in identifying and stopping the scammer.
Be Aware of the “Recovery Scam”
It is important to be aware of the recovery scam if you have been scammed by a fake sugar baby. This is when the scammer contacts you posing as Interpol of the FBI, and requests payment to retrieve your money, which is a ploy to scam you further.
Cancel Any Credit Cards That You Shared
If you have been scammed, you should cancel any credit cards or add extra security measures to them if you shared them with the scammer to prevent further financial losses or unauthorized charges.
Lock Down Your Social Media Presence
It is also crucial to lock down your social media presence as scammers often use social media to gather personal information about their targets and can use this information to perpetrate other scams or identity theft.
This can involve tightening privacy settings, removing personal information, and being cautious about accepting friend requests from unfamiliar individuals.
For further reading, please see our guide explaining what to do if you are the target of Instagram blackmail.
Preserve All Evidence of Blackmail
Additionally, preserve all evidence of blackmail, as it may be helpful in pursuing legal action against the scammer. For example, keep records of all messages, emails, and financial transactions.
Reach Out to a Qualified Internet Attorney
It is also advisable to contact a qualified internet attorney who can provide legal guidance on your rights, options, and the best course of action to take in your particular case. They can also help you navigate the complex legal and technical aspects of internet fraud and work to protect your interests and privacy.
For further reading, we recommend checking out our comprehensive guide explaining how to deal with blackmail.
What Should You NOT Do If You are the Target of a Scam?
Act Out of Panic
If you are the target of a scam, do not act out of panic, as scammers often use fear and urgency to pressure their victims into making hasty and unwise decisions.
It is better to take a step back, gather all relevant information, and seek guidance from trusted sources or professionals to ensure you make informed and rational choices.
Communicate With (or Threaten) the Scammer
It is important not to communicate with or threaten the scammer as it can worsen the situation and lead to more problems.
Give In to Their Demands
Do not give in to the scammer’s demands, as it can encourage them to continue their fraudulent activities and can lead to further financial losses and harm.
Try Controlling the Damage By Releasing the Compromising Content Yourself
If the scam involves compromising content, do not try to do damage control by releasing the content yourself, as this can lead to further harm and may not solve the problem.
Should You Contact The Authorities?
If a sugar baby has scammed you, it is important to consider whether or not to contact the authorities. Depending on the nature and severity of the scam, contacting law enforcement may be an appropriate step to protect yourself and others from falling prey to the same scam.
It may also be wise to contact an attorney with experience in internet fraud or cybercrime to get legal guidance and support in navigating the complex legal aspects of such cases.
When contacting law enforcement, it is important to have a well-documented file of all evidence related to the scam, including messages, emails, financial transactions, and any other relevant information. This will help the authorities investigate and prosecute the scammer and potentially recover any losses incurred due to the scam.
However, it is important also to consider the potential risks of contacting law enforcement, as this can draw more attention to the situation and potentially cause further harm or embarrassment.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to contact the authorities is a personal one that depends on the specific circumstances of your case. It is important to prioritize your safety and well-being and seek guidance from trusted professionals to make informed and rational choices.
How to Avoid Being Scammed on Sugar Baby Sites
There are plenty of preemptive steps you can take to avoid falling victim to sugar baby scams besides understanding common sugar baby scams.
It is essential to protect yourself online at all times by taking measures such as verifying the identity of the sugar baby, setting clear boundaries and expectations, being cautious with personal information, and avoiding sending money without verifying the legitimacy of the relationship.
How Can I Use Sugar Baby Sites Safely?
While anyone can fall victim to fraudsters, some rules of safe dating can help minimize the risk of being scammed online. By following these rules, you can better protect yourself and avoid falling prey to scammers.
Use a Reputable Platform
To increase your chances of finding a legitimate sugar relationship, use a reputable and safe platform such as Secret Benefits or SugarDaddy.com. However, with so many sites and apps connecting sugar babies and sugar daddies, choosing the right one can be a challenge.
Before settling on a dating app or site, take the time to research and evaluate it carefully. Look for platforms that prioritize reputation and have robust moderation policies in place to screen and remove fake profiles created by scammers.
Do Not Provide Personal Information
Another important rule of safe sugar dating is to never provide personal information to anyone you have met on a sugar dating website. This includes information such as your full name, address, phone number, or financial information. Scammers often use personal information to steal identities, commit fraud, or blackmail their victims.
Be cautious and protect your privacy by limiting the amount of personal information you share online. It is also a good idea to use a pseudonym until you have established trust with your potential sugar baby or sugar daddy.
Never Disclose Your Bank Information
A crucial aspect of protecting yourself while engaging in sugar dating is to never disclose your bank information to anyone you have met on a sugar dating website. This includes sensitive financial information such as bank account numbers, credit card details, or passwords. Scammers may attempt to trick you into revealing this information to steal your money or commit other types of fraud.
If someone you meet on a sugar dating website asks for this information, it should be considered a red flag, and you should discontinue communication with them immediately.
Do Not Send Money to Someone You Have Not Met
Never send money to someone you have not met in real life. Although sugar dating may involve financial transactions between consenting individuals, these transactions should only occur when trust and rapport have been established in person.
Scammers may use emotional manipulation, blackmail, or other tactics to convince you to send them money before meeting or establishing a genuine relationship. To avoid being scammed, exercise caution and only engage in financial transactions when you have met the person and established a degree of mutual trust and respect.
Do Not Send Explicit Images or Videos to a Stranger
Scammers may try to coerce you into sending compromising images or videos as a way to blackmail or exploit you. Once these images or videos are in the hands of a scammer, you lose control over them, and they can be used to extort you.
To best protect yourself, avoid sending any explicit content to anyone you have not met in person.
Other Tips to Avoid Being Scammed by a Sugar Baby
Set Social Media Accounts to Private
It is always a good idea to keep your social media accounts as private as possible when engaging in sugar dating. It is important to review your social media privacy settings carefully to manage what appears on your profile, who can view your posts, and who can tag you.
This will help you avoid potentially embarrassing or damaging information being shared publicly or with individuals who may have ulterior motives.
Do Not Open Attachments from People You Do Not Know
Another important rule to follow when engaging in sugar dating is to be cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on links, as they can contain viruses and malware that can compromise your device’s security and give scammers access to your personal information.
Avoid Engaging While in a Vulnerable State
Maintaining a clear and focused mind is essential to protect yourself from potential dangers. It is important to be cautious when engaging with strangers online and to avoid communicating when feeling emotionally vulnerable, such as after drinking or a recent breakup.
The internet can be risky, and being alert and attentive when engaging with strangers can help you avoid scams and keep yourself safe.
Turn Off Electronic Devices & Webcams When Not in Use
Protecting your devices and privacy is crucial, especially in the world of sugar dating, where scammers may attempt to compromise your information. To avoid threats like hackers gaining access to your devices and compromising your privacy, be sure to turn off your devices and webcams when not in use.
Also, consider covering your webcams with a piece of tape or paper if you are not using them.
Do Not Send Intimate Images or Videos of Yourself
To avoid falling victim to scams, the best practice is to avoid sending any explicit photos or videos of yourself, regardless of how close you feel to your sugar baby or sugar daddy.
How Can Your Dating Profile Give Away Too Much Sensitive Info?
When using sugar dating websites, scammers may use the information provided in your profile to create a fake persona and gain your trust. This includes your name, age, location, personal interests, occupation, education, financial status, sexual preferences, pictures, and emotional state.
To protect yourself, it is best to omit or obscure as much of this information as possible on your dating profile, such as hiding your last name or not displaying pictures that show off an extravagant lifestyle.
We Can Help With Sugar Baby Blackmail
If you are being blackmailed by a sugar baby or online scammer, it can be difficult to know where to seek help or what steps to take to put an end to this harassment.
At Minc Law, we can help. We have extensive experience working with victims of sugar baby blackmail and sextortion to take control of the situation, identify the most effective strategies to put an end to the blackmail, and minimize the chances of drawing unwanted attention to the matter. In cases where a sugar baby or scammer has published your intimate content online, we can help remove it.
“Michele Simonelli recently helped me with an sextortion case. Due to the escalating nature of the situation, she promptly moved a previously scheduled meeting forward, and took immediate action to help mitigate the threat. As anyone facing these type situations knows, it’s extraordinarily agonizing, and one cannot even think logically. Michele was reassuring, and extremely responsive to my texts and phone calls, and also appeared non-judgemental. There’s no way to know the outcome had I not used her services, however, the backing of her and the firm gave me enough confidence/hope to get through the situation, with what appears to be a successful outcome. Thank you Michele for your professionalism, responsiveness and kindness! I highly recommend this firm and particularly Michele.”
Aug 18, 2022
If you would like to explore your legal options for combating sugar baby blackmail, schedule your consultation today by calling us at (216) 373-7706, speaking with a Chat representative, or filling out our online contact form.