Who wouldn’t jump at the chance for someone to send them thousands of dollars in “allowance” every week? Getting that kind of offer out of the blue seems like a stroke of luck—but it may turn into your worst nightmare if you are not careful.
Some scammers target young students online, hoping to lure them in with big promises with little payback. If someone ever tempted you with a sugar daddy offer, you might be interested to learn how these situations actually play out. We decided to go ahead and respond to a sugar daddy scam. Here’s what happened.
What Is a Sugar Daddy Scam?
“Sugar Daddies” are wealthy, generally older men who make arrangements with attractive younger women. In exchange for the company of the young women, sugar daddies offer compensation through expensive gifts or financial incentives.
For many people, this situation seems like a dream come true. It is especially the case for demographics that typically need money, such as single parents or students—and scammers know this.
They target potentially vulnerable individuals on social media and promise to send a large amount of money. Scammers pretend to be rich people hurting and just looking for some companionship with “no strings attached.”
If this sounds too good to be true to you, that’s because it mostly is. Many people fall victim to these scams because they feel the potential rewards are worth the “small” risk. Before you reply to these offers, let’s look at how these interactions typically go and the point where you put yourself in danger.
What Happens if you Respond to a Sugar Daddy Scam?
There are several different ways in which scammers try to take advantage of their victims. But here’s the path most take.
Invent a Persona
These scammers are pretty creative with the scene they want to set. They won’t just offer you money but will often weave together an entire background story to reel you in.
Although many have different stories, they tend to all share some simple elements.
For one, they want to be conventionally attractive. Scammers may send some pictures of “themselves” or impersonate someone attractive or successful by stealing another’s photos. They may try to highlight how they own a prosperous company or like to indulge in many luxuries.
Secondly, they want to assure you that you are special. Scammers compliment how perfect you are and sometimes even immediately jump to pet names or saying they love you despite having no real explanation for how they found you.
Finally, they try to spin a story to make you feel bad for them. They may be a widow or recently suffered some horrible break-up. They often talk about how their last “sugar baby” scammed them when they created these arrangements in the recent past.
Point Out a Catch
They offer ridiculous amounts of money for nothing but attention. In our case, “Joseph” offered $2,000 a week. All we had to do was pay this small, one-time processing fee of $100, and he would even forward us some extra money to cover the fee.
Joseph wanted to use Cash App, and when we asked about other secure payment methods, like PayPal, he was unable to accommodate anything else. When pressed about the fee, he insisted it was all up to his colleague to handle.
All he needed to get it started was a Cash App handle and the associated email. Of course, it seemed like such a steal, we set up an account on a spam email and gave it a try.
Shortly after sharing our information, he sent a screenshot supposedly proving he’d sent the money. In fact, this was not a screenshot showing he’d sent it; just a screenshot he was prompting his app to add us into his address book.
Shortly after his screenshot, he asked us to check my email, and, sure enough, there was a message from “Cash App” themselves.
Although they used the Cash App logo as a profile picture and used a template in line with the fonts and colors of the company, it was pretty clear that the email was not legitimate.
The email address contained many numbers and had a Gmail domain, red flags of fraudulent emails. Another clear sign something was off was that they offered a phone number, which had an area code that did not line up with any American number, despite the fact he claimed he lived there.
The message also detailed instructions on paying the fee, which included sending money to another random Cash App account.
Be aware that services like Cash App or PayPal would never hold transactions for a processing fee.
Try to Compromise
We let him know upon revisiting the situation that we did not have enough money. We only had a little over $30 in our account, which could not cover the alleged transaction fee (this is a classic Cash App scam).
He told us that was enough, and he would let his colleague know; all we had to do was send all we had in our account, and it would be fine. He would even send $3,000 for the trouble…
Sugar Daddy Scams: What Could Go Wrong?
We were careful only to provide a fake email address and never exchange any personal information. For us, all we lost from the experience was an hour of our life.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets away from these situations so easily. People who pay the fees—or worse, hand over their private information—can get in a lot of trouble.
You end up losing money. If you’re lucky, it will only be the fee you hand over. It’s difficult to get this money back once it is lost.
These scammers tend to use multiple accounts (both on the payment apps and social media profiles). Instead of expecting officials to hold potential scammers accountable if it doesn’t work out, you should avoid falling for the scams at all.
Should I Respond to Sugar Daddy Messages?
It’s not a great idea to respond to any of these potential sugar daddy scams. While it may give you a good laugh, one wrong move and you end up in hot water.
If you decide to respond, keep an eye out for red flags and never give out any of your personal information (or money). Sometimes, these long-haul scams can stretch on for months.
Don’t fall for fake sugar daddy or sugar momma scams that could leave you in greater financial hardship.
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