Common scams & digital safety tips
While we’re working hard to increase safety measures on Lex, it’s helpful to know what common scams look like.
Common scams to watch for
1. Event ticket scams
When there's a big show coming up in your city, there's often a mix of real resellers and fake ones who respond to requests for tickets. Be vigilant before sending money to a stranger on Lex, as there's a good chance they could ghost you after receiving your money.
Here are some red flags to look out for:
- they only have one (or no) recently published Lex post on their profile
- their Venmo, CashApp, or email address is inconsistent with their name on Lex
- they don't have an Insta linked, or if they do, it has very few followers or posts
We suggest you stick to ticketing apps like Dice to more safely return & purchase tickets for sold-out events. As a reminder, selling goods, including tickets, is not permitted on Lex.
2. Sugar parents
Sugar parent relationships (mommies, daddies, guardians) are types of relationships in which the ‘sugar parent’ and the ‘sugar baby’ establish an agreed-upon dynamic that involves financial support in exchange for various forms of intimacy. While this absolutely can exist between consenting adults, it’s critical to keep an eye out for false promises.
Watch out for red flags!
- They offer you a large sum of money unconditionally
- They ask you to send money to 'test your loyalty'
- They try to quickly move to a different messaging platform like Whatsapp or Google Chat
If you want to pursue a sugar parent relationship, please do some research to do it as safely as possible.
3. Romance scams
So many of us turn to apps like Lex to find exciting romantic connections, and unfortunately there are bad actors out there ready to take advantage of that vulnerability.
Here are the red flags to look out for:
- They message you out of the blue, and might ask about things unrelated to your posts or profile
- They want to quickly switch to talking on Whatsapp, texting, or another anonymous platform where their actions can’t be reviewed by moderators
- They ask lots of personal questions about you, but won’t answer many about themselves. When they do talk about themselves, the facts don’t always line up
- They try to establish bonds quickly and engage in love-bombing, saying they’ve never felt a connection like this before (even if you haven’t been talking for very long!)
- They refuse to meet in person, Facetime, or share pictures; sometimes they say it’s because they live overseas or are in the military
- They ask for financial support, saying they have no one else to turn to. Or they talk about money problems frequently in hopes that you’ll offer to support them
Some of these warning signs on their own might seem typical in queer dating & community, so keep your eye out if the red flags start adding up to something suspicious.
4. Employment scams & fake checks
Someone online might promise you a new job opportunity, then ask you to deposit a check and transfer the money to someone else for business purposes.
If an opportunity like this comes your way,
- Research the company and find the job listing online, and ask them to contact you from official company email addresses
- Avoid trusting on-the-spot job offers, even for remote work
Generally speaking, a new employer would never send you a check that wasn’t your earned wage, nor would they ask you to transfer money - it’s highly likely the check is fraudulent. Much like the sugar parent scam, it’s safe to assume that any stranger sending you a large sum of money and asking for some in return is a scammer.
Digital safety tips
Here are a few of our safety tips for navigating the wonderful world of dating & meeting people online:
- When you’re meeting up for the first time with someone, it’s a good idea to first meet up with them in a public space. Even if you’re meeting to hook up, consider meeting for a cup of coffee to make sure the vibes are right!
- Always share your plans and whereabouts with someone you trust beforehand.
- Don’t share credit card information or other personal information online - a real crush would never ask for this type of info!
- If you’re looking to buy or sell tickets or other goods, stick to marketplace apps that are designed to support secure transactions.
- Exercise caution when people you don’t know are asking you for financial support either via transfer or gift cards (and it feels different from a mutual aid request)
- Be careful when people you’re talking to want to quickly switch to Whatsapp or texting, as this can be a red flag and a way for them to get access to your phone number.
- If you receive a picture from someone you suspect is a scammer, try reverse Google-searching it to see if it comes up under another name! Here’s how.
- Trust your instincts. If you suspect someone might be a scammer, report them!
If you’re ever feeling concerned about a bad actor on Lex, don’t hesitate to report them or reach out to us at email@example.com.