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The sugar daddy scam

The sugar daddy scam is a growing trend where cash-strapped young women and men claim to be sugar babies. They look for sugar daddies or mothers who will pay their bills. We know this type of fraud as advance-fee fraud, the Nigerian prince scam, or the 419 scam. 

Sugar daddies and sugar mommies usually meet younger people who need cash, called sugar babies. Expectedly, sugar babies offer their sugar daddy or mommy love and attention, depending on their relationship. With this in mind, the sugar parent gives them money, pays for dates, or provides other financial benefits. 

Sugar daddy dating websites are trendy. In 2019, consumers reported over 250 percent more complaints about this type of scam. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the sugar daddy website Seeking Arrangements claims to have over 20 million users worldwide. 

How the scam works

In the scam, the fake sugar daddy convinces the sugar baby they will receive a large sum of money. The phony sugar daddy then asks for some money upfront to unlock the funds. Furthermore, the fake sugar daddy disappears from the internet once they receive cash. 

Occasionally, those involved in the scam are known as “snowy-haired grandpas in cravats,” “chilled cougars,” or “salt daddies,” referring to salt and pepper-haired older men with a taste for young women. 

Sugar daddy scam red flags

  1. They ask you for nudes.  
  2. Sugar people who ask for your credit card account or other sensitive information are scammers.
  3. Watch out for any offer from a sugar person to pay off one or more of your debts. While the proposal is enticing, it is a scam.
  4. Pay attention to loyalty tests. The phony daddy may ask you to send loyalty money to prove your loyalty. 
  5. Do not share photos or text messages you wouldn’t want to expose.  
  6. Do not use platforms such as Google Hangouts or WhatsApp to conduct conversations.
  7. Be suspicious when strangers say they will send you money or gifts.  
  8. Requests for gift cards are also signs of scams.
  9. Finally, they ask you to open a liquid card to deposit an allowance straight into the card. Consequently, you expose personal information. 

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. We provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. If you think you’re a scam victim, report it here.

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