While there is hardly agreement on the use of “Native American” or “Indian” as a generic term to describe the first peoples of Turtle Island, the multiplicity of meanings to “Native American” has caused confusions abroad—particularly among overseas con artists trolling digital dating sites.
Approximately 1 in 10 online dating profiles are created by scammers preying on vulnerable individuals to take their money, according to “Face of Fraud” research by SeekingArrangement.com, which deletes more than 200 fraudulent accounts daily.
About 36 percent of these schemers describe themselves as “Native American,” CEO Brandon Wade told the New York Daily News.
“A lot of foreigners don’t understand that Native Americans are Indians,” Wade explained. “It’s a misunderstanding. They pick Native American because they think that means American.”
While the preferred term for indigenous peoples in the west is debated, back in colonial days, Natives were just called…Americans.
As for the other 64 percent of fake dating profiles, their selected ethnicity varies. Many of these fake accounts are listed in Nigeria, the Ukraine and the Philippines, and the majority of scammers claim to be “women” (71 percent). Another red flag is people touting to be devoutly Catholic or describing themselves as “God-fearing,” Wade said.