Easy Ways to Detect an Online Dating Scam
Dating scam is as old as online dating itself. The most popular scam method lies in creating a fake profile and sending one and the same message to different users. Although sites are doing their best to detect scammers, many con artists are still operating on them devising new ways to rip you off. You can spot a scammer yourself by the following warning signs.
Her profile is suspicious.
Look at a woman’s profile. Scarce information and a few photos that are too good to be true? Real users register here to find their destiny and they want to make their profile as attractive as possible filling out all its sections. Avoid such users because the chances this a scammer hiding behind the model-like profile photo are very high. Especially, if this woman writes to you first.
She wants your personal information.
People who meet online communicate extensively in order to get to know each other better. They touch upon different topics and ask different questions to realize this is that special someone. However, you should beware of the person’s mercenary intentions if you notice that your interlocutor is mainly interested in your personal information such as family members, your income, and other aspects of life that people don’t tell at the beginning of their acquaintance.
She is sending you too many emails.
Online scammers will go out of their way to find out about you as many facts as possible that is why they will bombard you with emails containing questions. This way they will make you believe they are genuinely interested in your personality. You will not even notice how quickly you’ll start trusting your new crafty interlocutor.
You get no reply to some questions.
She asks you a lot of questions but when you answer and ask in return, she changes the subject or ignores your question. That person wants to know much about you but wants to stay incognito. This is a warning sign.
She tells this is love at first sight.
She can’t stop telling you how handsome you are and how she is happy to find the man of her dreams. Flattery is a powerful tool of all scammers because it helps them leave their target unarmed. The most evident sign of a con artist is her declaration of love to you after a exchanging a few emails. A real woman will never say those words too soon.
She avoids meeting you in person.
A scammer will always find an excuse not to go out on a real date with you. Even if she agrees, she’ll write to you or call you on that day saying she is too busy or her plans have changed. She will keep cancelling and postponing the dates ad infinitum until you realize she is a scammer and you’d better break the connection with her and report her to the admin.
She has money issues.
If a girl starts moaning about her financial problems right in the first messages and asks you for money, don’t swallow that bait. A normal person would never write to a stranger telling how hard their life is and how they need money for some purposes. If you get a money request from a woman on a dating site, obviously she is a scammer.
She complains about her life.
Usually, scammers work from the developing countries. They either say that it’s their motherland or that they have to be there for some time on business or for some other reason. This type of scammers will tell how unbearable their life in that country is and how much they want to go to Europe or America in order to start a normal life. Again, they will touch upon the question of money. They need it as if for a plane ticket. Another scenario may evolve around a sick relative who needs a round sum of money for operation abroad. Red flag: scammer on the horizon.
Tips to protect yourself from dating scams
Now that you know the main tactics that online dating scammers use, let’s talk about some ways in which you can protect yourself from their schemes. Romance scams wary in nature and you should know how they look like in advance in order to protect yourself.
- Chose only valid and certified dating sites
Let’s say that you want to start dating other people, what is the most important thing you should think about? Well, of course, you should think about whether or not a dating site fits you, whether it is a site for long-term dating or a site for finding a sexual partner, you should choose a site that suits your plans. But then comes the second parameter, what’s next? Well, some people would want to find a free dating site, so as not to spend money on it. But this is not always a great idea, all free dating sites have scam artists that want nothing else but to steal your money. So you should either get registered on a popular and well-moderated site, or a VIP site that eliminates the possibility of encountering a scam artist.
- Check the photos of a person you chat with
The first thing we see about a person we meet on a dating site is their photo, and it makes the ultimate impression on us. This is why most victims of online dating scam artists are women or people that are very impressionable by nature in general. People that find it easy to fall in love or at least feel something romantic for a person they’re seeing for the first time. And this is the reason you should be wary of the photos that people use on dating sites. A simple Google picture search will probably be enough, as most scam artists are not that original in their schemes, and you will be able to find the romance scammer photos on the web, some scammers may have already used the photos that you saw.
- For a certain time, communicate only on the platform you’ve met on
One of the most common dating scams schemes is getting a person to click on a link to another platform that they find to be “more comfortable”. And nothing good can come of such a scenario. First of all, you are leaving the premises of an established dating site, which will make it harder for you to then report a scam artist. Secondly, why would anyone leave a dating site that they are registered on to communicate via e-mail or some unknown platform? If a person uses an online dating site, this means that they find it comfortable.
- Try using a video chat
This point may seem counter-intuitive to some, why would you reveal yourself to another person on the internet that you don’t really know? Well, it’s not about revealing yourself, it’s about revealing your partner’s identity, are they really there? Do they look like a person on their profile photos? If a person you communicate with doesn’t seem to have a webcam for some reason or finds any other excuse to not reveal their identity, then there is a high chance that they are hiding something away from you.
- Don't give away your personal information
This is an important rule not only when it comes to dating site scams, but also the internet in general. Let’s just say that there are people with selfish evil intentions lurking around every corner, and while honesty is great, you may feel like being sincere with a person is a way to their heart, they may end up using any of the given information to their advantage against you. One of the most common online dating scams is when a scam artist finds out that a person is married and starts blackmailing them, they threaten to reveal their victim’s information and screenshots to their friends, relatives, and, of course, their love partners. So, while sincerity is great, you should know the limits of what should be said, and what should be left unsaid.
- Never send money to people you meet online
Now, while all of the online dating tips above are very much important and should not be forgotten about, if you want a really easy way to not only lose your money but to put your security and personal information into jeopardy, then you should just send money to a person you’re communicating with on an online dating site. Empathy is great and it is very much important to help the people that are in need, but scam artists know this
and they will use the best of your feelings against you. At one point or another during the process of communication, a person may tell you that they are sick, they’ve got in a car accident, they need to be bailed out, or any other reason that will require some financial support from you. It is always urgent, there is no time to think, only to act, and this is when they get you. This is the time to think, doesn’t a person have anyone else that lives in their area, any friend, any relative or a colleague to help them out, you are the only person on Earth that can help them in such a situation?