Online Dating Scams: How to Guarantee Your Safety and Spot the Scammers
By James Preece
With so many members, online dating has an enormous pool of profiles for you to search through. While the vast majority of profiles are going to be genuine, there will always be a handful of fakes. Some of these are just people testing out the site to see what reaction they get, but there also criminals who try to con you our money.
The sites do take your protection very seriously and much goes on behind the scenes that you won’t ever be aware of this. This involves profile verification and filtering out anyone even slightly suspicious. You need to go into it with your eyes open and be prepared just in case.
Here are some steps you can take to guarantee your own safety:
Privacy is Essential
When you join an online dating site, one of the first things you are asked to do is to create a username. The main reason for this is that it keeps your identity safe and anonymous. You never have to reveal your full name or personal details.
The same applies for your other info such as postcode and date of birth. Neither of these will ever be revealed in full so nobody will be able to trace you off the site.
Use the site for messaging and don’t give anyone your email address. If anyone acts strangely or you don’t wish to speak again then all you need to do is press the BLOCK button.
How to Spot a Scammer
Don’t worry though, these scammers are usually quite easy to spot. They use fake photographs – often military or model images to lure you in. Many claim to be widows as they know that they will be appear more trustworthy.
Look for keywords such as “God Fearing”, “honest” and misspelled words. Scammers are often overseas so English won’t be their first language.
The conversation may go on for weeks, even months, in an effort to lure you in and gain your trust. They will promise you the earth and make you feel you are soulmates.
Important – never ever send money to someone you don’t know. If they ever ask for anything, no matter how small, how much they beg or how good an opportunity, then cut off all contact immediately.
Look After Yourself
Use common sense when you arrange to meet a person for a date. Speak to them on the telephone first to confirm they sound like the person they say they are.
Always meet in a public place and don’t let them pick you up from your address. Tell a friend where you are going and ask them to check in with you during the date. Don’t go with them to anywhere you don’t know until you are sure you are comfortable with them.
Ensure you have enough money on you to get home and know your limit when it comes to alcohol.
Use Your Head Not Your Heart
Scammers only succeed when they convince you they are in love with you and will do anything for you. Ask yourself why they would really be attracted to you and for what reasons.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry so don’t feel guilty for asking questions or raising doubts. If they really care about you then they won’t mind answering them or being honest with you.
Don’t let your emotions overrule your intelligence. If someone seems too good to be true then they often are. If you are unsure, ask a friend to look over their profile and messages. They may spot something that you’ve been blind to.
Inform the Dating Site
The sites do take your protection very seriously and much goes on behind the scenes that you won’t ever be aware of this. This involves profile verification and filtering out anyone even slightly suspicious. So if you have sort of concern or issue then you really need to let them know. If you don’t then someone else may end up being hurt or scammed. The sites are there to help you so use them.
Please do remember that almost everyone is genuinely looking for love on dating sites. Most dodgy profiles are removed before they are even made live. It’s still wise to be cautious so take your time getting to know the people you are interested in. Check out our list of the and sign up for one today and sign up for one today.
About James Preece