Online Dating Scams to Watch Out For
Nancy Patterson - September 6, 2019
Finding love in life is an excellent opportunity for everyone, but some people struggle to find true love. Dating sites have helped with this, bringing people together and matching them up so that they can enjoy a committed relationship. Experiencing the thrill of romance can be quite earth-shattering. So earth-shattering that many people are willing to use love to scam others of their identities and financial gain.
In this article, we’re going to talk about red flags of a scammer, websites to watch out for, and what you should and shouldn’t do if you think you are the victim of a scammer. We hope this helps keep you safe on the internet.
Red Flags of a Scammer
There are many red flags that scammers leave throughout online dating sites. This section of the article should help you identify these red flags and what you should do with them.
An internet scammer always wants to move the conversation elsewhere. Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or SMS are all commonly used by scammers. If they’re going to move to another platform, there is probably a big reason for it. Try to figure out exactly why they care about moving from one place to the next.
Red Flags in the Profile
There are a couple of things you can look for here. First of all, they rarely have more than one or two photos on their dating profile. They don’t want to put the time into building an actual realistic profile. You might be able to tell that the pictures look like models or stock photos.
A scammer probably won’t connect their account to any Facebook or Instagram accounts. If they do, you will notice that they probably have the same photos on their Facebook and not many posts at all. The scammer wants to get the job done as quickly as possible. They don’t want to take the time to develop a persona. However, some scams are quite elaborate, and you need to watch out for them, so do a little digging on the individual profiles to find out more about who you are talking with.
They Move Quickly
Moving too quickly is a flaw that almost every scammer possesses. They don’t want to wait around when they could be scamming someone else. They want to get in, get your identity or money, and get out as quickly as possible. Desperation is why a scammer might confess their love or emotional attachment without ever even meeting you in person. Moving too fast is a visible sign of a scammer, and you should proceed with extreme caution in these circumstances.
No Video Chat
They always avoid video chat. It’s noteworthy that video chat is a much better way to get to know someone than just texting or talking on the phone is. Body language can sometimes communicate much more than words do. It is essential to establish an actual connection on any dating website.
They Never Meet You
A person on a dating site should have the goal of meeting you and building the relationship from there. The best way we get to know someone is through person-to-person interaction with them. If the person doesn’t want to meet you at all that should be a big red flag. Often scammers will consistently lie about meetings. A con-artist will act like they want to get to know you, but they will always cancel meetings. They make plans, but something will always come up, preventing you from meeting them.
Internet Websites That Scam
First of all, there are a few obvious things that websites do that are red flags. If a dating website ever asks you for personal information, close your account and get off of it. They don’t and shouldn’t need to know your social security number, bank information, or personal information that might function as security questions. If a dating website has a weird questionnaire for you to fill out, it is probably a scam.
If an online dating profile has illegal activity in the bio, it might shed some light on the legitimacy of the website. Anything listed about drugs or paid sex probably shouldn’t be there, and a legit site will purge these profiles daily. Be careful on shady websites.
Another big red flag is the request for more information for Premium services. If they want you to enter personal info to gain access to other accounts, the site is probably not legitimate.
We aren’t sure exactly which sites and apps are scams, so providing a list is a bit difficult. If you are going to do online dating, we recommend you go with sites that are already proven to be legitimate such as Match, eHarmony, and Tinder.
What to Do if You Think You Are Involved With a Scammer
If you think you are involved with a scammer, the best possible option is to close off all forms of communication. Block them on social media and block their phone number.
The next step is to report their information to the dating website. The site will probably remove them so that it doesn’t happen to someone else. We all need less evil people in our lives, and if we all do our part in getting rid of them, that will help make the world a better place in the long run.
Consider where you made mistakes. What went right and what went wrong with the scammer, and how you can avoid a bad situation in the future.
Here are Six Things You Shouldn’t Do On an Online Dating Site
Never Send Inappropriate Images
You should resist sending intimate photos to someone you’ve never met. It’s risky to send provocative images to someone you do know, let alone a stranger online. You never know who is behind the computer screen, and they might try to blackmail you into sending money by threatening to post your pictures publicly.
Refrain From Sending Money
Don’t ever send money in any form. Especially not in the form of a wire transfer, or gift cards. Those are the two ways that scammers often operate with.
Resist Giving Out Personal Information
Your bank account information, social security number, credit, and debit card numbers should never be typed out, or shown on the internet. If they are you run the risk of being scammed without ever even communicating with the scammer. They might take your information and use it to make purchases or steal your identity. Be careful to only put general information on a dating website.
Don’t Move Too Fast
You need to take your time. Finding the person of your dreams isn’t going to be like the movies. Take a big breath, and be willing to build the relationship from the ground up. Difficulty and trials in a relationship bring strength. No lasting marriage is built on five minutes of a chat conversation on a dating app. Understand where the other person is coming from, and pay attention to red flags when they appear.
Don’t Link Your Instagram and Facebook Accounts
You need some privacy when you are on a dating site. If you have your Instagram and Facebook linked to the dating site, it will allow the person who matches with you to stalk you on social media. They will be able to learn what you like, where you are, and other personal things about your life. Let them work for you. Keep some information private and personal.
Don’t Meet Up In Private Places
This is more for safety than for scamming. Even men should heed this warning because there have been instances of men getting into trouble because they thought they were fine meeting in a home or hotel. Make sure you emphasize that the first date in person should take place in a public area where there are people around. It also might be a good idea to let someone close to you know about the date so that they can text you to check up on you during it. Accountability can be a lifesaver.
The Last Word
Dating websites are home to predators and scammers, and your safety must be your number one priority. Caution, knowledge, and alertness can save you precious money and time by recognizing red flags and blocking scammers. Be sure to take extra steps to build up adequate privacy and safety measures on the dating site. Make people earn your trust and respect. Don’t be desperate. Be patient and wait for the right person to come along.