How to Avoid Online Dating Scams
Online romance scams are one of the most common types of internet frauds. Americans lose millions of dollars every year to this type of fraud. The true cost of online dating scams is not known. Many people are too embarrassed to report that they got tricked in this way. Romance scammers are very clever. They gain your confidence and then they con you out of your money. The scammers are patient too. They may take their time before they ask you for any money. So, how can you avoid this heartless type of scam? Here are some tips that will help you avoid online dating scams.
1. Stay Close to Home
Scammers will usually target people who live far away from them. This is to make meeting the person they are scamming less likely and to avoid getting caught. In fact, one of the signs that you are dealing with a scammer is that will do all they can to avoid a face-to-face meeting. One of the easiest ways to avoid dating site scammers is to only communicate with people who live nearby to you. That will help stop you be being scammed. It will also make it easier to take the relationship to the next stage when you are ready.
2. Only Use Well-know, Paid Dating Sites
The well-established, paid dating sites are much better at keeping the predators out. The paying of fees will dissuade some scammers from joining the site. There is no guarantee that you won’t come across a scammer on even the best dating sites. There are likely to be fewer of them on a paid site, though.
3. Be Wary of Sob Stories
Scammers will often use heart-breaking stories to make you part with your money. They will say that they have a sick child, or that they have recently lost a close member of the family. They might even say that they would love to meet you, but they can’t afford the airfare. It can be tough to turn someone down needs your help. Even so, be careful. You could send them money and never hear from them again.
4. Never Send Anyone Compromising Images of Yourself
If anyone ever asks you to send them intimate pictures or videos of yourself; don’t do it. It could be the beginning of a very unpleasant experience for you. Scammers may use those images to blackmail you. They will threaten to make the pictures and videos public if you don’t send them money. That blackmail may not end with one payment. The scammer may ask you for money again and again.
5. Do Some Online Research
Check out people you meet on online dating sites by searching for them on Google. If they are real people, you should be able to find their profiles on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Do a search on the phrases they have used in their dating profile as well. If they are lazy scammers, which many of them are, they may have used the same phrases on lots of dating sites. There may also be comments or posts made by other people who got conned by the scammer using the same story before.
6. Check that Photos Are Genuine
Do a reverse search on the images that someone has posted on the online dating site. You can do this with TinEye or Google Images. A reverse search will show what other sites those images are on. You will then be able to see if the images are of the person you think they are.
7. Watch Out for Poor English and Grammar
If the English used on a dating site profile is poor, that could be a red flag. We mean no disrespect to people whose first language isn’t English. But many online dating scammers are in African or Eastern European countries. They operate in countries where detection or prosecution is less likely.
8. Don’t Share Too Much Information Too Soon
Be cautious when you are communicating with someone you don’t know on the internet. Don’t tell them where you live. Don’t give them your bank account details. And, don’t tell them how much you earn. Scammers are counting on you giving away personal information so that they can use it. That might be for identity fraud, or it might be to find out how much money they could con you out of.
9. Get Advice from a Trusted Friend
If someone you meet on an online dating site asks you for money, discuss it with a trusted friend before you send any. You may not be able to see the scam for what it is, because you have feelings for the scammer. A detached third party may have a completely different opinion of the situation.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Suspicious
Most people you will find on reputable online dating sites are genuine. We don’t want you to think that everyone you meet is after your money. Even so, don’t be afraid to be suspicious, especially if anyone does ask you for money. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We hope that you have found this post about online dating scams helpful. If you did, please share it with your friends on your social media accounts. You may also find our post about online dating safety interesting. We will be publishing more online safety tips very soon. To receive occasional updates from Best Panic Alarm, please subscribe to our mailing list. Many thanks for visiting our site. Have a wonderful and a safe day!