Online dating opens up the world to you. You are no longer tied down to your local dating pool. You can swim into open waters with someone from the other side of the country. This is exciting time and an amazing experience. However, like the real world, there can be dangers that will arise.
Everyone is not on the internet to find their soulmates or experience a new culture and good time with someone new. Some people are there to take advantage of your excitement and your openness to try new things. No one wants to think they are being taken advantage of by a new date, but unfortunately, thousands of people fall every year for an online dating scammer. Most websites delete suspicious profiles every day, but a predator is a chameleon. He or she will find another way to prey on victims. Do not become a victim of an online dating scammer. Here are some tips on how you can recognize an online dating scammer.
1. Look at the description in their profiles. Some red flags include self-employed, a professional working overseas, a widower with a child, they live close to you in your country and will be returning soon. Some of these description can be the truth, but it is best to be cautious.
2. Never trust a person who asks for your email in the first message. If they give you his or hers email address in the first message, you should become suspicious. Today, giving someone your email address is almost like giving them your physical address. A lot of your personal information can be found in there. They might flood your email with spam or send you a message with a harmful virus that can let him or her read all of your emails. You do not take a real date home after the first conversation. Do not let an online dater into your "virtual" home so easily.
3. Generic emails After a while, you will reach the point where you will exchange emails. When you do advance to the email portion of online dating, use a new email address specifically for that reason. Here are a few discrepancies to look for in the email. The vagueness of the responses is a sign of an online scan. There is no real depth or personal phrases in the emails. Another warning sign is the immediacy of a reply. If you always get a reply a few minutes after you send the email, that can be a bad sign especially if you have not discussed online times with your date. Most people cannot check and respond to their email in a timely fashion all the time. Occasionally, they can but not always.
4. It is all about you, and never about them. Another sign of a scammer is that he or she never talk about themselves. All the conversation is focused on you, and he or she ask you a lot of questions. Some men and women might like this, because they never get so much attention. However, you are online dating. The conversations should be focused on both individuals. Test your date by steering the conversation to his or her life. If he or she become dodgy, evasive and try to change it back over to you, you should run, and alert the website so they can further investigate.
5. Speed Dating Be mindful of your relationship timeline. If your date initiates an increase in phone calls and texting over a short period of time, you should take this as a sign of online dating scam. He or she is rushing things, and are trying to be your ideal date in order to strike when you are most vulnerable. He or she will often do this by saying that he or she is in love with you.
6. The Catches A potential date should never ask you how much you earn or any other detailed financial information. Another scam to look out for is if they share a sob story with you and try to use that to get you to help them financially. Never send money. You do not know this person. Why would he or she ask you for money? If a man or woman is truly interested in you, they will never ask you for money. They would be too embarrassed and think that is too personal of a question. Many people fall into this trap when it comes to overseas dating. Never fall for the dead relative who just died with millions of dollars. If they really had that amount of money, they can hire a professional lawyer or account to get the money out of the country. This is usually the Nigerian scam.
7. Never give personal background information that can be used for identity theft. Some information includes your mother's maiden name, your childhood pet and your favorite teacher's name.
8. Proof that they are a real person.
9. Never trust a person without any other social media. If a person is smart enough to set up a social profile, he or she will have other social media pages. However, not everyone who is hesitant to show you their page are online dating scammers. Many pages like Facebook have a lot of person information on it. It is the absence of a page that is a sign for an online dating scam not the unwillingness to link you. If he or she share his or her page with you, look for the creation date. If it is around the same time as the online dating profile is created, then you should recognize this as a sign of an online dating scam.
Ask your date to provide a picture of them with holding up a note with a particular phrase you wrote. This way you can see that they are more than just one picture. If he or she does not want to talk via Skype or Facetime, take this as a red flag.
Online dating can be scary, but fun and exciting. Use these signs to make it the best experience possible.