One of the first things you must know before jumping to online dating is how to avoid Dating scams. Before you sign up to a dating site, you need to know how to detect the red flags to keep yourself from the hassle and damage of online dating.
There will always be some bad apples in a bunch, so better be safe than sorry.
Top 10 Ways to Sniff out a Scammer
Know How a Catfisher Operates. A catfish is someone who’ll lure you into a relationship through a fake online profile.
Catfish is someone who’ll use a profile other than who he truly is to make himself appear more desirable or acceptable online.
Google their name or email address. See if any results come up about their name or email address they use of scamming anyone.
There are sites that list scammers or provide you sample profiles of what the average scammers might look like: the info they put in, their photo, their typical age, things they say and how they will entice to convince you.
If you’ll take a look at a ton of reviews about people’s experiences with dating scams, you’ll notice the same pattern. Here are a few examples:
Do not give your personal data to anyone you barely know. Until you met this person face to face and have developed a level of trust, don’t give out your birth date, bank account number, social security number, and even address.
While you will be tempted to share personal details about your life, this can be a loophole for a scammer to spot your weakness and use it to get what he wants.
Be wary if someone seems too good to be true. If a member’s photos seem too perfect to be true, better investigating first before taking the plunge. Scammers would use attractive photos, some dumb ones would use stock photos or photos from a facebook profile. It’s even possible for them to use a complete facebook profile’s information and use it on a dating site.
Be sure to “verify their identity” by counter checking basic information and observing if these indeed matches the persona you see. If you see any inconsistencies with regards to their lifestyle or claims, this might be a red flag.
Upload photo on reverse image sites like Tineye.com. This is a good security measure you can take. Save a copy of their profile photo on your computer and run them on several facial recognition sites. This will tell you if the photo is found elsewhere. If you found one, then you will have a basis on where you’ll draw your judgement from.
Observe their language. Not that non-English speaking romance seekers could generally be scammers, but most scammers are from countries where English is not the first language. If they portray themselves as a local (Western), or educated (College Degree or Postgraduate.) but consistently implicits incorrect grammar use and are terrible spellers, then you know something is terrible off.
Perform a search on their profile descriptions. If their profile descriptions existed somewhere else verbatim (especially if the sentences are long), won’t you think it’s odd? Unless it’s a short tag line like that of Tinder like “If I’m a banana, would you eat me?” and nothing else, this is suspicious. For why would someone, who has her own bio and set of interest would copy someone else’s description of themselves? Weird.
Spot discrepancies in what they claim to be or even in what they say during conversations. Observe if the messages they send tend to be generic. If they tend to be indifferent or unresponsive to topics you open up, and go fast on being emotional about your life altogether, this may be a major red flag. A scammer may want to rush things up and will get you to invest your emotions fast so they can also empty your pocket fast.
Be cautious if someone wants you to communicate through email or instant messaging. Scammers would want you to visit their link or check their email so they could access your computer and harvest information. They can do so by infecting your computer with a virus through the link they sent or an attachment they’d like you to open.
Don’t give in because of a sad story. A sad story may get your emotional and empathetic responses on, and might be used against you in the long run. No problem with giving someone help, but most scammers would tell sad stories of unfortunate events to lure you to getting what they ultimately want — your money.
Use paid online dating sites. Most scammers will flock on free dating sites. A lot won’t use paid dating sites, especially if the prices are steep. Most dating sites are in U.S. dollars and these memberships may not be in the “affordable range” for scammers from underdeveloped countries (where most of them come from).
They need to lurk for long and work cleverly, if not fast, in order to bait someone to giving out cash. Better put your guards on because some con-artists are sophisticated catching you when your guard is down.
Be suspicious if they ask for money. The ultimate goal of every scammer is your money. They’d device every tactic they can just to get to this point. If your online date deliberately asks for money, that’s a major red flag sign.
They might not be here to look for a serious date but for someone they can use as a bank to resolve their financial needs. A scammer, on the other hand will want nothing but your money and will want nothing to do with you after that.
Dating is fun. But with anything in life, a dating service may not be perfect. There’s always going to be bad apples anywhere. Moreso with this type of industry.
Therefore you owe it to yourself to spot scams on the act by being extra cautions, having a set of healthy relationship standards, and doing your research first before plunging in.