The internet has brought lazy convenience into our lives. This convenience has also brought about online dating scams. The ability to date and find romance via a click of a mouse button comes with a warning. Scammers have found online dating platforms a convenient way to find easy prey. Online dating sites such as POF (Plenty of Fish), eHarmony, Tinder, Match, OKCupid, Zoosk and countless others have become a haven for scammers to take advantage of the weak and unsuspecting. Many victims have lost their life savings and more to online dating scams.
There are a few key things that you need to be aware of if you decide to look for romance online.
1.) Never send money to someone you have never met in person.
Don’t fall for the sad sob story such as “My mother is sick in the hospital and needs money for medicine” or “My wallet was stolen and I need a small loan to help get me by”. There are a variety of sad sob stories… So be prepared beforehand.
2.) Try to talk to whoever you meet on the phone to make sure they are a male or female.
Many men pose as women online to scam unsuspecting men and ask for money in exchange for sexy photos. Many women can pretend to be a man to scam an older unsuspecting woman. Anyone can steal a profile photo from the internet and create a fake dating account.
3.) Do not give out personal information.
Never give out info such as your home address, cellular number, or where you work until you know the person for at least a couple of weeks. Make sure you know them well enough before you start exchanging personal information.
4.) NEVER accept a date on the first encounter!
Just like old school dating, face to face, it takes time to develop a relationship. If someone falls in love with you in a day or two… Think twice about this person!!!
5.) NEVER tell the other person how much money you earn or what you own.
This only entices the unscrupulous scammer to turn up the heat and try to rob you blind.
6.) If the person you met suddenly closes his/her account.
If the person you met on the dating site is asking you for a different way to contact you – Stay vigilant. They may tell you they do not like the dating site and are going to close their account. They may tell you that they would rather contact you by another means… Don’t do it! If they ask you to communicate with them via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Google Hangouts – Don’t do it! Scammers do this to protect themselves from being reported and locked out of the dating site. They need future access to the dating site for new victims.
7.) If the person you met claims to be from the United States but communicates with poor English.
The majority of the online dating scammers are from Nigeria. They operate from internet cafés and they earn their living by conducting online dating scams among other online scams. They attempt to use good English but you will be able to tell by their poor grammar and misspellings.
8.) Take time for the relationship to develop.
If the person you met seems too pushy to get to know you then this is a red flag. If they tell you that they “LOVE” you on the first or second day after meeting them then it might be time to terminate the connection.
9.) Remember the victims of the past who have lost their life savings to dating scams.
Be wary of whom you meet and let the relationship develop over time. Don’t be quick to purchase gifts for the person you just met. True love takes time to develop but will be worth the wait in the long run.
10.) IF you believe you have met “Mister Right” or “Miss Right”.
Hire a private investigator to check them out thoroughly before you decide to take the next step. The small investment in time and money to hire a private investigator will be a lot cheaper in the long run. You do not want to get sucked into a relationship or marriage with a person who has a long criminal history or history of debt.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Good old common sense goes a long way and will protect you from online dating scams. Don’t fall prey to online scammers. Enjoy the experience and with a little luck you may find your perfect soulmate!