How To Avoid Online Dating Scams

How To Avoid Online Dating Scams

More and more singles are beginning to opt for online dating sites as a viable way of finding that special someone. As the volume of users increases, scammers trying to exploit unsuspecting users are also increasing. They can indulge in identity theft, impersonation, swindle your money or simply cause emotional harassment to innocent users online. Staying informed and vigilant will help you avoid these con artists.

Here are the actions and measures you can take to steer clear of scammers (or handle them if you do encounter them):

Separate email and number for online dating

Set up a  separate contact email and phone number for your dating profile. You can use the secondary email and number till you are sure the person you are contacting is legitimate. It also lets you entirely break contact should you find yourself talking to a fake user.

Manage your profile

Keep your profile clean and do not add unnecessary personal details. Morph or crop out the faces of family or friends from photos. You can mention your profession without naming your workplace or company. Do not specify the most intimate details of your life or history. These details can be shared after you get to know the real person behind the account.

Look out for signs – suspicious profile, language or behaviour

Be cautious of profiles that are overtly impressive and professional. Google search a suspicious user’s photos and information to see if they are genuine. Scammers also have a habit of using generic language or poor English because they follow a fixed pattern of interaction with multiple users. Be wary of users who try to lure you into external websites. One tactic that scammers use is to convince you to use another platform or site to communicate. These tactics can be used to steal your personal data.

Stay away from any monetary requests

There is no conceivable situation where you ought to pay or wire any money to a stranger online no matter how genuine he/she may seem. Any requests for money should immediately be a red flag. Block and report these users because just ignoring them will not work. You are there to make an emotional and romantic connection, not pay for someone’s travels, studies or medical emergency.

Do not hesitate to verify profiles

If you have any doubts about a profile you are interacting with, do not think twice about confirming the identity of the person. You can request photos with written notes or specific gestures or a short video call. Ask general questions about their profession or city and crosscheck them on Google. Scammers will continually try to get out of small actions like these that may expose them.

Know your website’s safety and security

Most dating websites have a section dedicated to informing and preparing you for your safety and discretion. Get to know these features well so that you are prepared to interact, reply, report or block depending on who approaches you.

In addition to all of these measures, do not ignore your instincts when it comes to online dating. Anything or anyone who seems too good to be true should be dealt with caution and tact till you are sure that the person is who he

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