During this lonely time, I’m sure lots of people are turning to dating sites to cure their loneliness. Although this is a great way to meet new people, there are lots of things to keep an eye out for, as they are not always the safest of places. In this post, I am going to tell you why, and some of the things you should look out for.
Why you should look out for scammers
Scammers usually take advantage of people looking for romantic partners or a relationship, and this usually takes place via dating sites, apps or social media. They pretend to be prospective companions and play on emotional triggers to get you to give them money, gifts or personal details. They usually use fake personas and photographs, and scams like these are also known as ‘catfishing’. They may use a fake name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people, who are non the wiser about their information being used.
These scammers will express strong emotions towards you in a short period of time, and sometimes they can suggest you move the relationship away from the dating website to something like phone, email or instant messaging. Sometimes they can even promise to come visit you, although this usually never happens.
Once they have gained your trust and your barrier is down, they will ask you (either subtly or directly) for money, gifts or details, like your banking or credit cards details. Often, they will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency, which will indefinitely tug on your heart strings and make some people want to cave in and give them the money. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them the money to cover travel expenses such as flights.
Dating scammers can also pose a risk to your personal safety as they are often part of an international criminal network. Some scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, which can put you in a dangerous situation which could have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you probably will end up losing money.
How can you protect yourself?
- Do a reserve image search of the person you are speaking to, to help determine if they are who they say they are.
- Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
- Use trusted dating sites, such as matchmehappy.co.uk. It is a totally free online dating sites uk that is free to join, but has a solid infrastructure and Al technology to keep people safe from nasty scammers.
- Be wary of requests for money. You should never send money or give banking or credit card details, or copies of important personal documents to anyone you don’t know.
What are the warning signs?
- If you meet someone online and after a short period of time they claim to have strong feelings for you. If you met on a dating site, they will try and move you away from the site to communicate via chat or email.
- After gaining your trust – whether this takes weeks, months or years – they will give you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or banking/credit card details.
- Their profile on the dating website is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, the profile picture that is displayed looks different to their description of themselves.