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Today’s world makes it easy to date anyone. If you have an account with a dating app or a dating website, you can seek out people from anywhere in the world who share the same interests as you.
Even those who are in their early fifties can still sign up to sites such as Tinder.
This is an amazing revolution and should make us more compatible than ever. However, the reality is, like any online service, it can be rife with scams and you need to take some steps to protect yourself.
Here’s how to spot an online dating scam.
Never Send Money Online
If someone approaches you online that you’ve never met and asks you for money, you should never send it — regardless of whether it’s someone you have been talking to for years or someone you met from the many chat lines you can use. This is one of many internet dating scams.
Fraudsters who set up fake accounts will have multiple people they are scamming at once and will often spend years grooming victims in order to get their money.
Their accounts and stories can seem very genuine, but remember, Instagram and Facebook accounts that appear to corroborate information in dating profiles can be forged.
It is quite easy to get a phone number with an American country code, even if the person scamming you is really living in Asia or Africa. Even Skype calls can be doctored.
Be Aware If They Make Excuses Not to Meet Up
The whole purpose of a dating app is to eventually meet up with someone. If the person you are talking to is within a few miles, then usually this is done quickly.
But even if you are speaking to someone thousands of miles away, the eventual expectation is that you will meet face-to-face.
Be careful of someone who gives out regular excuses as to why they cannot meet up with you but continues to talk to you. This is part of online dating protection.
It’s understandable that with today’s busy lives someone might not have time to meet you the first time you ask but if the answer is a consistent no, you have to ask yourself why they are continuing to talk to you.
Generic or Out-of-Focus Photos
It’s easy to doctor any photos nowadays — so just because the photos look real to you, don’t assume they are of the person you are really speaking to.
However, an easy giveaway is if the photos are generic or are all slightly different angles of the same photograph.
Another clue is if the photos are of different people but the ones that have been chosen are out-of-focus or distant. This might be to try and disguise the fact they are not of the same person.
Some scammers can even get away with using the photographs of famous people, as was the case with UFC’s Cody Garbrandt.
One way to attempt to solve this issue is to screenshot the photos and put them through a Google Image search. A lazy scammer will probably have found some images from a stock image database which you will be able to find with a quick search.
Online Dating Scam: Don’t Fall For It
The best piece of advice for those on the online dating game is just to be careful. Double-check everything if you can, consult trusted friends with their opinion about this person, and don’t give away too much until you’ve met in person for the first time.
Always meet for the first in a public place. Do not invite a stranger into your home or turn up at their home. This could be an online dating scam that ends badly.
If you’re interested in reading more stories about online dating then be sure to read our lifestyle section and share the story on Facebook.