Looking for a Date? Protect Yourself From Online Dating Scams

online dating scams

Online dating has made it easier to find love, but new technology has created new scams. If you’re considering online dating, it’s important to educate yourself about scams that, unfortunately, have become all too common.

Keep these important tips in mind when using online dating sites:

  1. Beware of fake profile information. Fake profiles can be an indication of a scam. It’s important to pay attention to all of the information a person posts online.
    • Fake profiles can include false names, incorrect ages, and stolen photographs. They can also include fake data about past relationships and education.
    • Fake profiles aren’t always easy to spot on online dating sites. Pay particular attention to inconsistencies. For example, a profile with a weight of 50 pounds doesn’t make sense with a height of six feet. Other clues can appear if you start searching for the data online.
    • Use a search function or app to see if the photos in a profile belong to someone else.
  2. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. An occasional typo shouldn’t scare you, but a profile filled with grammar and spelling mistakes needs to be approached carefully. It may be an indication of a foreign scam because they don’t understand the language well.
    • One of the most common scams on online dating websites is a person claiming to be from one country but actually living in another one.
  3. Be careful about sharing personal data. You probably know you shouldn’t give out banking information, but other data is important as well. Avoid mentioning your home address, phone numbers, your mother’s maiden name, and other information. Criminals can use this data in multiple ways.
  4. Watch out for sad stories. An online dating website can give people the opportunity to share their stories, but you want to be careful.
    • A common scam involves a tragic or sad story that makes you feel sorry for the person. Then, they ask you for help and tend to request large sums of money immediately. The stories differ, but they often involve a sick grandparent or dying uncle.
    • This scam plays on your compassion to make you give money out of pity.
  5. Avoid demands for communication away from the website. Another scam involves you emailing or calling the person you meet online. Be careful about moving communication away from the original dating website.
    • Scammers will often ask you to provide personal email addresses and phone numbers. They may also ask you to video chat or send instant messages.
    • Another scam involves pushy requests to meet you in person.
    • It takes time to get to know a person online and ensure the interactions are real. Avoid jumping too quickly into personal communication away from the website. For your own safety, it’s important not to give in to pressure to make the relationship serious before you’re ready.

Online dating can be a fun adventure, but it’s important to have realistic expectations. Be cautious. Predators also use online dating. Use these tips to stay safe.