Recognizing Dating Site Scammers
Since the popularization of the internet, scammers have used the anonymity of the worldwide web to scam unsuspecting users. Whether it’s a phishing email asking for money or bank account information or a mysterious friend request on social media, most of us have encountered a scammer at one point or another, whether we realized it or not. It is important for those using online dating sites to understand that scammers are everywhere, maybe even on the same dating site you’re using. We’re not saying don’t use the internet; just keep the following online dating advice in mind so you can recognize a dating site scammer.
Warning Signs of a Scammer
Young Men & Older Women
Ladies, we’re not saying that if a guy is younger than you, he’s scamming you for your money, but you should be aware of the risks of online dating, especially for women older than 40. According to the FBI, “[T]heir [scammers] most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled.” If you match this profile, be aware of the fact that you could be targeted by an internet scammer, and be sure to take the following to heart.
If you are targeted by a scammer, it is likely that he or she will prefer not to communicate via the online dating site. If someone you meet on the internet asks you to communicate with them via Facebook, Skype, email, or any other method, this may be a red flag. Whereas you may have limited the information you put on your online dating profile, the scammer could use these other platforms as a means of finding out more about you, and the more he or she learns about you, the easier it will be for him or her to con you.
Many scammers target Americans from overseas, so it is important to keep an out for people who seem to always be traveling out of the country. A scammer from overseas will likely say he or she is an American, too, who is traveling for work or other important business; some even pose as US Military personnel. He or she may ask you for money because continuing to travel or returning home is impossible due to some unforeseen setback, such as problems with the bank, medical emergencies, and other disastrous circumstances.
Poor Language Skills
If the person you’re talking to seems to have a poor grasp of the English language, this is a red flag that he or she may be a scammer based overseas. Even a foreign scammer with a decent grasp of the language may write strangely-structured sentences. If you sense a linguistic abnormality, take it for what it is. Everyone makes a typo here and there, but a college-educated person shouldn’t be sending your messages that read, “Am excited to see those photo you send me.”
Refusal to Meet in Person
Even if your scammer claims to live near you and is not claiming to be out of the country, he or she may still refuse to meet with you in person. Not all scammers avoid face-to-face meetings, but you should consider it a red flag if someone you’ve been talking to for a reasonable amount of time refuses to meet you in person but maintains online communication. What if he or she is just shy? Good question. A scammer can usually be recognized against an introvert because he or she will continue to make excuses as to why meeting won’t work, and he or she usually also avoids phone conversations. If you’re not sure, trust your instincts.
Tickles Your Instincts
Trusting your instincts is the best method you have for recognizing online scammers. If something just doesn’t feel right to you, move on. This person won’t be the first or the last to message you, and there’s no point in wasting your time (or money) on a scammer.
Learn about an actual online dating scam here to pick up a few more things to watch out for while on online dating sites.
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