If you’re looking for love online, unfortunately there are plenty of people there to take advantage of your vulnerable heart, and what they hope will be your open wallet.
The question always comes up–why would people do this? The most likely answer: because they can. The Internet is a virtual playground for those looking to trick people out of their money. After all, scammers can hide behind the computer screen while they’re doing it.
Online dating sites are a magnet for scammers because they can easily set up fake profiles and get to know people one on one, build trust, and get them to give them money.
Don’t let it happen to you! Here are some ways to spot online dating scammers so you don’t fall prey to them:
- If it feels wrong, it probably is. Trust your gut. Maybe it just “feels” wrong and you can’t explain why. Follow your instincts. It’s not worth the time and effort you may invest in this possibly fake person. Block them.
- Their profile picture doesn’t jive. Save the profile picture on your computer, then drag and drop it into Google (select search Images). It’ll search for other places where this photo is located. If it’s used with different names, you can be sure that online dating profile is a scam.
- A video chat seems more like a pre-recorded video. Yes, this really happens. When another online dater wants to video chat with you, ask them to wave or do something to prove that it isn’t a recording. It only takes a few seconds and shows them to more likely to be real.
- The online dater is vague about themselves. If they seem super generic or aren’t straight with you about themselves (like if you ask a question and they don’t really answer it), it could be because they are hiding something.
- There are discrepancies or inconsistencies. If they tell you one thing one day, but something different the next day, they obviously can’t keep their story straight because they are a scammer.
- They avoid talking on the phone or Skype. Because they obviously don’t match their profile and you might get suspicious.
- The online dater seems to conform to your ideal–because they are trying to earn your trust.
- Their profile says they live in a particular city, but it’s obvious they don’t know the area at all. Perhaps they haven’t heard of a certain popular spot in town, or don’t even know what’s close to that region. It’s probably because they don’t even live there at all.
- The relationship goes too fast. If they seem like they are just trying to get too serious too fast, and things don’t flow naturally at all, it could be because they aren’t even interested in romance–just your money.
- If they ask for too much personal information, they could be a scammer trying to swindle you.
- If they ever complain about their finances and try to get you to feel sorry for their money issues; or if at any time they ask you to send them money; or if they say they want to meet you but don’t have the money for a plane ticket–run the other way! These are huge red flags that this is a scammer. No matter how much you may feel for this person, do not ever send anyone money, period.
- If an online dater every threatens you in anyway, they are most likely a scammer.