Romance scammers are everywhere, and it may seem like there’s no way for you to protect yourself. But that’s not true! By following a few simple rules, you can keep these dating scammers at bay.
Online dating has made it easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world. While this is a great way to meet new people and potentially find love, it’s also important to be aware of the potential risks that come with online dating.
One of the biggest risks is romance scammers, who use fake profiles and online personas to trick people into sending them money.
No worries. I’m here to help you learn how to identify a scammer among many dating profiles on online dating sites! Some of these signs might seem obvious, like the lack of a profile photo on a dating profile, while others might be harder to spot.
I am sharing this article because I am a bestselling personal development author with about 2 million books sold globally.
I’m also the founder of the therapist-recommended online course called Broken Heart Recovery.
I love sharing tools to help people heal from messy breakups and enjoy a happier future.
With this in mind, in this article, I will explore how to protect yourself from romance scammers and avoid online dating scams.
Romance scammers are on the rise
Unfortunately, romance scams are becoming very common. According to the FBI, over $50 million dollars was lost to online dating scams in 2015 alone.
Here are some of the most basic things to remember to avoid being scammed on a dating site.
- The scammer will use a fake name (often with a common last name), but their first name will be real. Their name often wouldn’t seem out of place on an American or European background check (like John Smith).
- Scammers often claim to be from the same city as their victims or even the same neighborhood. But then they will tell you that they frequently travel for work or other reasons. Why? It’s easier for them to explain why they avoid meeting up with you face-to-face.
- They will often say they are in the military or working on an oil rig in another country. In fact, these scams are common because it’s easy for scammers to pretend to be overseas and ask for money for various reasons (upkeep of equipment or medical bills).
- Once trust has been established, the romance scammer will ask for money so he/she can visit/visit soon.
- They usually ask for money through wire transfers or cashier checks sent via overnight mail services like FedEx Overnight Delivery Service (FedEx Overnight).
- They might explain that there’s something wrong with their situation at home – and they cannot visit you because of this. Maybe their mom is sick etc. And then they’ll link this excuse to asking you for money to get them back home – and to you!
6 Tips To Avoid Online Dating Scams
Coming up are tips on how to spot a scammer so you stay protected.
1. Check their grammar and spelling.
Scammers will often have poor grammar and spelling because they don’t care about the quality of their writing or presentation. If someone has an error-free profile, it’s likely they’re legitimate (unless they’re trying too hard).
You also should be sure that if you’re messaging back and forth with someone regularly over several days or weeks that their writing style remains consistent throughout those conversations. Otherwise, something might be fishy!
2. Check out their photos very carefully
Some scammers will use stock images from Google Images or other websites where anyone can upload pictures freely without having any proof that these people exist outside of cyberspace, so keep your eyes open!
3. Do Your Research
Before you start chatting with someone online, it’s important to do your research. Take the time to Google their name and any other information you have about them. Check out their social media profiles, if they have them, and see if everything adds up.
If they claim to work for a certain company, look up the company’s website and see if their name is listed there. If something seems off or doesn’t add up, it’s better to be safe than sorry and move on.
4. Trust Your Gut
If something feels off about the person you’re talking to online, trust your gut. Romance scammers often use emotional manipulation to trick people into sending them money.
They might make grand gestures of love early on or claim to be in a difficult financial situation. If you feel like something isn’t quite right, it’s important to trust your instincts and take a step back. Don’t feel like you owe this person anything. And don’t be afraid to block them if necessary.
5. Be Careful With Your Personal Information
Romance scammers often try to get as much personal information from their victims as possible. This can include things like your full name, address, phone number, and even your social security number.
Be very careful about sharing this information with someone you’ve just met online. If someone is pressuring you to give them personal information or money, it’s a red flag that they might be a romance scammer.
6. Use a VPN
One way to protect yourself from romance scammers online is to use a virtual private network. A VPN encrypts your internet connection and masks your IP address, making it more difficult for scammers to track your online activity. This is especially important if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, as these networks are often unsecured and can be easily hacked.
You should also keep in mind that romance scammers can use a VPN to hide their true location and identity online. By using a VPN, they can make it appear as if they are connecting from a different country or region, which makes it more difficult for authorities to track them down. This also allows them to access blocked websites and services that might be used to verify their identity or location.
7. Stay Up-to-Date on Online Scams
Romance scammers are always coming up with new tactics to trick people out of their money. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest scams and be aware of the warning signs. The Federal Trade Commission has a great resource called Scam Alerts that you can sign up for to receive updates on the latest scams. You can also check out websites like Scamwatch or the Better Business Bureau to stay informed.
8. Never, ever give money to someone you met online
If someone asks for money from you on an online dating site immediately after meeting them, it’s likely a scammer trying to get their hands on your bank account information to steal all your hard-earned cash.
In conclusion, online dating can be a great way to meet new people and potentially find love. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks, including romance scammers. By doing your research, trusting your gut, being careful with your personal information, and staying up-to-date on online scams, you can protect yourself. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to online dating.
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