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Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.
They’ll hit you with the full force of their charm; they’ll say sweet things, compliment you a lot, and talk about how perfect you are for each other within the first couple weeks.
Think about if you would find it strange for someone to be acting like this if you just met in real life.
They might even set up a time to meet and then say they were held up by something else. Some scammers will use similar excuses for avoiding phone conversations, though many will talk to you on the phone before reeling you in for the scam. If the person you’re talking to is who they say they are, they almost certainly will not ask you for money or financial details. ” is not a question that a sincere person is likely to ask on a first date.
Of course, some people are just shy or are nervous about meeting people that they’ve met online—this isn’t anything out of the ordinary (it’s also possible that they’re trying to avoid getting caught by a spouse The Ashley Madison dating site was recently hacked by hackers who threatened to leak the entire database unless the site closed. Asking for any other financial information—where you bank, anything about your credit cards, how much you have in savings—should be a big warning sign.
The profiles of online dating scammers can exhibit some clear signs that something is off—you just need to know what to look for.
Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.
If their profile says they’ve lived in Ohio their entire lives, but they’re using non-standard English, or have notably poor grammar, that could be a warning sign (think of the kinds of errors you’d see in a Nigerian scam email or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say. Obviously, there are plenty of non-native speakers out there who are sincerely looking for a relationship, and they could very well be from heritage speaking communities in the United State or Britain.
This isn’t a dead giveaway, but it’s something to watch out for.
If someone sends you a message and says they’d like to get to know you, save a copy of their picture and use Google’s reverse image search to see if anyone has posted about that photo being used for a scam.
If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary.
Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.