Are you using dating sites and apps and wondering how to spot scammers and the tactics they use to scam you? This article explores this topic in detail…
First of all, let’s determine what “romance scam” really is
A scam of this kind is basically when someone is trying to gain your trust, love or attention using such means as dating websites or apps like Tinder or Badoo.
Most of the time, people behind the fake profiles using them to play with your emotions. Once you’re on the hook, they would try to steal your personal information and perform a so-called identity theft.
Ways dating scammers operate
One of the most common tactics scammers might take is to make you feel you’re having a lifetime romance and sometimes even pretend they’re booking a plane ticket to visit you, but in reality, no one will ever visit you.
Once, you’re feeling comfortable and start trusting your online date, sooner or later they would subtly or openly ask you for money, gifts or any kind of help from your side.
Most likely, the money you’re asked to send would be needed to solve some kind of emergency or sometimes, to cover the travel expenses to reach you.
The mentioned above scenarios should become a red flag for you, meaning the chances you’re talking to a dating scammer are high.
How to find out if you’re dealing with an online scammer
1. From the very beginning of the conversation, they insist to get in touch via popular online messengers, rather than through dating websites or apps you use.
2. They look like a supermodel and the pictures they send are of the same quality
3. They express strong feelings towards you from the beginning
4. They ask a ton of questions about you and your life but never tell anything about them.
5. They ask for any kind of financial assistance or help
How to spot a fake profile
Most of the time you might consider a profile is fake if they fall into the following categories:
1. Your online friend is asking for money from you.
2. They request a lot of information from your side but rarely provide any about them
3. They utilize poor grammar or speech, even though claiming to be a native speaker.
4. You’re asked to chat on another website or app.
5. They fall in love with you instantly.
In general, trust your guts feeling when making a decision on how to spot a fake profile online.
5 Rules to protect your privacy on online dating sites and apps
Never share personal details
Don’t share the names of your pets or your relative’s maiden name on dating sites or apps. This can be used to gain access to your personal address. The impact it can make can be extremely dreadful. Moreover, your nickname shouldn’t contain such details as well.
Never move too fast in your online endeavors
Normally, a fraudster will make the first step and most of the times, it will come out of nowhere. They will try to “attack” you when you’re most vulnerable or once you fell in love in return.
Get a separate email address
Use a different one than your personal one.
Always report fake profiles wherever you find them
Most of the time, scammers tend to register on dating sites or apps as military or aid workers, international businessmen or other “trusted” professions.
Go check them on the websites like Nuwber. Similar operating websites store all information available online about a person and provide you with a valid report on your online friend for a reasonable price.
Tell your friends and relatives you’re dating someone online
Never be afraid of telling your loved ones you’re having an online affair. This will save you from the hassle of falling into an eternal loophole of constant doubts, especially if you’re emotionally involved in that.
We hope that you’ve found this information to protect yourself when using dating sites and apps useful. If you did, feel free to share this article with your friends.
Watch this space for updates in the Hacks category on Running Wolf’s Rant.