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8 Ways You Can Avoid Online Dating Scams

February 11, 2022 3:24 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Now there are dating scams. Just when you think you learned of a good majority of scams, here comes another one you need to be worried about. I have good news for you, however. We will share eight online dating scams you can learn to recognize and avoid.

You are at risk for an online dating scam, no matter which demographic you come from. Scammers target everyone regardless of age, gender, preferred platform, and more. Unless you learn to recognize red flags for a scam, you could suffer serious consequences.

Unfortunately, scammers target you more often if you are a senior citizen. According to MUO, the biggest targets for long-term catfishing scams are vulnerable or isolated people.

You can’t choose which platform to use and think you will be safe from online dating scams. Plenty of Fish (POF) is the biggest offender, but almost all platforms can get you scammed.

With the rise of dating apps, scammers cast an even wider net for potential targets and automate much of the process, using bots to lure victims into scams.

Will You Be Able to Identify an Online Dating Scammer?

Will you be able to identify an online dating scammer? If you are careful and pay attention to the eight online dating scams we share with you below, you can.

1. Watch out for profile warning signs.

It would be best if you looked out for a few signs when looking at a potential match’s online dating profile. If it
is a scammer, you may see the following typical traits.

a. Their profiles have very few images or images that seem to be model or glamour stock photos.
b. Despite looking for singles in your area, they work or live in another country.
c. Many scammers claim to be on military deployment in another country.

You will not see a lot of information from scammers or bots. It is not unusual to see only one or two photos, and you won’t see any social media sites.

2. The Scammers Try to Take the Conversation Elsewhere

If you are a victim of an online dating scam, the scammers will want you to get off the platform you both are on as quickly as possible. This will apply particularly to scammers that are catfishing.

Scammers often want to communicate via written messages on social media apps like Facebook or Instagram. However, they may also choose to message you via SMS or an app like WhatsApp. Be wary of anyone you haven’t met that wants to move the conversation to another platform.

If you are a potential online dating victim, scammers will want you to get off the platform you both are on as quickly as possible. This will apply particularly to scammers that are catfishing.

Scammers often want to communicate via written messages on social media apps like Facebook or Instagram. However, they may also choose to message you via SMS or an app like WhatsApp. Be wary of anyone you haven’t met that wants to move the conversation to another platform.

3. Your Match Professes Love Early On

You will be amazed how quickly online dating scammers move in terms of telling you how much they love you. You will hear them say they love you and are ready to have a deep bond with you. Remember the adage – if it sounds too true, it probably is.

Watch out! If you feel lonely and vulnerable, you are at risk of being a part of catfishing online. It would be best if you looked out for any overly flattering matches and extremely eager pursuers devoted early on in your communication when you haven’t even met.

4. The Scammer Says He (or She) Wants to Meet You but Never Shows Up.

You may have heard this line multiple times. A dating defrauder is often all words but no action.

MUO says this is also the reason why so many gougers claim to work in another country or be on military deployment; it provides them with an excuse for not being able to meet up. Many scammers use photos of military personnel and soldiers on their profiles, even though the ID is false. It’s not theirs.

Don’t be surprised if the reason given alludes to the excuse that money is needed first so a ticket can be purchased to meet you.

5. Do Not Expect the Scammer to Use Video Chat

A catfisher will not appear in video chat. Why? It is because the profile has fraudulent profile images. Be suspicious if your potential lover won’t appear in a video chat. You may hear the excuse that the camera is broken.

What? Many smartphones now have built-in selfie cameras, making video chat relatively easy. You now have another red flag you should watch for. Yes, the suitor may be shy…but it’s a red flag if someone professes to be your lover yet won’t let you talk to them over video chat after weeks of communication.

6. They Request Money from You

Scammers want money. That is typically their goal. Some scenarios they may use are family emergencies, health predicaments, or travel excuses. MUO shared that some scammers even request financial help or investment related to their fictional business. If any financial request comes from your admirer or something related to them (such as a package or business need), this is the most significant sign that you are the target of a scam.

7. They Ask for Your Help with Financial Transactions

According to MUO, “One of the newer online dating scams doesn’t request money from victims, but turns them into “money mules.” Rather than trying to get money from the victim, these scammers make you an accomplice in money laundering.” Here is how it works.

One example includes the scammer sending money to the victim, who then sends them an Amazon card or another kind of gift card. Other times they might send you money and ask you to send it to another account for them.

Sometimes, scammers may ask a victim to open a bank account for them. Don’t fall for it if your online suitor asks you to get involved in these types of financial transactions and exchanges.

8. They Send You a Link to Another Service or Website

You wonder what the issue is with that. It seems harmless enough. Scammers might not use catfishing altogether, deciding to use more efficient means to exploit victims. More recent methods are where a scammer sends you a link to an app, game, service, or website they say they want you to try out. Um-hum, this is often a ploy to get you to supply financial information or download malware. Again, please don’t do it. It is essentially the online dating version of phishing and is a prevalent tactic for swindlers on dating apps like Tinder.

Megabite computer repair Fernandina Beach cares about you. We write about scamming because we want you to be aware that new spam methods are rising all the time. Check out our Categories for Spams. If you have questions, contact us or call us at 904-430-0350.

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This post was written by Pam Lokker

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