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Consider your voyage onto a dating site like a walk around your favorite city. There are the nice parts, shady parts, a red light district, places to settle down, and dark alleys you might be in danger to walk down. Dating sites are an online version of the real world. You can look for the girl or guy next door, find a hookup, meet the love of your life, or have a foreign romance (though it might only be with a scammer).
Here are some of the top online scams you need to watch out for:
1. MARRIED: It may not be a ‘scam’ in the traditional sense, but be aware that, according to research, one third or more of men on dating sites are married. The numbers are close enough for women. That means that for every profile you look at, don’t assume that their description as ‘single’ is accurate.
Some clues that your catch might be married, could be that their profile picture is nonexistent or hard to view, as if they’re trying to camouflage their identity to passersby. If you give your phone number to your date but, even after a few dates, they are wary to give you there’s, then ask why. Tan lines on ring finger are ‘old school’ clues.
‘New school’ is whether they introduce you to friends or family… or if you notice a pattern to their messages, that isn’t explained by their job or lifestyle. Only texting during work hours and or night texts might be a warning sign of their marital status. Also, if you date for awhile and have yet to see their home, this can also be a sign.
2. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: I have no doubt that you are a masterpiece in your own right and deserving of wolf whistles. However, if your date looks like a model and you’re more an average Joe or Jane, then stop and wonder why. If you’re 60 and getting messages from beautiful or buff twenty somethings, assume that they are in want of something that is more in line with a scam than love. It’s likely to be a Catfish or a Scammer.
3. NOT WHO THEY SAY: Some people have fun tricking others. Others have mental or emotional problems. Some people have both. Combine this type with those who are married or two good to be true, and you could have a problem on your hands. Catfish can pretend to be a normal, nice person. Some Catfish are nice behind the scenes, while others are not. Imagine the confusion of finding out an in depth digital or phone relationship is not. Also, do they always seem to be online? This might be a Catfish who is constantly chatting up others or the next type of scam we’re about to describe.
4. THE TRAVELLER: How impressive that your future date travels the world and wants to connect with you before they return to the area! This could, theoretically… though not likely, happen, but more often it’s a foreign Scammer or Nigerian/419 scheme. If you’re getting led into a relationship or interacting with someone who claims they always live far away or is currently away, reconsider if it’s worth the emotional and time investment. If you’re looking for a relationship on a dating site, whatever the type of relationship, set a standard to only be involved with someone who is local enough to actually see and weed out for red flags. This type of scam will usually lead to money requests or can be a Catfish who wants to conceal their identity for emotional reasons. Look for grammar or language cues, or the mixing up of words like him/ her.
5. PHOTO DISCREPANCIES: This can tie in with any of the above scams or schemes on dating sites. Suspicious that someone might be using a fake photo? Use www.socialcatfish.com and know for sure, . Some other things to look for are the background and landscape of photos sent. Look for items which may not indicate the person is whom they say or lives where they claim.
6. INTUITION: Most important, use your intuition and your smarts!