Internet Dating:How to Identify a Scam

April 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Internet Dating Tips

The ability to remain anonymous and physically separated is a great reason for many to pursue dating online. Many members enjoy getting to know someone that may share common interests, and determine whether they want to take it further without exchanging actual personal information. Unfortunately, these conversations also carry the risk of being taken advantage of through fraud.

Some members may use these online dating sites to take advantage of others, and play on the romantic goals of their victims to scam them. Recognizing one of these scammers is not always easy, but there are a few techniques you can use to reduce your chances of ever becoming a victim.

Most profiles are honestly written, but some may include false ages, genders or even personal information. These false members could be sexual predators or looking to steal money from you. However, many clues may be very obvious through things these members will say about past experiences or events in their life. Some statements or claims may be inconsistent, and they may even show unhealthy interest in you.

Always maintain alertness about the person you’re communicating with and specifics of what is said. There is no reason to be paranoid, as most members are not dangerous; you should remain cautious, especially when you start wondering if you’re misunderstanding a message sent from the other party.

Also, don’t reveal too many personal facts about yourself too early in the relationship. In addition, very personal information like your phone numbers, address and credit card numbers should never be given to anyone.

Before scheduling the first in-person meeting, start with a few phone conversations. Just remember to block your number, or use a cheap cell phone that can be used only for online dating and then thrown away.

Some scammers may try to get your address to pull personal credit information or even to pay you a surprise visit. Anyone offering information about their personal financial situation, or talking about valuable possessions or recent acquirements will be especially susceptible to these attempts, so avoid it.

Don’t reveal the actual place that you work, either. Although arranging a first meeting there may be safe at the beginning, if you decide to stop seeing someone with unhealthy interest could eventually, this could turn to violent or disruptive behavior at your work – never a good impression on your boss or coworkers!

Many of these scammers may attempt to plea for help for a sick child or personal hardship, and they continue to do so because some online daters actually send them money or give them access to their credit card numbers.

These few bad apples can give a bad name to online dating websites, but with some practice and diligence, even you can help to reduce the number of scammers that are able to continue doing business. Don’t forget to immediately forward and report any suspect communications to the dating site’s customer service department to ensure the scammer doesn’t take advantage of others.

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