The main advantage online dating has over regular dating is ease-of-access. Everyone can do it from the comfort of their home, while also not wasting time on hopeless dates. Efficiency is something online dating sites pride themselves in, but they also possess one major flaw.
As we said above, everyone can do it. This means that online dating sites are a judgment-free zone – however, it also means that the doors are open to thievery, scams, frauds, and cons.
With that in mind, we’re going to talk about how to spot and avoid online dating scams.
That Innocent Look
Although it certainly demands less effort than going on dates, online dating can sometimes still be a tedious process. Browsing through countless members until you find that decent-looking one who also seems to be a nice person can take a really long time.
And that’s just one side of the coin: there are also cyber-predators out there, hiding behind plain, average profiles until they stumble upon someone who’s gullible enough to entrust them with their money.
There are two main types of online dating scams – obvious and elaborate. In order to learn to spot a fraud on dating services, we’ll walk you through a classic example of the latter.
One day, out of nowhere, you get contacted by someone you’ve never heard from before. They are immensely interested in you, despite you being a 40-year-old woman and them being a 25-year-old man, for example.
The connection kicks off, and now you have an unsuspicious acquaintance that seems like a genuinely honest and fun person. You share information and stories, you ask each other questions here and there – basically, you’re now friends.
The Net Has Been Cast
After a while (and we actually mean a while, since these people seemingly have infinite patience), your new online friend will ask for a favor. Usually, this involves sending them cash for a ticket or for medical bills, but it may also include shipping a package or cashing in a check.
You have two options here – politely deny and sever all contact with the person or play along. If you really want to find out if you’re about to be scammed, choose the second one because maybe, just maybe you’ve come across someone who actually needs help and may turn out to be the love of your life!
It’s easy to recognize an elaborate online dating hoax if the person in question makes another request shortly after. This is due to the fact that many people get hooked on like this, believing that they will get something out of it if they keep sending cash.
However, that’s not the case – the culprit now has his victim in his claws and he won’t stop demanding favors and/or money until he bleeds them dry.
And that’s pretty much how a complex online dating scam works. Even the best dating sites can’t dodge taking in people like these, which means they’re basically around every corner. On the other hand, we have the obvious type – their profiles are inconsistent or are lacking information, they can’t answer simple questions or their English is simply bad.
The obvious type can commonly be found on free dating sites, since it doesn’t take more than a couple of clicks to become a member of one of these. Scammers know this and use it to con people out of their money, so be careful who you trust in the world of online dating.