The 5 Most Common Dating Scams
Online dating is more accepted than ever, with people of all ages starting to find love on apps or websites. However, not everyone on a dating site or app is looking to find love.
It’s common to find people who are faking, whether to get attention or to scam someone out of money. Although the former can be heartbreaking, the latter can actually end up sending you into debt.
Here are five common dating scams that you might come across in your online dating adventures.
1. Asking for Money Because of Emergencies
If someone’s catfishing you for financial gain, he or she usually won’t straight-up ask you for money without a fake reason behind it. To most effectively convince you to hand over your money, the person will play on your emotions.
Most people are compassionate by nature. So, if an online match tells you about being in a difficult financial position, it might coerce you into handing over your hard-earned money to help.
Don’t give money to online strangers until you’ve verified his or her identity through a reputable source.
2. Requesting Personal Information, Supposedly to Get to Know You
Many scammers are smart, and will slowly work around your defenses for personal information.
Obviously, you won’t give your full name and address immediately. So, the person will start slowly, perhaps asking about your family, where you live, where you grew up, or places you like to frequent. Then, the questions may become more specific: your mother’s maiden name, the name of the bank you use, the names of your pets, or the names of your siblings, which are all common answers to security questions.
Be cautious when answering any personal questions!
3. Suggesting a First Date in a Secluded Area
Most people know enough not to fall for this, but love can cloud anyone’s senses. Always set up a first date in a public area, and don’t go back to the other person’s residence on the very first date. Once you’re comfortable with the person, you can bring that option into the equation. This scam is often perpetrated by those who wish to inflict physical harm on others.
4. Convincing You to Send Expensive Gifts
Even if you know enough to avoid sending money to people you’re dating online, it’s still common to give gifts. However, scammers can use this as essentially a way to make money off you.
Anyone who insists on expensive items will often turn out to be a scammer. The person will convince you to send expensive gifts, and then resell them once they arrive.
If you want to give gifts to your online sweetheart, stick to something a bit more moderately priced that has more personal value than resale value.
5. Directing You to Outside Websites
This is a tactic that some scammers use to install viruses or tracking software on your computer. Because it’s suspicious to send a link with no context, scammers might try to convince you that it’s a place where you can verify his or her identity.
A strong ad blocker and antivirus software will usually be able to protect you from these. But make sure you think hard before clicking any links, anyway.
Use a People Search Engine to Catch Scammers
One of the best ways to catch a scammer in the act is to use a people search engine. You may be able to hide your digital footprint, but it’s much harder to hide your real identity from an online people search engine like PeopleFinders.
If you’re worried that your partner is catfishing or scamming you, try performing a public records search using his or her name and location. Hopefully, you will find the real person behind that name. If you find no results at all, it might be time to get suspicious.
If you’ve been texting back and forth, perform a reverse phone lookup on the number. You may be able to see who actually owns the phone number. And if it’s not the name of your new date, it could be the real person who’s trying to scam you.
Dating scams encompass a variety of methods and targets. Whether the scammer is trying to get you to send money, or posing as an attractive person to get your personal information, it’s damaging and heartbreaking. To protect both your heart and your wallet, it’s just smart to try and verify the information for any of your potential online dates.
Image attribution: 4 Girls 1 Boy – stock.adobe.comTags: Dating, Online Identity, Online Safety, Scammer
Categorized in: Scams