While the internet is a great and easy place to look for love, it is also a dangerous place if you are not on your guard. Since you will be putting your best foot forward to impress your would be love, you can be an easy target for online dating scam. Far too often, Internet daters with love in their eyes have gotten swindled by people who have played their heartstrings to milk them for cash and more. Finding love online has worked for tons of people, but if you want to be one of them, you have to be savvy about spotting red flags of a bad or dangerous situation. When you are evaluating your new online friends, keep an eye out for these clues to help protect yourself from falling victim to the scammers.
The first big clue you should look for is inconsistencies in the stories your new online friend emails you. You do this naturally when you meet people in the real world, but with time and space between emails, it might take a closer look for you to do this when you have met someone on the net. Does the person the other end tell the same stories over and over again, but with a little difference each time? Does the tone or voice of the email seem to change? Does the person you talk to seem to better at spelling or grammar in some emails than others? All of these things can be clues that you are not just talking to one love sick person but rather a team of con artists setting you up as the perfect mark.
The next clue is if the person talking to you online is interested in asking question after question about you but actually reveals very little about them. Sometimes, when you have stars in your eyes and are enjoying the attention it can be a little difficult to realize that deep conversation has all been one sided. After a conversation, ask yourself what you could tell someone about your online love. If you can’t come up with anything personal about them beyond where they live and their name, you might have been milked for the kind of information that makes it easier to swindle you.
This next clue is a little touchy, but it is an important one. Check out that picture that your online friend sent to you. Are you a little bit in shock over just how attractive they are? Gorgeous people need love to, and sure, some of them do look for it online. But Internet hustlers often turn photos of bikini models and body builders into personal photos for their online profile. Does this photo really match who you think this person is? If you’re suspicious, trust your gut.
This last clue seems a little bit obvious on the surface, but in practice it may be a little harder to apply than you think. If your online dating friend asks for money, you should definitely run the other way. It can be easy to scoff at the idea that you would even consider handing over your cash to a stranger online. When a person has been showering you with attention and affection, engaging in long, in depth conversations with you, seemingly eager to invite you into their life, and then they have a little “emergency” and need your help, it is much less easy to say no. You may feel like you are lending money to a friend in need. What you’re really doing is giving money to a stranger. If they ask, you should cut them off.
The bottom line for online dating is to look for these signs, but above, listen to the alarm bells that go off in your own head. If you think it isn’t right, it probably isn’t.