Online dating scams happen each and every day. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, PlentyofFish the list goes on and on. Online daters may be vulnerable to possible scammers. In this article, we will divulge the 2 most popular styles of online dating scams as well as the top 5 things you can start doing today to minimize the risk for yourself.
Although this is primarily for online dating, with the emergence of social media these tips are interchangeable and apply for both.
So whether you are testing the waters with online dating or new to social media, you will want to know the following bits of information to safeguard your online reputation.
To help put this into perspective here is an example of a previous client of ours.
Let’s refer to him as John. So John, a middle-aged happy go lucky individual just made the transition from his old flip phone to the new iPhone XR. John is a retiree in Florida who has retired with plentiful savings from the oil industry who has nothing but time to kill. One day, John was sitting at home minding his own business, tinkering on his new smartphone. John has been single for several years after unfortunately losing his wife.
After years alone and a new outlook on life with his brand new smartphone, he decides to download Tinder. A dating application where you simply swipe left or right if you are interested in meeting.
Within minutes of creating his profile he matches with a younger female. She instantly messages him. After a few hours of talking, the female informs John that her family is in need of dire assistance. Her child is severely ill but she cannot make a payment due to unforeseen events. So she asks John (after learning about his fortunes) if he can help. Now John, being new to the internet and naive on how others operate took this request as a sincere one.
Shortly after he handed over his banking information. John never heard from the female again. Over the span of 3 decades, the guy drained his 401(k) retirement accounts, which totaled more than $100,000. To make matters worse, John was informed by the IRS to pay taxes on his own 401k.
This goes to show that no matter how honest and truthful you are with others the same treatment is rarely reciprocated. Especially for older individuals and internet users, you must be well-informed of all potential threats you may face.
The internet is a double-edged sword. It is here to assist you with finding answers, however the same goes for those looking for your personal/private data.
Types of Online Dating Scams
Listed below are two of the highest-profile scams that have directly influenced online dating participants:
Money Demands: In reality, they’re probably the very first thing that crosses people’s heads when they think of the pitfalls of online dating. Here we see users asking others for money, just like in our example above. This should be common knowledge however we frequently see this issue amongst our clientele.
Coercion: Some sufferers have reported falling for extortion, especially once the talk, shared photos, or webcam chats turn intimate.
Many of these scams are rampant on social media platforms, not only dating sites. That means you could become a victim even when you’re not an active member at the “online dating scene.”
5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Online Dating Scams
So just how do you search for love online while still protecting yourself from online dating scams? Start by following these straightforward guidelines:
1. Keep the Conversation Online
Do not take the dialogue to some platform off of the dating website. At least not until you have adequate reasoning to trust this individual. The dating site you use must have safeguards in place to delete accounts when users are caught violating their terms.
A popular tactic most users use is once they feel comfortable, instead of exchanging phone numbers they add each other on another social platform (i.e. SnapChat, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc). Personally, this is the best course of action.
You are not exposing any personal information besides a social media handle (that can always be changed). Also, by using social sites such as Instagram or SnapChat you always have the ability to block, remove or report users.
This means all the safeguarding and protective measures are in place whereas if you simply exchange phone numbers you are exposing personal data.
2. Be Aware of Common Tricks
Be mindful of some of the most frequent tactics which might comprise, by way of example, the other individual asserting that they have an arduous job, to explain why they can not communicate with you regularly, but the scammer is actually covering up the reality they have to balance out the time they’re giving to other sufferers.
Nearly all “requests” can seem sincere when working online. Users may say they are on vacation, deploy or give other reasons as to why they cannot access their bank accounts.
3. Never Discuss Money
Never agree to give or transfer money, to anyone you meet online. It isn’t important how long you have been chatting.
If the other party needs the cash and has no other “real life” means of getting it, then this might be a warning sign of somebody you shouldn’t be associating with.
4. Fast-Forwarding: Beware!
Be cautious of flattery, pet names, and guarantees of lifelong love that come far too soon in a relationship.
Remember, in the “real world” you would likely run away from somebody who began talking about marriage by your third date. So there is more reason to be wary of someone who’s too quick to latch onto you while online dating.
5. Always Remember To Think
Trust your friends and family. If the people around you are worried about you, that doesn’t mean that you have to drop the internet friendship. It does signal, though, that you may be a little too blinded by affection to find out what so many other people are seeing.
However, before you let somebody steal your heart online, be sure they are not really after your bank accounts or your own identity.