Lifestyle

How to prevent being scammed while online dating

There's lots of love out there, but be careful where you look.

While most of the people involved in online dating are as honest as you are, there are also some people who use online dating as an opportunity for fraud. Most scams are easy to avoid once you know what to look for.

Match.com has provided a guide on how to get the most out of online dating, which includes these tips to make sure someone doesn’t get the most out of your bank account. 

Read more: How to successfully start an online dating relationship.

Phishing scams

These are attempts to use fake credentials to trick you into giving away information like your dating site login or your credit card numbers. Why? Because a lot of us used the same username and password for multiple sites, including email accounts which can offer a whole host of sensitive information. Make sure any links you click on are real, but even better, don’t click and instead go direct to the site yourself. Oh, and use a different password, and change them regularly!

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Fake profiles

Some sites have ‘fake’ profiles to make it look like they have more signed up than they really do. If you don’t get a response from someone you have contacted, it might be that they don’t really exist.

Catfishing

If you have ever seen the TV show you will know what this is. If not, it is when someone pretends to be someone else. It might be you are talking to a real person but they are using someone else’s name and photo. It’s not always a scam for money, but in many cases it can lead to a broken heart when you find out the person on the other end of the computer is not who they say they are. Warning signs are when they constantly make excuses why they can’t meet you in person, or aren’t able to video chat.

Webcam blackmail

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If an online relationship gets intimate, it is time to be careful. Especially where photos or videos are involved. Those ‘exchanged images’ can be used as a way to get money out of you, such as  threats to share them with your friends if you don’t pay up. 

Affiliate sites

If you get some hot young thing hitting you up it could be all your dreams come true. But if they tell you to meet up on another online site to you can chat more, it really is a dream. They’ll get a commission for you signing up and all you’ll get is a large credit card bill. Sometimes it’s not even a person you are talking to, but a bot.

Confidence schemes

Sadly, there are some out there who are looking for money, not love. You might be chatting for a while, even starting to have some feeling for this person, and decide to meet. Suddenly there is a disaster. Someone is sick, dying, needs surgery or needs money or something quick, and they can’t see you because they need to sort this out first. What they are hoping is that you will help them out with some cash. As soon as they get the money they’ll be gone.

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It pays to do a background check on who you are talking to. Does their location match their conversation. Does their picture look too professional? Do they have bad grammar, which indicates they might even been from another country. Does the tone of the conversation change, meaning you could be talking to more than one person. Best advice is to not give money to someone you haven’t met in person. 

Summing up

Internet dating is a highly effective and rewarding way to meet someone new, but it pays to be realistic. We are not saying that you should not be trusting and open when you are dating. In fact, being too suspicious can harm your chances of finding a connection. Instead, think rationally, especially if it seems too good to be true.

What are your experiences from online dating?

 

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.
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