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Easy How To Spot An Online Dating Scammer

doylc.com - How To Spot An Online Dating Scammer - This teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. Online dating scammers tend to target people who have a large amount of information in their profiles, and the scam is usually based around stealing money, credit card information, or personal information from the victim.

Recognizing Scammers

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Understand the driving principles behind scamming techniques. Scammers typically try to find people who seem vulnerable (e.g., widowers or single, older people). Once a scammer makes a connection with a victim, they will request money for an emergency (e.g., a hospital bill) or a circumstantial event (e.g., a plane ticket to come see you).

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Know that anyone can fall victim to a scam. While middle-aged widowers have traditionally been targets for online fraud, no online dating user is exempt from being targeted by scams on an international scale.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Look for typical scammer behavior. While no two scammers are identical, nearly all dating scammers will exhibit several of the following behaviors:

Insistence on taking the conversation off of the dating service (e.g., asking to text or email)

Repeatedly asking for odd personal information (e.g., your location)

Disconcertingly dramatic, erratic, or otherwise strange behavior (in all likelihood, you'll want to avoid dating people like this anyway)

Early or inappropriate professions of love

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Review the person's profile. Common scammer profiles are modeled differently depending on whether they are male or female, but you'll usually see several of the following attributes if the person is a scammer:

High income

Average height

Attractive

No political persuasion

Engineer (male) or student (female)

Mid-40s (male) or low 30s (female)

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Note any age difference in which you are the older one. Online dating scammers usually target people older than themselves.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Check their photo for duplicates. Save a copy of their profile photo, then upload it to Google to search for other instances of it. If you see several other sites with the photo pop up in the results, then you know that—at the very least—they're not using their own photo.

If you do determine that they're not using their own photo, consider calling them out. This may reveal more suspicious behavior.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Look closely at their side of the conversation. When communicating, scammers' messages will be full of inconsistencies, often getting their own name or your name wrong. These messages may be badly written or repeat themselves. Watch for these other signs:

Their command of language deteriorates with time. They may even start out having no clue about grammar or punctuation.

They make mistakes in that their "story" begins to contradict itself.

Alternatively, they never provide any personal details about themselves.

They mix pronouns (he/she, him/her).

They mention things that seem entirely unrelated to the profile they've built up of themselves, or that seem too revealing and even unbelievable.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Ask them to meet up. Scammers will never meet you in person, and they will usually express reluctance to do so when asked.

If the person with whom you're talking either outright refuses to meet you or bails on your plans multiple times in a row, they're most likely a scammer.

Alternatively, the person may ask you to pay for their ticket or means of transportation.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Ask to contact the person via video or voice chat. If the person isn't willing to meet up, consider asking if you can contact them at their number (never your own) or via a voice- or video-chat app such as Skype. If they agree to this, pay attention to their tone and use of language; if their demeanor seems to contradict what you know about them, it's best to walk away.

Again, if the person outright refuses to talk to you over an audio or video connection, they're most likely a scammer.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Watch out for the catch. When scammers think they have you on their hook, they attempt to reel you in. This is usually when they will "agree" to meet up or talk to you, but their plans to do so will usually be interrupted by a financial emergency.

As a general rule, if the person to whom you're talking asks for money in any context, they're a scammer.

Don't fall for phrases like "For this to work, we both have to trust each other" or "I thought you loved me"; this is a form of emotional manipulation.

Preventing Scams

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Keep your profile as private as possible. One of the first steps in making your profile scammer-proof is limiting the amount of information they can see. If possible, restrict your country/state/region, phone number, email address, job, and any other personal information from your public profile.

Most services require you to display your age, a description, and a picture. Outside of those items, you should keep the rest of your profile blank.

Scammers require quite a bit of information about you before they can attempt to reel you in, so limiting their leverage from the start decreases your odds of being targeted.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Don't give potential scammers leverage over you. A common scam involves the scammer saving any risque photos, videos, and/or messages sent to them, uploading them to a public website, and using the uploaded content to blackmail the sender into paying them. As such, avoid sending messages that reveal who you are, at least at first.

This doesn't mean that you can't interact with the person as you please; just remember that anything you send to a stranger online can be used against you.

Avoid sending photos or videos that show friends or family, or that give away your location.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Keep your discussions on the dating site. If you're using a dating site that has a built-in chat option (as most do), your safest bet is to keep your conversations with the other person limited to the dating site's chat. If the other person suggests moving to email or texting, decline.

This will usually allow your selected dating site to review the contents of your messages if you decide to report the other person as a scammer.

Keeping discussions within the dating service will also allow you to block the person later (if needed) without having to block them in your email or on your phone as well.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Avoid giving out your real phone number. If you must move the conversation over to your smartphone, don't tell the other person your number. This doesn't mean that you have to give someone a fake number; there are plenty of free mobile instant messaging services—WhatsApp, Skype, Google Voice, and Facebook Messenger are only a few examples—that can be used to message someone freely without having to compromise your real phone number.

If the person to whom you're talking refuses to use any mode of conversation except your phone number, there's a decent chance that they're more interested in the number than in the conversation.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Document your interactions with the person. If you suspect that the person with whom you're conversing is attempting to scam you, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have evidence against them:

Refrain from deleting conversations or other forms of communication.

Take screenshots of the conversations.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Stop talking to the person if need be. There's nothing wrong with cutting off contact with someone, especially if you think that they might be a scammer. If you have a bad feeling after interacting with a person online, you don't owe them your time.

Many dating sites will allow you to block the person to whom you're talking. As long as they don't have your email address or phone number, doing this will prevent them from being able to contact you at all.

If the person becomes unreasonably outraged or sends threats your way, be sure to take screenshots and report the person's profile to the dating service.

How to Spot an Online Dating Scammer

Report scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If you do get scammed, you should file a complaint on the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center site at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx by clicking File a Complaint and filling out the form.

Naturally, you should also report the scammer to the site on which you were scammed.

Help Spotting Scams

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