How to Avoid Online Dating Scams

The Internet has created more opportunities for people to connect than any other invention. Chat rooms, social networking sites, and online dating services offer us the chance to find that perfect someone without having to endure the dating scene. Unfortunately this convenience comes with a price. Many scam artists use online dating as an avenue for fraud.

One common scam involves re-shipping. Identity thieves who have used stolen or counterfeit credit cards to purchase merchandise online often look for another address to receive their ill-gotten gains, thereby making it hard for authorities to track them down. Typically, they will befriend someone through social networking, gain their trust, ask them to receive packages for them, and then re-ship the packages to another address. The victim, thinking that they are helping a friend or love interest, becomes an unwitting accomplice to receiving stolen property.

Fraudsters also use online dating to steal money directly from their victims. Once a con artist has gained their trust, he creates a situation that requires the victim to send him money. This is often in the form of travel expenses, medical bills, or even bail. Usually, once the money has been sent, the fraudster disappears. Occasionally, scam artists will continue to bilk a victim over and over again, continuing until the trust has been exhausted.

Money is not the only motivation for online dating deception. Sexual predators also use the Internet to find and lure victims. While this tactic is often used against children, many adults have become the victims of sexual assault because they trusted someone they met online.

Online dating can be safe if you take sensible precautions. Never agree to accept packages on someone else’s behalf. Never send money to someone that you have not met or don’t know well. Do not agree to meet someone by yourself for the first time. Pick a public place that you’re comfortable with and bring a friend along. Take some time to get to know people before placing your trust in them. Your life may depend on it.

How to Avoid Online Dating Scam – Some Essential Tips You Have To Know

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.

Online Dating Scams- What to Look for and How to Protect Yourself

If you are looking for love online, you may well find it. Every day, more and more people are joining the search, and thousands can now testify to happy, lasting relationships that have formed as a result. Sadly, thousands more have fallen victim to online dating scams.

Here are secrets to spotting online dating scams, as well as specific ways you can protect yourself.

Online dating scams take a variety of forms, but they have one thing in common: money. If you have met a genuine person in your search for online romance, it should be a long time before the subject of money comes up.

But people working for online dating scams will try to raise the issue as soon as possible. They may take a few weeks to try and seduce you, often through email and chat, but they can afford to invest only so much time in any one possible target.

So, if the subject of money comes up relatively quickly with a prospective partner, you should be wary.

The subject of money can take many forms. Some participants in online dating scams will ask you straight out for cash donations (often to help them deal with supposed emergencies) but others will be more subtle.

Often the money you stand to lose will take the form of payments to what seems like a third party, as in telephone online dating scams. Telephone online dating scams often involve the prospective partner asking you to call him or her on a particular number, which is secretly charging you several dollars per minute. These online dating scams can cause you to run up huge phone bills, but because you do not see your bill immediately you may not realize what is going on until you are already in serious trouble.

One of the most common online dating scams is a variation on the ‘Nigerian’ scam, which you may well have encountered before in email. In this online dating scam, the person whom you have an interest in, who often claims to be living in an African country, will tell you that he or she has received some money in the form of money orders that can not be cashed there. The person will then ask you to cash the money orders in your bank and wire the money. The money orders will be forgeries and you may even find yourself charged by your bank for submitting them; however, they can take several weeks to process, so many people fall for these online dating scams and wire the money before they find out what is truly going on.

If the person you have met online lives far away, one of the most tempting ways to spend money is on travel, to enable them to visit you. Many online dating scams take advantage of this with set-ups that enable this prospective partner to pocket the money.

You can avoid these online dating scams by never sending cash and never allowing the other person to determine exactly what travel arrangements or agencies will be used.

While you should not allow online dating scams to put you off when looking for love online, it is important to be aware of them. Remember that any genuine person you meet will know about online dating scams, too. If they care about you, they will respect your need to be careful.