When it comes to online safety and dating sites, we have done series of comprehensive researches and will pour out the best of our results in this article. Do well to Read every word to the last line.
The first thing you need to keep at the back of your mind is, the Danger is real.
One last word before I launch into our guidance: it’s worth highlighting that there are ( broadly speaking) two different types of risks you face when it comes to online dating:
- Risks you face from a predator online: including being defrauded of your savings and identity theft. The risk is high for Women that is above 45 years.
- Risks you face from a predator in person: for example being sexually assaulted by someone who picks you up for a date. The risk is high for women that is below 25 years.
- DIG DEEP ABOUT THEIR IDENTITY
You need to remind yourself that you know absolutely nothing about the person you’ve just met, apart from what they’ve said on their profile.
Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to get more information about them, including:
- Find them on Facebook. Gather as much information you can to reassure yourself that they are who they say they are. Do you have mutual friends? If so, ask your friends about them.
How many friends do they have? How authentic are their posts? Are their posts consistent with who they say they are and where they live?
- Find them on LinkedIn and do the same
- Do a reverse image search on their profile pictures. If you use Chrome as your browser, this is absurdly easy to do: just right-click on the image and choose “Search Google for Image”. If not, just open images.google.com in your browser, click the photo icon and paste in the image you want to search.
Many scammers use images stolen from public profiles, and will show up on multiple sites under different names. If they do, stay away!
- Google them! You can often find people simply based on a location, a first name, and some of the basic information they provide on their profile
Do it the old-fashioned way: just ask them for some information that you could use to verify that they are who they say they are. If they say they work at your local library, for example, give the library a call and ask to speak to them … it can be that simple!
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- guaranteed warning signals
No matter how long you’ve known someone online, you should be on the lookout for any of the following warning signals:
- Someone who says they live locally, but are currently travelling abroad for work or vacation
- Asking for money or donations.
- Any form of solicitation or spam
- Asking your home address to send you gifts
- Asking you for personally identifying information
- Hard luck stories (e.g. sudden and unexpected medical expenses for their kids)
- Similarly, stories that are too good to be true … such as a great business opportunity — if only they had some money
- Asking you to get off the dating site and communicate via a different chat system
- Early and enthusastic declarations of love — let’s be realistic, if you met someone in the real world and started saying they loved you after a couple of conversations you’d be suspicious, wouldn’t you?
- Anything that feels a little off kilter — such as getting basic information about your area wrong, as though they were learning about it from the Internet, poor spelling and grammar that isn’t consistent with who they claim to be, using an international phone number, etc
- Not being willing to meet in person.
- If hE is genuine ; report and delete.
At the first sign of any suspicious activity, report the profile to the administrator and then delete them from your contacts. Don’t linger because their profile sounds so great, or that they have developed a great connection with you.
Some of the worst cases of scams involved people who discovered the scammer was a fraud but continued on anyway, letting their emotions get the better of them and throwing all caution out the window in the quest for love.
Don’t make the same mistake!
- Don’t be TOO suspicious
This one may seem totally odd in this article, no doubt seems to be projecting, but it’s important to remember that you’re on a dating site and you need to connect with people. If you are TOO suspicious of the people you meet, you’re never going to trust anyone. And they’re probably going to find you decidedly odd.
Not everyone is going to be perfect. Maybe they don’t have a Facebook profile so you can’t check them out online. Or maybe they ask for your phone number because they are trusting and just want to call you, not because they’re a scammer.
At some point you need to make a judgement call about the person you’re talking to. All we’re saying is that you need to exercise a little bit of common sense.
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