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It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.
Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
While there are online dating scammers from all over the world, a significant number of them come from non-English-first-language countries, which means that sometimes there will be communicative markers that indicate your suitor isn’t who they say they are.
If their profile says they’ve lived in Ohio their entire lives, but they’re using non-standard English, or have notably poor grammar, that could be a warning sign (think of the kinds of errors you’d see in a Nigerian scam email or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say. Obviously, there are plenty of non-native speakers out there who are sincerely looking for a relationship, and they could very well be from heritage speaking communities in the United State or Britain.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
Don’t fall for it: there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site.
Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.
Again, both men and women can and have fallen victim to online dating scammers, but women tend to be targeted more aggressively.The photos used by scammers can also clue you in that something is off.If someone sends you a message and says they’d like to get to know you, save a copy of their picture and use Google’s reverse image search to see if anyone has posted about that photo being used for a scam.This isn’t a dead giveaway, but it’s something to watch out for.
While the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs.
Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.