This year there have been 1267 dating scams reported, involving over $7.5 million! This is a horrible statistic in such a vulnerable area where people are looking for love.
It is one of the reasons I do what I do, to help singles meet in a safe environment. It is a sad fact that women between 45-64 have been the biggest victims.
Scammers create fake online profiles to lure vulnerable singles. They generally use fake photos of a good looking person in a good job. They move things quickly saying they have feelings for you in a short period of time. They go all out to gain your trust with loving words and personal information. Once they have gained trust they will ask for money and help.
Most often it seems too good to be true and it is!
To protect you here are my top twelve tips to keep YOU safe:
- If something seems too good to be true it generally is! Scammers use trusted occupations like doctor or other professional. They realise that profession and security matter to women and they use this. Their photo is always of a good looking older man who is financially secure. Yet the scammer will always ask for money, you need to ask yourself why a professional, financially secure man needs YOUR money!
- They fall in love with you before meeting. Seriously ladies men do not do this! You need to know that nothing is real until you meet, it is that simple!
- Remember men can say ANYTHING online. It can be all too easy to fall for lovely words, especially when you are lonely. But if you haven’t met the person, they are just words. My advice is to have phone conversation after a few messages and then if you can have a good conversation with them then arrange to meet up. This way you get carried away by an idea of a person that can be false idea.
- Use different pictures on your online profile to any other application such as LinkedIn and Facebook. People are able to search by pictures and it can be very easy to find you if you use the same pictures on all applications.
- Never click on links you are sent. Scammers will often ask you if they can send you photos. Links can contain viruses which can give them control of your computer (just watch Black Mirror if you don’t believe me). Let them know that they can send you any photos through the dating app. Or alternatively you can see what they look like when you meet!
- Don’t fall for the trap of being taken off line quickly. Scammers will often ask if they can email or WhatsApp you, when they do this they don’t fall under the rules of the dating app. They can also easily find out your full name from an email as most emails show surnames.
- Watch what information you share. Don’t disclose you live alone or any financial information.
- Many apps will share your location so make sure you turn off the location sharing part as it can make you an easy target for thieves. For example you could share you are out for the night or away on holiday – every criminals dream!
- This may sound simple but don’t’ go to someone you don’t knows house or allow them to pick you up. Many rapes occur this way.
- Reverse google search people, many scammers steal identities so it is an easy check.
- Follow this simple rule – a couple of conversation via the dating app, a phone call and if that goes well organise to meet in a public place where you let people know you are going.
- Always follow your gut instinct, it never lies.
I have given you twelve tips, however I recommend that you don’t become overly paranoid either as there are so many lovely single people out there. It is important to just follow some common sense rules to keep yourself safe. And finally remember Dare2Date offers safe face2face events and as always, happy dating.