Tips to Spot and Avoid Online Dating Scammers

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Online dating scams are one of the most dangerous on the internet and continue to rise, causing susceptible people to lose millions of dollars each year.

Statista reported that about 51 million Americans are registered on online dating platforms, which is expected to increase to 53.3 million by 2025. Cybercriminals are scamming people via phishing emails, as we popularly know, playing the long game to cheat people out of their assets.

How to Identify Online Dating Scammer

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According to ExpressVPN, scammers are pretty innovative and convincing with their tactics. It can be challenging to decipher if the person you’re speaking to on a dating app/site is looking for love or is just out to scam you off your money. Here are some ways to identify them online.

Profile Warning Signs

There are numerous signs of a fake online dating profile that could help you identify any cybercriminal even before you connect on the app or website. One of the ways these scammers is by their limited profile information. 

They also tend to have only one or two photos with few likes or interactions. They avoid linking their profile to other social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Once you notice this, it will be better to discontinue speaking to the person to avoid being scammed.

They’re Quick to Suggest You Take the Conversation Elsewhere

Online dating scammers act quickly, especially those intending to catfish their victims to move their conversation to another messaging platform outside of where you met them. By doing this, they will be able to get more of your information, hence avoiding the safety measures dating apps and sites have in place.

They move to social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Insistent on messaging you through SMS, they could use the WhatsApp messaging platform and turn on disappearing messages on WhatsApp, so there’s no permanent copy of your conversations.

They are Fast to Declare Love 

These scammers who want to take advantage of you move quickly regarding professing an emotional connection with you. After just a few days of chatting, they start saying how much they love you and feel connected with you. 

They are out to emotionally manipulate you, especially if you show them how vulnerable and isolated you are; hence they make you feel they’re also yearning for a connection. Always be on the lookout for any match that is overly flattering and devoted because you’ve never met.

 Many of these scammers claim to be on military deployment, which is a perfect excuse for not being able to meet up. They even use photos of military personnel and soldiers on their profiles to get you to believe their schemes.

What’s Next?

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Never be carried away to the point where you reveal too much information about yourself to someone you just met on a dating app/site. These online dating scammers are ready to take advantage of your financial situation to determine whether you’re vulnerable or an ideal target.

Do not respond to any overly flattering introduction messages on an online dating site, and avoid matching your profiles to anyone that seems suspicious. Also, please resist the urge to send intimate images of yourself to an online acquaintance because they may use these pictures for their blackmail and extortion schemes.

Finally, cut off communication immediately if you cannot verify the person’s identity.