Dating sites have made it easier for people to meet up and start getting to know each other. Unfortunately, these sites can also be a major hotspot for scammers ready to swindle hopeful people of their hard-earned money. Scammers use different scamming methods that fool thousands of people every year with the false promise of love, marriage and a happy future.
It pays to be extra-vigilant if you spend a lot of time visiting Internet dating sites, but how exactly can you protect yourself from scammers? Check out these tips that can help you guard your wallet (and your heart).
- Watch Out for Signs of Scamming
One of the most common ways for scammers to get the attention of unwary victims is by automatically sending out generic messages to everybody. This can usually be identified by non-personalized, generic messages. Some scammers even go straight to the point and ask for some travel money – usually for a “meetup” with you. If you see signs of scamming, you can hire a private investigator to confirm your suspicions and, if possible, consider taking the proper legal action.
- Meetup ASAP
Some online dating scammers use fake photos to trick would-be victims that they are talking to a beautiful dating partner. To make sure you’re talking to someone who’s not a scanner, try to meet up with them as soon as possible. That way, you can confirm if a person’s online profile reflects their personality.
- Don’t Go Somewhere Secluded
Offline meetups can be very dangerous if you’re talking to a scammer. This is especially true if the proposed meetup venue is at a rather secluded place. If you think the meeting venue is a bit risky, consider asking for a change in venue, preferably somewhere with plenty of other people around. If you’re heading there by car, make sure you have it parked somewhere you can easily access it for safety purposes in case you have to make a run for it.
- Get Photos and Info
Taking photos with your dating partner is normal, but it also serves another purpose: by taking as many pictures as you can of your dating partner, you’ll be able to confirm whether the info in their profile page is true or not. This can also help track down dating scammers that tend to vanish after a victim falls prey to their false claims about love and marriage.
- Learn to Defend Yourself
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe from bad people (online dating scams or otherwise) is to enroll in self-defense classes. It doesn’t have to be exotic or popular; simply having an effective form of self-defense is what matters most. Self-defense also includes using products such as pepper spray or high-beam LED flashlights that can help you get away from threats. Products like these don’t take up much space and can fit almost anywhere, so carrying them is rarely, if ever, an issue.
Don’t let dating site scammers take advantage of you. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be less likely to become a victim of dating site fraud.