When you see a Tinder or Bumble profile, how often do you stop to think if this person is genuine? Have you ever considered that they might not even look like the attractive individual in their photos? If you’re the trusting type, you’ll need to adjust your perception just a tad, especially if you want to survive the realm of online dating.
Red Flags: Trust Your Instincts
While it’s true that scammers can be persistent and difficult to avoid altogether, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of falling victim to online dating scams. Educate yourself. By being aware of the common tactics used by scammers and taking steps to protect yourself, you can enjoy a safer and more positive experience finding love over the internet. ExressVPN has a guide to spot scammers online which we found helpful. Here are some red flags you must not ignore.
Asks for Money or Gifts
According to a report by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) published in 2022, consumers lost a total of $547 million to romance scammers in 2021 alone. This number is up nearly 80% compared to the previous year.
Be very cautious if someone you’ve just met online asks for money or gifts. Scammers use this tried-and-true tactic to manipulate and exploit their victims. It’s also important to note that women are far more frequent targets for online swindlers.
Erratic or Fishy Behavior
Trusting your instincts is vital to staying safe while using online dating apps. If someone’s behavior seems inconsistent or suspicious, listening to your gut and proceeding with caution is important. For example, if they avoid answering direct questions or refuse to video chat or meet in person, this could be a sign that they are not who they claim to be. Have you had the chance to watch the movie “Catfish”? Check it out and educate yourself.
Wants You to Move Quickly
You should always be aware of your comfort level when on dating apps. Always ask yourself if the person on the other end is pressuring you unnecessarily. While it’s natural to want to move to the next level and meet in person, it’s vital to do so safely and on your own terms. If someone pushes you to move faster than you’re comfortable with, it could be a sign that they are not who they claim to be or have ulterior motives.
Reluctance to Divulge Personal Information
When using online dating apps, it’s natural to want to get to know someone better and ask questions about their life and interests. However, if someone is reluctant to share personal details about themselves or is evasive when you ask questions, that should activate your alarms. While everyone has the right to privacy and may not want to share everything about themselves right away, someone who is overly cautious or secretive could be hiding something.
Bad Grammar or Spelling
Sometimes, scammers perform their malicious activities from halfway across the world. As such, they may not be conversant in your language. Be alert if you spot poorly written messages littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. With that said, scammers do use poor grammar and spelling on purpose. It can serve as a tactic to create a sense of urgency.
Online Dating: Being Open but Cautious at the Same Time
Sometimes, it takes guts to put yourself out there. And while you must be brave while seeking the ideal love partner, you should never jump in with both eyes closed. With this information on how to avoid scammers, you’ll be better informed and be able to exercise caution when looking online for that partner you’ve been craving for your whole life.