If someone you’re talking to on a dating platform asks you money, then it’s best to just end it then there. But it isn’t always that easy, especially if you’ve been talking to this person for a while and more importantly if they’re quite attractive and charming.
When it comes to love and lust, even the most practical people can become extremely naïve. So how can one escape the trappings of dating scams? The best approach is to educate yourself as much as possible on scam tactics before you start up another conversation with a potential match on your profile. This way, alerts will automatically go off in your head when you come across a red flag.
Hence, for that reason, let’s take a look at these 4 common dating scams and learn something from them:
The Hard Come-on
Picture this: you initiate a chat with a match on a dating platform and within the first twenty minutes or so they tell you that they like you. Some may go even as far as to declare their love for you. That in itself should be suspicious. As the conversation goes on, they’ll urge you to continue the conversation through email or another messaging app such as Messenger or Whatsapp.
Before long, this person will try and schedule a date with you, only they won’t show up. They’ll cancel on short notice with an excuse that seems fairly plausible. Perhaps they might say that they had to go on an impromptu business trip abroad or a family member got sick and they need to be therefore them. So they’ll try to reschedule the date. Only they’ll cancel again with another plausible excuse.
This behaviour may repeat for a couple of more times until they suddenly ask you for money, bringing up some sort of emergency. Perhaps, they accidentally left their wallet on a bus or train and need help getting home. Or it could be that they need it to pay for a medical bill. Do not go along with these requests.
What are some sure-fire ways of identifying these sorts of scams? If you’re not immediately put off by the fact that they need money or you think there’s a justifiable reason for it, try and look for other telltale signs. For instance, if you’ve never once met up with this person then that should be a huge red flag. Secondly, check if the person is constantly making typos (or if you’ve called them: whether they’ve got a foreign accent. A lot of scammers live abroad. Last but not least, if they keep urging you to get off the dating app, then it could be because these platforms have a tendency to keep a close watch and weed out scammers. Hence, it could be that they don’t want to have their account banned.
On dating sites, we immediately block any users who ask for money. Hence if you have your suspicions about a particular profile, report him/her.
A dating scam bot will begin by constructing a fake profile on a platform and will message multiple users once it gets some matches. A bot will usually try to get you to go to some other website, within just minutes of starting a conversation. Typically this website will prompt you to enter your credit card information or have you download something. Do not touch anything on this site or interact with it in any way.
This type of dating scam is the easiest to identify since there isn’t a human involved who’s driving the actual interaction. For instance, bots will always steal profile photos from the internet and sometimes it won’t even be of the same person. Often, bots will have low-resolution images on their profile. A quick reverse Google images search will direct you to the correct owner of the photos. Carefully go through the conversation as well. If you feel like the response given doesn’t exactly seem in line with your questions, then there’s a high probability that you’re speaking with a bot.
The Human Bot
Sometimes, there are actual human scammers that operate in very similar ways to bots. Just like a bot, they’ll initiate the conversation and try to redirect you to a different website or platform. This website may seem legitimate but don’t be fooled. Most likely, it’ll push some sort of paid service which is just a ploy to steal your credit card information.
The ‘Too Good to be True’
This type of scammer targets older people by constructing a fake profile using pictures of a very attractive, young person. After a few initial conversations where they lay on their interest quite thick, these scammers will quickly try to get your credit card information or get you to buy them expensive gifts.
The best way to identify these scammers is to do a reverse image search on their profile photos. Sure, it feels nice to have a younger, attractive person fawning over us but if they’re suddenly asking you for money then they clearly have ulterior motives.
Online dating can often lead to fun and genuine experiences but its best to exercise caution as well. The most important rule is to never agree to send anyone money for any reason whatsoever. Keep this in mind and you’ll be perfectly fine on any dating platform.