If someone sends you a message and says they’d like to get to know you, save a copy of their picture and use Google’s reverse image search to see if anyone has posted about that photo being used for a scam.If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary.While the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs.Even if they say they live near you, they’ll say they’re out of town and won’t be able to meet. However, repeated excuses at the last minute are a definite warning sign.Many scammers will be prepared to answer these and even more complicated questions, but if you can’t get answers from a suitor, you should be suspicious.While there are online dating scammers from all over the world, a significant number of them come from non-English-first-language countries, which means that sometimes there will be communicative markers that indicate your suitor isn’t who they say they are.
Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.Online dating websites aren’t the most secure Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison (targeted primarily at cheating spouses) has been hacked.However this is a far more serious issue than has been portrayed in the press, with considerable implications for user safety., so sharing any sensitive information might be a bad idea anyway. That’s almost a sure sign that you’re talking to a scammer.The profiles of online dating scammers can exhibit some clear signs that something is off—you just need to know what to look for.Most scammers choose victims that are older than they are, for example, so if someone who is significantly younger than you says that they’re interested, it could be cause for concern.They’ll hit you with the full force of their charm; they’ll say sweet things, compliment you a lot, and talk about how perfect you are for each other within the first couple weeks.Think about if you would find it strange for someone to be acting like this if you just met in real life.People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.