How To Avoid Dating Scams

Online scammers are prevalent in every aspect of the Internet including online dating. Scammers join Internet dating services, presenting themselves as regular singles, with the intention of fooling genuine members of the service into giving up their money. Here is what to look out for in order to avoid being scammed.

The first thing that might arouse your suspicions, though this is not necessarily an indication of an Internet dating scam, is if you receive an email from another member of a dating service which is not personalised to you beyond your name. Such an email might have been sent out to anybody (and probably has been). If you are going to hold a conversation with somebody, the least you can expect is that they will talk about the things you have expressed an interest in and answer your questions to them.

Of course you will be curious about the life of your new contact through the dating service, and it is reasonable to expect them to reveal some things about themselves (though certainly not their personal details, of course -- these must remain strictly confidential until you know somebody very well off line as well as online). If your new contact is evasive in answering your reasonable, conversation-type questions, then you may have a further reason to be suspicious of his or her motives.

Even if you have been emailing back and forth with another member of a dating service for some time, still you must not drop your guard. Dating scammers often rely upon the scammer establishing a good relationship with the person to be scammed. To be sure that you know somebody well, you have to get to know them in the real world very well.

Even this cannot ultimately protect you from somebody who is determined on doing no good. There was a recent case of a woman who established a long-term relationship with a man who eventually tricked her out of every penny she owned. Such a relationship could have been started in any number of ways, not just through online dating.

Eventually, and at some point, if you are involved in a relationship with a scammer, that person is going to ask you for your money. This may happen in a number of different ways. A classic dating scam is for the first date to be arranged only for a phone call from a third person to be received by the genuine single on the morning of the day of the date. In this phone call the genuine single is informed that their prospective date has had an accident and an immediate transfer of funds is required to ensure hospital treatment, etc. This dating scam plays on the genuine single caring about what happens to their prospective date.

Other dating scams involve what is in effect, money-laundering. The genuine single is asked to process money to a bank account for what appear to be genuine business reasons. This plays upon the willingness to help of the innocent person, who also does not realise that money-laundering is taking place.

Sometimes, when genuine singles have formed an online relationship with somebody from overseas, they may be asked for translation fees for translating their emails into another language. Or, the genuine single may be asked to pay airfare for the new friend to come to visit him or her.

Remain vigilant, be aware of dating scams and that at some point they all involve money in some shape or form. Never give out your personal details and most of all never give out your banking or financial details. But do not let this spoil your online dating experience. Aside from scammers, the majority of people using online dating services are genuine singles looking to meet someone just like you.

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