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.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.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.Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.They have a lot of victims to get through, so they’re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible.
The photos used by scammers can also clue you in that something is off.
These methods give them better access to you and can help them gather additional information that they can use to con you.
Don’t fall for it: there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site.
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.