It's important that everyone remembers that the internet is available to everyone, and all kinds of people use it every day. And that includes people who want to use and manipulate others for their own nefarious gains. Often times they will target vulnerable people like the elderly or people are emotionally vulnerable. But that doesn't mean these people aren't also using dating apps to target users. It's important to know exactly how to protect yourself from an online dating scam. If you've never been targeted by an online dating scam there are a couple of common themes that are usually present in all of them.
First, they will try as hard as they can to manipulate you into doing what they want. In the case of online dating app scams, this usually means using your personal and private information to force you to give them money before they disappear and leave you wondering what just happened. That's the big key indicator with almost all online dating app scams: they want your money and will try every trick they can think of in order to get it.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to both protect yourself and determine if you've been targeted by a scammer. The team here at EzHookups.com has boiled everything down to a detailed article providing you with everything you need to stay safe and protect yourself. We'll list the most common signs that most scammers can be identified through for you to use to determine if who you just matched with is genuine or not. And as always, the best offence is a good defence. So we'll go through some of the best things you can do to proactively protect yourself from being targeted by a scammer in the first place.
First things first! Everyone should know about the tell-tale signs that almost all online dating scammers will exhibit as you are starting to chat with them. Sometimes these signs can be subtle, and other times they are so obvious it can almost be funny. We like the obvious ones because we don't have to worry about falling for their tricks, you can read their intentions from a mile away. The first big thing to keep an eye out for is their behavior when chatting with you. A scammers main goal is to gain as much personal information on you so they can use it against you. So if you notice they are asking you for weird information that you don't think they should know there is a good chance they are trying to get something to start that process.
This could be things like wanting to know where you live or work, your email address, pictures of you, or even your phone number. Some of those things, like a phone number or pictures, might seem like a normal thing for someone to ask you when chatting with a match on a dating app. What might give them away is how quickly they start asking for this information. Most scammers aren't interested in playing a long con and they will try to get this information out of you as quick as possible. So if you feel like they are asking you these kinds of questions very early on in your conversations you should start to get suspicious.
No one needs to know where you live or work when you first start chatting, especially before you even agree to meet up somewhere. And someone asking for personal details like a phone number or picture very early on in your communication should definitely start to raise some doubt in your mind. Sometimes it's more about how they ask then what they ask about as well. It's not uncommon for a new match to be curious about what you do for a living or what part of town you live in. And asking someone for a phone number isn't entirely out of the ordinary either. But if they are asking out of the blue or requesting very specific details you might want to be careful. There is definitely a difference between "So what do you do for a living?" and "Where do you work?".
If you ever start to think you're being targeted by a scammer it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. You never want to misjudge someone, but you definitely do not want to be scammed. So even if they end up being genuine, it's always better to make sure, right?
One of the first things you can do if you suspect someone isn't who they say they are is double check their profile. Does it seem too good to be true? Chances are if it feels like the safest and most mediocre dating app profile then it's probably not real. Average height, attractive, good job, common hobbies. If it looks like a parody of a dating profile (long walks on the beach anyone?) then you are probably dealing with a scammer. If you want to make sure ask them to meet up. Scammers don't want you to know who they really are, so if you ask to meet up they will never accept. Or if they do they will make excuses and bail every time. And even if they aren't scamming you and they keep cancelling on you they probably aren't worth your time anyway.
You can also ask if they want to Skype or voice chat. This gives you a chance to hear them talk and you can see if their voice and mannerisms match up with their profile. Do they sound and act like you thought they would when you saw their profile and read their bio? It's fairly easy to hide behind a profile and pretend to be someone you're not, but it's much harder to act like that fake persona as well. Note from the author: If you do Skype or voice chat with them, make sure you don�t reveal too much about yourself. You're giving the person a window into your space, so make sure there is nothing there they can use against you.
We mentioned at the start that the best way to protect yourself from online dating app scams is to avoid them all together. This can definitely be easier said than done, but there are a few good strategies and things to keep in mind that will help keep scammers at bay. These people are looking for easy targets, so if you make it hard for them to work their scam they will probably not even bother to try. Make it as hard as possible for them to get any valuable information from your profile and you'll be in a much better position to protect yourself. A good rule of thumb with any of your matches is to trust your gut and not let your guard down. If the person you are talking to is acting really weird, or just feels off, don't ignore it. We all want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes you need to trust your instincts. If something feels off from the start it is much easier to end your conversation before the scam can take over. All online dating apps allow you to block and report people, don't be afraid to use those tools if you feel like you're being scammed. Your best tool here is your own judgment. Don't ignore it.
Earlier we talked about how most dating apps scammers operate. They are looking for as much personal information about that they can find so they can use it against you. They use this information to manipulate you into thinking you have common interests or pasts. People will naturally feel more comfortable talking to someone if they feel like they share things in common, so limiting that kind of information from appearing in your profile is a big step to protecting yourself. Try not to provide information like your where you live, work, or went to school. A scammer can use that to create a false sense of familiarity with you. Other personal information like your email address, phone number, or address should never appear in your public profile. And as we talked about earlier, if your new match is asking for this information you should start to suspect them as being a scammer. The main goal here is to not give a potential scammer any information that they could use against you. If you keep your profile clean as possible you will be much better protected against anyone looking to target your account. Like we said before, they are looking for vulnerable people that they think they can easily manipulate. Making that as hard as possible for them if your best defence.
The goal here is to remember to take things slow at the start. Everyone gets a little excited when they land a new match on their favorite online dating app, but one of the best ways to protect yourself is to play it safe until you know you can trust your new match. And if you keep things moving slowly at the start, it is much easier to notice if the other person is trying to rush things as well. What do we mean by taking things slow? Its fairly straightforward, when you start talking to a new match don't reveal any information that is too personal. Just like we talked about not putting personal information in your profile, it's important to not give that information away too easily. No one should be asking those kinds of questions at the start of a new online relationship anyway. So if they do start asking those questions you might want to remove yourself from that situation sooner rather than later. Depending on the type of relationship you are looking for, sending pictures of yourself to your new match might be appropriate and completely normal. We're not suggesting to never send pictures, but when you do make sure you aren't revealing anything too personal about yourself at the same time. Take a minute to look at the picture before you send it. Is there anything in the picture that someone could use to manipulate you? If you're sending private photos could they be used to blackmail you? It's always best to keep anything you send to a new match a little on the safe side until you know you can trust them. If you wouldn't want what you send them to end up somewhere else online, it's better to not send it at all.
That all got a little serious, didn't it? No one wants to think about the possibility they could be the target of an online dating app scam, so it's important to know exactly how to protect yourself from those situations. Our first rule is to approach any new match you get with a level of scrutiny. It is definitely better to be safe than sorry in these situations. There are a number of signs that you should be able to notice if the person you are talking to is trying to scam you. So make sure to check their profile carefully and take notice of what they talk about and how they communicate. And to make sure you're even more protected, you can take extra steps to ensure your profile doesn't contain any important personal information. And remember to not send new matches anything too personal right off the bat. Stick to these guidelines and you'll be able to enjoy all the fun and excitement that dating apps provide us without worrying about becoming victim to a scam.
Hopefully, our advice about protecting yourself from online dating app scams was helpful. If you'd like to see our other great dating app advice articles, check them out here.
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