Online Dating Scammers

The way society has progressed, people looking for a love interest are almost forced to search on-line dating sites to meet someone. It is the most convenient means of finding someone without stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

Online dating sites are a useful tool and many have found a long term relationships from visiting them. But there is a vulnerability associated with subscribing to them. If people felt comfortable “putting themselves out there”, they would most likely have the skills necessary to meet someone through more traditional means. But if someone hasn’t met a mate in school or work, they may have to rely on someone to fix them up or just pray to that fate has someone in mind for them.

Online dating is a necessary tool for many. The sad thing is that there are always opportunists ready to exploit the need or vulnerability of others. And the thing that makes online dating agreeable is the same thing that leaves one vulnerable. It’s done with no one to oversee your safety, or to be your better judgment. There is no one to tell you that what is too good to be true usually is.

Before getting vested in an illusion that some scammer has put out there to bait you with, here are some red flags. There may even be a formula of things to look out for when looking for a potential partner.  These are things that could well be overlooked, if you aren’t savvy and really ready to meet someone. Let me save you some heartache.

First of all, be cautious in meeting someone on free sites or on the sites when they have free weekends.  With no screening process anybody can set up an account. You must be savvy and screen everyone yourself. In this one area, I would advise that you NOT rely solely on your good instincts. When it comes to Love, we believe in what we want to believe and our good instincts may get overtaken by our hopes and desires.

It is best to be skeptical at first. If anyone you connect with, challenges your caution, then that is the first red flag. Don’t trust that the image you are seeing is actually that person. (We won’t even address the fact that it could be them 20 years ago and they are in denial that they still look that way.) Ask someone you meet to e-mail you a photo of them with something relevant validate their authenticity. Have them hold up a newspaper with the current date on it. Turn it into something of a fun task. If they are real, they may not feel comfortable but will understand why and comply.

Be cautious of someone who doesn’t list criteria of their ideal date. If they say they are looking for inner beauty, or that inner connectedness, see that as a red flag.  It may be true but it is also the perfect thing for a scammer to say to prey on people who don’t feel comfortable about themselves. Usually real people have something that they are attracted to and want to list that.

Be cautious of someone who is able to write very articulate love letters and say that they felt this instant connection with you. They may also say that they have been alone a long time and have not been on the market for some reason or another and they say they are only looking for that one person. There may be an inconsistency in how often they write. They may write these letters that can make you melt but they may not write every day and may talk of being very busy with their job and you are the only thing keeping them going.

The letters they write may be like a love sparring session where each one draws you in more and more. They will talk about how you have opened them up to love. Be cautious if someone says that they have had dreams about you and that you are their Soul mate. They may start making long term commitment plans about being with you without ever asking you the everyday questions that common sense would ask.

They may send you a questionnaire to get to know you better. It may ask your full name, address, and other personal info sandwiched in between ethereal questions about whether you like walks on the beach or not. Please don’t give them your personal information. Be vague, skeptical or even deceptive at this point.

They won’t seem interested in speeding things up; they seem content to continue this way. They may communicate by instant messaging, but may have many spelling errors. When this happens, look for an inconsistency in level of interest. They may have a different interest level on instant messaging. That is because you may have been handed over to someone else who is not as cunning in the deception.

Once they have established a long term commitment with you and you have returned the sentiment. There will be a turn of events. Something dreadful will happen in their life where they need income from you and there is no other means of getting it. The story will be creative and they will be really convincing. They have no other means of assistance even though they tell you they are very rich.

They will tell you they need a certain amount of money but please send what you can. For some reason, they won’t be able to accept the money and ask you to send it to a third party. If you tell them you don’t have it, their tone will change. They will challenge your loyalty and YOUR authenticity with them. Please don’t feel bad. This is what they do. I would not offend a harmless bottom feeder by comparing them to such low-lifes.

I believe that this whole scenario plays out more than people would ever admit to. I think that it happens to people and they are too ashamed and embarrassed to admit it. That is how evil lives, when no one speaks out against it. When you start to see some of the red flags listed above, move on. The more time you spend engaged in indulging such unethical behavior, the less time you will be devoting to finding a real mate. A real, flawed, partner with some baggage but also some redeeming qualities.

Please remember the (paraphrased) adage; if it is too good to be true, then it might still true but just not here in this reality.