Before focusing on the scammers who disguise themselves as genuine and smooth talkers on virtual platforms, let us accept it for a fact that the concept of online dating actually works and is far more practical than the conventional idea of “dating” in several ways. However, like every other thing in the world, online dating sites too are afflicted by their own share of cons and unfortunately, the count is expanding by the year.
The swindlers have time and again targeted women as their victims but, judging from the present scenario, it can be said that men too are not being spared. Besides suffering the obvious financial loss, the dupes are also left to deal with acute emotional wounds. This is because, when you trust someone so much that you end up willingly giving away such crucial and confidential information, it implies that you shared a deep bond with him/her; at least from your end! In order to safeguard your hard-earned money, trust, and heart, here are a few ways in which you will be able to typically identify these frauds and deal with them.
What scammers tell
First things first, because scammers deal with so many people of distinct personalities, they are very fluent with their words. In some way or the other, they will persuade you to gradually shift all your focus on them, and before you know it, you will be in that position where both your mind and heart constantly pesters you to follow their lead. One simple method of identifying an online con is by sensing their tone and covets. If you feel that the other person is somewhat reluctant to catch up with you on a real-life date or talk on the phone or video call, there could be something fishy.
Remember that the chief objective of a scammer is to get you into believing that your decisions regarding the relationship are entirely yours whereas, the truth is, it is them who have molded your mind with sugarcoated words and induced these affirmations. Because they do not want to devote too much time to a single catch, they will employ the age-old strategy of gaining sympathy by sounding cynical or relating stories where they have been betrayed, abandoned, or cheated to make you feel sorry about their past or present situation. Reversely, the person might sound like they have got everything in life- a stable career, good family, fancy aspirations, and such others, thereby, compelling you to trust that there's nothing as such that you can give them other than a happy relationship.
The fraud can tell you that he/she is in urgent need of money to pay for travel expenses, clear off the lingering medical charges, pay off debts or simply require some cash to take a voyage to somewhere distant because of some emergency.
The bottom line is, you will be inevitably prompted by your gut that something is not adding up. The person is can be asking too many questions, or seem much keener about your whereabouts than he/she should be or something of that sort.
How to avoid losing money to scammers
At the end of the day, it is your choice whether or not you want to hand out money to the so-called “scammers”; but, in certain scenarios, it seems as if you are involuntarily acting as per their directions. If you want to escape from circumstances like these, commence by probing into their identity. If the person you are chatting with has a profile picture that he claims to be his real photo then you can right-click on it and Google will allow you to search that image on the web and ensure if it is duplicate or original. Nonetheless, considering most frauds already recognize the verity that one could possibly capitalize on this trick and determine their legitimacy, they will either put up an unclear image of themselves, or anything random from the internet.
Stop interacting with the person and discuss this with someone you trust. If they perceive the arrangement in apprehension, you can be sure that things are moving towards a foul direction.
If you have never met someone in real life it's best to refuse their request of borrowing money from you. Forget about the large sums, shun away from handing out even a trivial amount because this habit of theirs where they ask money from you will persist and once they become aware of your soft spot, they will keep exhausting the same speck over and over again.
How to report a scammer on a dating profile?
Once you are convinced that your match on the dating site is a fiddler, report it immediately so that others can be spared from his/her deceitful activities. Terminate all contacts with the person and report it to the police, if possible. If you have paid the scammer through a gift card or, a mode similar to that, convey this to the gift-card company directly and see if you can get a refund. Furthermore, lodge a complaint to the FTC and get in touch with the customer care service of the application or website where met the scammer. Preserve all your chats and details of interaction for future reference and verification.
What to do?
To be on the safer spectrum of things and avoid scammers by evading their traps, here are a few things that you can do:
- If you have made up your mind to take the leap, think your decree through very carefully. Communicate with your close friends or family and find out if they are dubious about the relationship or are supposing it to be candid.
- Never share your bank details with others, in spite of your fondness towards them.
- If you think that your bank or credit card details have been shared with someone else, inform the concerned financial institution as early as possible so that they can block your account or report any suspicious transaction.
- Relate the incident to the authorities of the dating site concerned, and if needed, they can completely ban the user from their platform as well.