Love in the digital age is a complicated affair. There doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong way to approach it, as many people have different experiences. With all the different options for online dating, it is important to remember that there are risks to worry about as well.
Here are some ways to spot warning signs of scams in the online dating market.
One of the easiest to spot warning signs of potential scammers are blurry pictures. The idea behind this is that these people don’t want to be identified and want to act as anonymously as possible.
Sometimes, they may even take photographs of others to try and pretend to be someone else to entice you with their physical appeal. These stolen pictures tend to be blurry to avoid detection by reverse image searches, but should raise red flags regardless.
The lack of detail in a dating profile is a definite red flag. Those that are completely lacking information on their side are easy to spot, but even those that have filled out their profiles but in a vague or generic manner should make you cautious.
People love to share things about themselves, and dating apps are not different. In fact, it is so important that you share all the information you can with others so that they can get a sense of who you are before you even interact and exchange messages.
This is because dating apps create such quick interactions, that you have to be able to share enough information to draw the interest of potential partners. A bare profile is a profile that should raise some eyebrows.
When it comes to scams in the online dating space, a warning sign to be on the lookout for is the lack of social media platforms. Almost everyone is on or using some form of social media, from photo and video sharing to business profiles.
If your matched partner does not have any social media, this is something you should be cautious about. Of course, this is not to say there are people out there that do not use social media.
Someone might just prefer to stay off the grid, not attached to their devices and apps, and enjoy the present moment. This should be a factor that you consider if paired with other question marks.
Generic (And Possibly Generated) Messages
One of the most common warning signs involved in scams tends to be generic messages. These tend to tie with the initial communication, being opening messages that can apply to any dating profile and not to yours specifically.
With there being so many potential connections, most people try to put some sort of effort when they reach out to connect with you, usually connecting with something that you have included in your interests, hobbies, and even pictures. Of course, this could just mean that the person trying to message you is dull, boring, and not attentive to details, and in such a case, would make it easy to ignore as well.
Other warning signs tied with generic messages is the lack of personalization, meaning they don’t call you by name, but perhaps a pet name. It’s safe to say, if someone were to immediately start talking to you and address you as “babe”, “honey”, or “love” right off the bat, should cause you to hesitate. Aside from being suspicious, that would definitely feel a little creepy.
Unavailable to Meet
One of the most common issues that should signal you to worry when online dating is when the other person is consistently having trouble meeting. Of course, not everyone is keen on meeting initially, but this is more of a flag when online dating if you have spent time already getting to know each other and things seem to progress quickly but there is no desire to meet.
Even if this isn’t a scam, this could mean other questionable things such as someone trying to hide a previous relationship. You don’t have to meet right away but if it has been a while and they have not shown any real signs of wanting to meet up, you should reconsider the relationship.
A Focus On Your Career, Finances, or Material Wealth
A major red flag of online dating is when someone you are speaking to has a sort of obsession or heightened interest in your status with money. Of course, asking about someone’s career is a great starting point when dating, but if they are more focused on your job title and ask about how much you make, these are definitely warning signs.
Even if they aren’t trying to scam you out of money, you might have a potential gold digger looking for someone to support them financially. This becomes an even bigger red flag if someone ever asks to borrow money from you. For many, this is something that they want to avoid, but if that’s your thing, just be cautious moving forward.
Moving Too Quickly
A lot of scams are not meant to last long. The idea is to get what you need as quickly as possible and get out of there before you get caught. If you find things are rushing very quickly through getting to know each other, you should be careful.
If they want to jump into a relationship immediately, this is even more cause for concern. If your potential partner wants to immediately start messaging through texts, messaging services, or emails, consider that if they are scammers doing this to other people, they might be trying to speed things up in case they get caught and have their profiles taken down. Again, don’t discredit your dating experience just because they want to message you, they may just not like being on the application or site itself, but just be wary if you find multiple warning signs showing up.
Online dating is a great way to meet people and, in most cases, it is a great experience. There are some pitfalls and risks to worry about and it is important to be able to identify those so that you can protect yourself and enjoy the experience.
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