Since the start of social networks, multiple online dating platforms have been created, with the main focus of helping everyone find their best match. However, not everything is pink as flowers; since some people are looking for a partner and others are looking for friends, some seek to take advantage of this situation.
ExpressVPN’s blog piece tells us how people join dating apps to scam others, especially because more than 51 million Americans are registered on these dating platforms. We must be cautious and learn how to identify scammers since our private information and everything about us could be in danger in this situation.
Continue reading and discover the warning signs that you’re dating a scammer.
What are online dating scams?
Online dating scammers are criminals that adopt a fake identity on online dating apps to create what’s known as “catfishing,” which involves presenting yourself as something or someone you’re not with an interesting objective.
These criminals gain the victim’s trust through daily chatting, especially through love declarations. Once they gain victims’ complete trust, they ask for financial help or intimate pictures and videos to blackmail them later.
We must be careful with who we talk to on dating apps since most online dating scam victims have said they didn’t see the danger signs of the scam signs until it was too late and they’ve lost all their money.
What signs can we use to identify dating scams?
Although these signs are easy to comprehend and apply, we must not fall for anyone on social media just by thinking “he/she’s the one”.
We must understand this is their daily life, and they live off scamming other people, so they’re always good at it. Having this in mind, here are the easiest way of identifying a scammer:
1. Intimate pictures or videos asked.
If you’re willing to send that someone intimate pictures or videos, then you should always hide your face and other identifiable aspects, such as tattoos, marks, scars, or piercings, to stay safe, and if they’re leaked, there won’t be a way to link them to you.
2. Asking for financial help
Although it’s possible someone has an emergency that involves money, you mustn’t send money that you wouldn’t care to lose since there’s no guarantee the emergency is true.
3. Malware and viruses
Sometimes, these criminals don’t care to maintain a good image or hide their true intentions from you, which is why they can send you files or archives that, for some reason, you need to download. Most of the time, it’s malware that they use to steal all your private information and data.
The next important aspect we must always remember is that going on a date with someone you met online is one of the most dangerous activities since they will know where and when you’ll be, and often what you’ll be wearing. Everyone should take good care and prepare themselves if the date doesn’t go as planned; always stay safe and avoid dating scammers that might want to get you in a dangerous situation.
5 tips when going on a date from online dating apps
- Always tell your family and friends where you’ll be, when, and what you’ll wear. They must know who you’ll meet and if you can, ask someone to go with you and sit near you in case you need to get out of there.
- Always consider the possibility of them being a scam and that they don’t usually work alone, so being as safe as possible and going to public places is your best choice to have people around you who can help you in any situation.
- Always send screenshots to your family and friends about your date, so in case it’s a scam, you’ll have all evidence before they block you or delete those messages
- Never go on your date with all your credit cards in hand. If possible, go with your phone and cash for your expenses since having your credit card can make the situation much more difficult.
- Send your family or friends your real-time location, even if someone manages to go with you and help you, because that way, you’ll be safer from anything that can happen.