Lots of people don’t think about safety at all when it comes to online dating. They eagerly tell people they’ve met on a dating platform their real names, their addresses, and other sensitive info. They send money to foreign women before meeting in person, and they can share crucial information like the three-digit number on the back of their credit cards. Unfortunately, around 115,000 Americans become victims of romance scams every year—and we don’t want you to be one of them. That’s why we’ve created this post. In it, we will tell you what to do if you’ve met a scammer and how to enjoy a safe online dating experience.
But first, let’s talk about the most common types of a romance scam.
Classic romance scam
The first type of scam we want you to be aware of is the “send money to a foreign woman” scam. Everything is simple—you chat with a woman, her profile looks real, and after a few days or a week, she asks you to send her money. They always have a story to explain their request, but here’s what you have to know: if someone asks you to send them money on a dating website, it’s definitely a scammer. You have to do only one thing when you meet such a person—report her (or him) to the dating site’s moderators. If the dating platform is trustworthy and legit, the profile will be blocked and deleted.
Dating website scam
However, not all dating sites are trustworthy and legit. There are lots of scam dating sites that only want to get your money—and this type of scam happens quite often. Unfortunately, this type of scam is also harder to spot. When it comes to dating sites scams, the girls don’t come up with sad stories and don’t ask you to send them money. It works differently.
The main point of such websites is to make you buy more and more “credits” to continue communicating with women on these platforms. To make it work, they hire numerous ESL employees who imitate the behavior of real women on real dating websites—they’ll send you lots of messages to keep you paying for “credits” forever.
Now, let’s talk about what you should do with all those scammers.
Safe dating tips: What to do when you spot a scammer
Basically, the only rule is that you have to block and report a scam profile to the dating platform as soon as possible. If you feel that the dating platform you’re using is fake/scam, you can’t do anything but leave it and forget about it (take a look at our list of scam dating sites). If you’ve already lost your money to a foreign scammer, you need to contact your bank/wire company right away and tell them the transaction was fraudulent. After that, you must contact the FBI and the FTC and report the incident to them.
Safe dating tips: Top 5 rules you have to follow
Safe dating is not that difficult. Just follow these five simple rules, and you’ll be fine:
- Make sure you’re using a trustworthy dating website—read the reviews and test the site before you pay for anything, e.g., premium subscription or credits. Most scam dating platforms have a lot of negative reviews.
- Google everything and do your research. Most scammers think quantity is more important than quality—they create tons of profiles, and they usually just steal photos from Instagram or Facebook. A simple reverse search by image can tell you everything about the woman you’re chatting with.
- Never send money or pay anyone online. It’s the most important rule for all online daters.
- Do not send compromising pictures to people you haven’t met. If you send something that can be used for blackmail, it will most likely be used for blackmail.
- Be aware of the red flags! Does the profile look too good to be true? Is your relationship moving too fast? Does your pen pal ask you a lot of personal questions? If there are at least two positive answers to these questions, proceed with caution!