One in four adults in Great Britain have used a dating website at some point, 40% of these have discovered fake profiles and 20% have been asked for money by somebody. Be cautious about anybody who quickly asks to talk on an outside email or messaging service, or says they are from your own country but are travelling, living or working abroad and need money. (Source Which? UK August2013)
You can bet if these are figures quoted for the UK the problem of dating site scams is not just limited to there either it’s worldwide issue that people using dating sites need to be aware of !
Dating site scams are becoming more and more popular with fraudsters to identify potential victims from who they try and steal money. Fraudsters build their intricate web of deceit and lies across numerous sites to entrap vulnerable genuine individuals looking for love, companionship and romance.
Sometimes they use their own photograph, sometimes somebody else’s and often, if they are already in the process of grooming somebody else and risk discovery, no photograph at all.
If you are unfortunate enough to encounter a scammer on a dating site they will quickly try and get you away from the site to another email address where you can both chat freely and they cannot be monitored by the dating site.
Dating site scammers frequently create false identities or impersonate existing people and post this identity on numerous sites at the same time, The profiles they create are often well researched and sometimes based on real people they have previously scammed or met, don’t forget this is big business and they are playing for high stakes.
They could be grooming several people at the same time, using tried and tested techniques to build intimacy and trust. The person you are or exchanging intimacies with or chatting with on the internet may not even be the sex you think they are or in the country the person claims to be living in.
• To romance you into sending them money voluntarily.
• To illicit personal information from you to blackmail you, defraud you, or sell the information about you to somebody else who will do the same.
Genuine people will want to take things carefully and slowly, they will want to get to know you and they will be as hesitant and careful before revealing details of themselves to you. They won’t ask you for money or tell you about their or their families financial problems.
Dating sites are a good way of meeting potential partners, some sites claim one in four new relationships are as a result meeting on such a site, Take a tip from me, don’t go headlong into looking for ‘that special person’ on dating sites, it puts you and them under too much pressure, look upon the dating site process as one of expanding your circle of friends and meeting a variety of new and different people.
There is a strong possibility that the person you meet through a dating site will not be the great love of your life, it will be their brother or sister or somebody you meet at a party you go to together.
Relax and enjoy the process of meeting and getting to know different people and making new friends. Just keep your wits about you and look out for scammers, especially if you are feeling vulnerable.
If you meet a person on a dating site and you want to check them out and find out whether their identity is being used in a relationship with another member, register them with FidelityCheckOnline. It is inexpensive, discrete, confidential and nobody will know you have registered.
For more information about protecting yourself on dating sites visit www.which.co.uk/dating