When you are lonely and looking for someone special it is the most natural thing to do in the modern age to grab your tablet or phone and join a dating site.
It’s so easy to do that it can happen almost without thinking. Before you know it, especially in the age of mobile phone apps, you are finding yourself bombarded with messages and unable to help yourself from messaging people you are interested in.
As with anything in life, there are dangers in online dating. Identity theft, scamming and people playing games are all too common. So how do you protect yourself from these bad people?
Be Aware Of Your Online Footprint
You may be more findable online than you think. If you are active online then you are probably leaving what is known as a footprint. This is similar information pasted on multiple locations around the Internet.
If somebody finds one piece of this information, searches for it on Google and find it on another site, they can gradually pieced together more and more information about you.
It’s essential you understand the size of your online footprint, and seek to minimise it where you can. We have compiled a fantastic article on dealing with your online footprint here.
Look For Potential Issues On Their Profile
People who are not genuine will often have inconsistencies on their dating site profile page.
It could be that they only have one photo, which doesn’t seem quite right. Or they could have several photos which feel a bit disjointed when looked at together.
The photos could also have clues within them. Do they look modern? Do they look like they have been taken in the country you are looking for a date in? Sometimes there are tiny signs that are missed, such as a foreign language written on something within the photo.
When it comes the profile itself, does it look like it has been pasted from somewhere else? Does it sound consistent? Does it sound too good to be true?
Is it overly sexualised? Overly sexualised photos and profile text are often a sign of a “honey trap” being set for male dating site users.
Look at the username. Does it convey something about the person, or is it a random string of text, or something bizarre?
When put together, does their profile feel “right”. Use your intuition.
Send Them A Message With A Hidden Question Inside It
If you like the look of someone from their profile but are a little unsure as to whether they are genuine, because of small inconsistencies or your gut feeling, then send them a well constructed message.
A great thing to do is to look at their photos. See if you can spot something in the photos that you could ask about. If they are genuine they will respond in a genuine manner. If you asked the question in the right way and they are a scammer, they may not even realise what is in the photos and not give the correct answer.
It’s the same with the profile text, find something you have common ground on, or know something about and ask a specific question that will only allow a correct answer. If they struggle or avoid that answer then that should be a huge red light.
Visit our guide here to learn more about dating site messaging techniques which will help you to spot scammers.
Take It Easy And Take It Slow With Online Dating
Dating scams are frequent but not as common as you think. On top of that, using the simple tips we have outlined here you can avoid most of those people who are out scam others or play games with them.
You are looking for someone special and if you pick the right person, they will be looking for the same thing, so don’t get disheartened or paranoid, but do make sure you always have your brain switched on and are using a good quality dating site.