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Online Dating Scams

Online Dating is a fantastic medium to potentially meet a prospective partner. And, yes, some people do tend to bend the truth a little in what they say or present in their profiles. However, this is not done from malice but a way to try and present themselves in the best possible light to attract someone. This in my opinion is not how it should be done – but it is a far cry from the modus operendi of a scammer. Romance Scams as they are know amongst those of us involved in the Online Dating Industry and Law Enforcement Agencies are not directed at the “desperate, lonely dateless” The people who general are victims to these scams are intelligent and financially successful people. Let’s face it – if you don’t have any money - you are not much good to a scammer. If I may, here are some additional tips to keep your readers safe from the clutches of being scammed. If followed – it will never happen to you: 1. Read the terms and conditions of the Dating Site – make sure that they don’t have the rights to give or sell your information to anyone else. This is how you get phishing spam. 2. Watch what is in the background of your profile photo – a scammer will look to see if you have nice things. Never have anything but yourself in the photo – a blank wall behind you is the perfect background. 3. When writing your profile – don’t give specific information about you or your family members – especially about your children if you have them – this means to a scammer you are potentially vulnerable and gives them an angle to work on you. 4. Stay on the Dating Site to communicate – Dating Sites spend millions of dollars to keep you safe by being anonymous. If you stay on the site the scammers get nervous as they know they have a greater chance of being caught. 5. If someone is pressuring you to communicate off of the Dating Site – cease communication with them immediately. They obviously don’t have any respect for your privacy or safety – so what is their motive? 6. 3-4 emails via the Dating Site - is enough for you to work out if there is any connection between you and therefore you would like to meet. Any more than this and you start having a relationship which is unrealistic. 7. Keep all of your personal information to yourself until you have decided to meet – this will save you from being harassed if you discover that when you meet – this person is not for you. If they don’t have your details – they can’t contact you and you can “block” them on the Dating Site if they start to harass you. 8. Romance Scammers in general will not want meet you – they can’t they live overseas. So wishing to meet after 3-4 emails is a good indication of where they live – excuses are warning signs. 9. Stay away from profiles that say they live in the same city or country you do but they are currently living overseas because they are on a short term contract. This is the latest Romance Scam that is surfacing. Another reason to stick to the “3-4 emails only” philosophy. There are more tips – but if your readers follow these – they will have a safe online dating experience. Hope these tips have helped. Smiles to you, Yvonne

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