You’re still looking for your compatible one. You want to return to the online dating world, it’s where you feel more comfortable and confident to meet people. But you hesitate; you still have that painful...
It Won’t Happen Again: How to Avoid Online Dating Scams
By Top10BestDatingSites Staff
You’re still looking for your compatible one. You want to return to the online dating world, it’s where you feel more comfortable and confident to meet people. But you hesitate; you still have that painful memory from your last online dating scam. You find yourself looking for online dating safety tips, searching for any helpful measures to get you back out there once again.
As the population engaging in online dating continues to grow, there are those—a small group of individuals—who look to take advantage of those looking to find love in the online dating world. Whether you’ve just found out that you have been scammed or you are almost entirely recovered, there is definitely something for you in this article.
The Typical Online Scam
When it comes to scammers who use online dating to find their victim, the following is usually what happens:
First, you’re contacted by someone online who shows interest in you. They will have a profile; most likely entirely fake, and the two of you will exchange correspondences back and forth. They will butter you up by talking very smoothly, constantly compliment you and may even go so far as to send you flowers and candy. However, you will find out very shortly that they want something back in return. You will be asked for money, no doubt to alleviate some sort of financial hardship. They will emotionally manipulate you by telling you that the only reason they are asking for some financial help is because they have a very sick family member who needs treatment. Or that they can’t pay their rent because they just got fired from their job. Either way, they know you are too kind and trusting and will be sure to take advantage of that.
It might take some time, but one day you will find out that they’ve disappeared and your bank account is several hundred dollars lighter or your credit card has been charged for a transaction you never made. If any of this sounds familiar, we are sorry. If it is any solace, millions fall victim to online scams each year. If you are one, these are the steps you should take to get back your life.
1. Stop All Transactions
If you have any outstanding checks headed to the scammer, cancel them. If you gave your scammer your credit card information, cancel that card. Cancel any and all outstanding transactions. Additionally, remove any access that you gave your scammer. It is going to be painful, but go over all of your correspondences and ensure that you haven’t given them access to any other accounts of yours.
2. Disconnect All Relations to the Scammer
Needless to say, once you have found that you have become a victim to a scammer, immediately cut all ties with that individual. Delete them from your dating sites, your social media platforms and from your email. Scammers do this for a living; all they need is the smallest chance back into your life and they will attempt to scam you again. Additionally, report them. Any account of theirs that you have previously been reached by, report them as spammers. You will be doing many others a huge favor.
3. Run a Full Credit Check for Safety
Now that you have closed all your accounts and you have cut the scammer out of your life, run a credit check on yourself. Look for newly opened lines of credit, new addresses added to your profile and aliases added to your credit profiles. Credit checks are free and relatively easy—certainly worth the time it takes to receive it.
4. Create or Join a Support Group
Don’t feel bad. These sort of things happen to more people than you think—not just to people looking to online date, but to the average men and women that are sometimes just too trusting. Jan Marshall, a woman that was scammed for $250,000, in 2010, started an online support group for others that had been scammed through online dating websites. The Melbourne Dating Scam Survivors communicate online and meet semi-regularly.
Another idea is to start your own group. If you’re at the final stage of recovering from being scammed, you possess a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can impart onto others. Helping others will allow you to bond and share the feelings of injustice. It will give you a chance to decompress and allow you to talk to someone who can sympathize with you.
5. Get Back on the Horse
We understand that you may have lost your confidence in online dating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take some time to review online dating safety tips, and then start back your journey to finding the love of your life.
As a top reviewing dating site, we are often asked which dating websites are the safest? And our honest answer is “all of them”. All our recommended dating sites are making it harder and harder for scammers with implemented security and background checks. Online dating site match.com recently partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance and joined the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign to promote online safety and cyber-security awareness. POF doesn’t allow registration from IP addresses coming from Africa, where the majority of online scams originate.
If you follow our online dating safety tips, look into our reviews of the safest online dating sites, and check out our various articles on how to avoid dating scams. We are certain that you’ll find this information helpful in building your online dating confidence once again.
Now that you know how to protect yourself against scammers, try a free trial with Match.com, the #1 dating site now partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance.