Online dating is a fun way to get to know new people. The vast majority of people using dating sites are genuinely looking for love, but there are occasional exceptions. Read our top 3 tips for avoiding scammers when online dating.
- Never send money
Here’s the number one rule of safe online dating: never send money to someone you’ve never met.
Scammers avoid face-to-face meetings and always have an excuse for avoiding video chat. They might claim their Skype account isn’t working or their internet is too slow.
Don’t assume the typical scammer will claim to be a Nigerian prince keen to deposit $20 million in your account – most scammers are professionals and can be very plausible.
Scammers’ demands for money are likely to start with a minor request and slowly build up. For example, a scammer may claim to have been working in another country and be returning home to meet you for the first time when he is delayed by an accident, stolen luggage or an unexpected customs tax.
He may engineer it so that you offer him money, and may even turn down your offer at first. But eventually he’ll accept – and then start demanding more.
- Never share your password or financial information
Foreign scammers often claim to be New Zealanders working overseas in another English-speaking country. They may come up with a convincing reason for asking your bank account details, such as wanting to put money in your account so they can send a gift to a family member.
But if your bank account number, passport details or email passwords end up on scammers’ databases, they can use them to commit identity fraud such as spamming your friends and family with requests for money.
Scammers are master social engineers – don’t let them harvest your data.
It’s also best not to reveal your address to someone you haven’t met in person. And when you do have that first meeting, make it in a public place.
- Listen to your friends and family
It can be hard to admit to yourself that you’re being scammed. So if your friends and family tell you they’re suspicious of your online relationship, listen to them.
Scammers are shrewd emotional manipulators who will try to turn you against the people who are looking out for you. They’ll tell you your friends and family don’t understand how much the two of you share, or how much you love each other.
Remember that your friends and family are likely to be more objective than you are. Admitting that you’ve been duped can be painful and embarrassing, but it’s better than continuing to be scammed.
FindSomeone take safety very seriously and their dedicated Trust & Safety team screen all new profiles to ensure that the people you’re chatting with are the real deal. To view their Safety Guide and find out more click here.