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Almost everyone is wired to want to find a partner to spend their life with. Many people find “the one” in traditional ways, such as at work, church or a bar. However, online dating is quickly becoming the venue of choice for most Americans when it comes to finding love. Finding a mate online isn’t nearly as taboo as it once was, but it still comes with a significant amount of risk. Not only could you end up with a broken heart, you could also end up with a stolen identity. Learning to protect yourself from online dating scams will be a key to safely finding the person of your dreams online.

The Facts AboutOnline Dating Scams

cat·fish – lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.

Imagine finding love through the computer, and then learning that the person you fell for was an illusion. This is such a common occurrence now that there are television shows dedicated to the topic. When you meet someone in your everyday life, they don’t have a computer screen to hide behind. When you meet someone online, no matter what they say, you can’t know for sure who you’re talking to. The person on the other end has time to process their next correspondence and can craft “themselves” into the perfect match.

More than 15,000 people fall victim to romance scams every year, costing them over $210 million, according to the FBI.

Spotting Warning Signs

  • Beware that people online can be from anywhere in the world, no matter where they say they are from. Improper grammar or spelling can indicate that English is not their native tongue.
  • The other person always has an excuse why they can’t meet, despite their strong desire to meet you.
  • They want to quickly move the conversation to email, text or phone call. One potential reason: Their subscription is expiring.
  • The other person is overly complementary or becomes too serious, too fast.
  • They work overseas. Many scammers will pose as military members working overseas. So many instances are happening that the Army has a dedicated division intended to stop these types of scams. Overseas contractor is another very popular “job” for scammers.

Tips For Safe Online Dating

  • NEVER give money to someone you’ve never met, no matter how in to them you are. Even if you’ve met, be extremely cautious.
  • Don’t give out your personal information or pictures. Your information can be the keys needed to steal your identity.
  • Do some research on their background info. Google their name along with the school or job/company they have listed. It is a great idea to use Google’s reverse image search to find out whether an image the person sends to you has been used elsewhere on the internet. If it has, it may not actually be their photo.
  • Sign up with an identity theft restoration service before you become a victim of identity theft.

Online dating can be extremely rewarding, but it can also end up taking you down a bad road. We hope that these tips will help you protect yourself from online dating scams and get closer to finding the love of your life.

A Free Guide on How To Secure Your Identity & Protect Your Data