If you have ever signed up for a dating site, you are probably familiar with online dating scams. Online dating scams are annoying and frightening. They target both men and women, but since I am a woman, I will write about my experience with scammers targeting women.
What are online dating scams? Usually they are people from outside the US who create fake free profiles on dating sites. The intent is to either get personal information that they can sell, such as an email address, phone number or other info, to get personal information for credit fraud or to just convince the dater to send them money to visit for a date.
I have seen them on every site I have been on but some sites are more rampant with them, despite the best efforts of the dating site makers. I think the only way to eliminate online dating scams is to make the site pay only. The sites that make you pay early to do almost any contact have very few spammers.
Signs of Online Dating Scams
1. One or just a few photos
2. Very good looking
3. They are from out of town either far away or just an hour or so away from you
4. Searches for women in a large area like 100 to 500 miles
5. No preferences for body type, height or any other feature.
6. Claims to be a widow
7. Uses phrases such as “God fearing” (I guess this is supposed to make you trust them)
8. Has bad grammar. Often uses the word “will” wrong.
9. Tells you they want to communicate
10. Are very flattering to you right away
11. Try to chat with you and then get you to another site like yahoo chat
12. ask for your email right away
13. Ask for your cellphone right away (I think they get a local number from Skype and text that way)
14. Have things that don’t match up on their profile. For example: no university but are an engineer, degree but in construction or are from Vegas but mention places in NY City on their profile.
15. Asks what kind of guy you like and then later that type of guy contacts you
16. Are very limited in conversation to hide their bad English. Will answer complex statements or questions with “I see” or something simple like that. Sometimes the response does not match the conversation.
17. Don’t know facts about where they are from or answer the first thing that pops up on Google. Like I will ask what their favorite restaurant in town is and they will answer the top query for “my city restaurant”.
18. Contacts you early in the day since they are in another part of the world
19. Gets angry if you tell them that you need to see them in person like on video chat
20. Claims to be an immigrant so if you talk to them that explains their lack of knowledge of the area or their accent or claims to be in the military, airline or out of town on business so they can get you to email more without meeting
21. Don’t mention anything from your area like a favorite team or restaurant
22. send a form email; usually they are long, gushy and romantic letters. Real guys will be more like “Hey”
23. Don’t mention anything from your profile when they contact you
24. Don’t seem to know much about their own profile
25. Use photos which you can find online with Google images search. One spammer used a photo of long dead Jackie Gleason.
26. Will ask for your email address in order to “send more photos” or send a photo if there is none.
27. Will ask “How long have you been on this site?”, “Have you met anyone on this site?”, “Why haven’t you met anyone on this site?”
Unfortunately, most of these signs also exist in real profiles so you will need to asses if there are enough of them to constitute on of the online dating scams. If you do think they are spammers, then report them to the site managers. All sites have a report button somewhere on the profile. I usually don’t put a reason since I am sure the dating site managers are just as familiar with all the signs as I am.
Online Dating Scams
Some estimates are that 10% of all new profiles made online each day are online dating scams. They get reported and just keep at it; make a new profile and start again.
I have never gotten to the point where they ask me for money but I have met a man who has. Once he said no then the person disappeared. I read that some of them get verbally abusive. Just say no!
If you turn the chat feature off on your profile, this often weeds out spammers. I also don’t respond to anyone out of my area. I don’t want a long distance relationship anyways so it kills two birds with one stone.
I also never give out my”real” email address to anyone online till I have met them in person. I have a free throw away email account that I give out instead. Sometimes the guys who want to send photos turn out to be real. They just don’t know how to load them on the site or are private.
If you can learn to spot online dating scams quickly it will make your online dating experience much more enjoyable.