Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Why all of the tricks? They’re looking to steal your money.
Don’t get scammed! Here’s are some red flags to look out for when looking for love online:
They Don’t Live Nearby
If someone who lives nowhere near you is chatting you up, be suspicious. I’m not talking about someone who’s a state away, but if they live in a different country, there’s a good chance they’re trying to scam you. Don’t get too attached to someone you can’t meet without a passport. They aren’t your last chance at love!
They Proclaim Their Love in a Short Period of Time
I’m sure you’re an amazing person with a lot to offer. I’m sure you’re loveable. But no one can make a real, meaningful connection with you only after talking to you on the Internet for a few days or weeks. If someone who barely knows you says they love you, a red flag should go up. This person is either incredibly desperate or is getting ready to ask you a big favor.
Would you give someone you barely know a lot of your hard-earned money? Well, if you’re writing checks or paying bills for someone you’ve met online, you just did. You may feel like you’re helping someone you care for, but the truth is you have no idea what they’re spending that money on. You also don’t know how many other people are giving them money too!
They “Can’t” Video Chat
Pretty much every computer and phone has video chat capabilities and some of these programs are so easy that your dog could use them. So when your online love says they can’t video chat, know they’re full of crap. If they don’t have the technology (for whatever reason), they know someone who does. The truth is they don’t want you to know what they really look like.
You’ve Only Seen One Picture of Them
If you’ve been talking to someone for months and you’ve only seen one picture of them, you should definitely be suspicious. There’s a good chance that picture you’re looking at is not of the person you’re talking to. Chances are they found that picture on the Internet and are passing it off as their own.
They Won’t Give You Their Number
If your online love won’t let you call them, something is definitely up. The most likely have a living situation they don’t want you to know about. Maybe they’re married or have a live-in partner. Maybe hearing their voice would give away their gender or age.
They Say They’re a Celebrity
If the person you’re talking to claims to be a celebrity, ask yourself the following questions: Why would a celebrity need to go online to find love? How would a celebrity, with their crazy work schedule, find the time to talk to me for hours every day? You’re not talking to a celebrity. You’re talking to a person who thinks you’re naïve.
How to Protect Yourself
You can have a legitimate relationship with someone you’ve met online. First, choose someone who lives near you. Are they a drive away or a quick flight away at the most? You’re going to want to meet them eventually. Do an Internet search for them. Find out if they have a criminal background. Check out their Facebook page. Video chat with them, exchange phone numbers and pictures when you’re comfortable. You need to know what they look and sound like. When you’re ready, take the relationship offline. Meet up for coffee or in a public place and if there’s chemistry, agree to go on a real date.