Categorized | Online Dating 101

What Are The Risks Of Online Dating Sites?

You are seriously considering joining a reputable online dating site. You are hopeful at the prospect of possibly meeting your soulmate. You are eager to get started with the process of receiving matches and reading dating profiles. However, you want to stay safe and approach online dating in a smart way.

Although the majority of members of an online dating site are honest, good and genuine people, unfortunately hundreds of thousands of people are taken advantage of by internet dating scams. Be aware of any “red flags” that you notice with any of your matches.

Follow these helpful tips to avoid an online dating scam.

Be observant of discrepancies in your match’s emails. Be very cautious if you experience any of the following problems:

a) The email communication from your match is difficult to understand, is repeated or is oddly vague.
b) You receive a response from the match within ten to twenty minutes every time you send him/her a message, even though you never discussed when you would be online again.
c) You notice that emails from your match change in grammar, spelling, style, language or overall tone throughout your communication with him/ her.
d) Early on in your communication, your match shares a heart-wrenching story that quickly turns into an emergency, and he/she informs you that you are the only one who can help.
e) Your match fails to offer you any personal or detailed information about himself/herself.
f) He or she does not respond to your emails or messages in a personal way, but instead change the topic each time he/ she sends another email.
g) You sense that the emails or messages that you are receiving from this match don’t contain meaningful and appropriate responses. Consider whether or not the person is sending you copied-and-pasted responses from a pre-written script or outline.
h) The person asks you to cash someone’s money order or check for him/her. Say no!
i) The person asks you for money. Avoid giving anyone any money.
j) Be wary if the match’s profile photos look fake or unrealistic. It likely means that the photos have been tampered with, or worse, the photos might be of another person entirely and just used to hook potential matches into communicating with him/her.

Safety and Privacy Tips

Be very careful not to reveal you actual last name to a match until you feel that you have gotten to know the person and you feel that they are trustworthy. Be careful not to reveal your personal email address until you have been communicating for a good while through the online dating site and you feel comfortable sharing your email address with them. Do not share your phone number with a match until you feel very safe and comfortable with them over email. Never reveal your personal address until you have gone through the process of communicating online for a good amount of time, have had many successful phone conversations, and have met in person in safe, public places a variety of times.

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