Learn the Signs & Protect Yourself Form Becoming the Next Victim
The need to protect yourself online is probably the greatest need when it comes to surfing the Internet. With the rising cases of Identity Theft and the new instances of online scams creeping up everywhere you go, it’s almost natural for the scammers to turn to the internet to find solace. That’s why online daters are in need of even more education than ever to protect themselves. Online daters are the most vulnerable-and the most affected-when ti comes to online scam rings. So, read this and take heed-the next time you are just a little more vigilant, it might just save your wallet-or your life.
The First Feelings
You know what it feels like when you meet someone online (finally!!) and you think things are going well? You talk constantly, you email back and forth, you make “online dates” for when you are both free to chat… You know what I am talking about, right? You feel like things are going so well that you might actually have found someone you can get along with and are actually thinking about meeting that person face to face one day. This is one of the greatest feelings in the world because it validates a couple of things. First of all, it validates that you are a good person who deserves happiness. And second, it validates that the online dating thing really does work, that it’s not just a scam.
When it Starts to Go South
So, you keep talking every day and then one day you realize that when you chat with them or get an email from them, it feels different than it used to. You can’t put your finger on it but something just doesn’t feel right… Almost as if you are talking to a different person altogether. And then it comes to you… You are talking to someone different. I know it doesn’t sound right, reading it like this-or even thinking about it. You might even think that you are suited to sniffing out the scammers and you can’t get hit. You wouldn’t let it happen ever, in fact, you dropped one person already because you got the wrong vibes from him from the beginning.
But you see, that’s just it.You felt that one first off. The thing about the online dating scams is, they start out fine-like any other relationship. The trick is to get you hooked, then pull out the tablecloth-and most times you don’t even realize it. Just like this time if you are getting the signs I mentioned above, if things start to go that way, you may not even realize it but you are about to become the victim of an online scam.
These scams are prevalent while dating online because the scammers know the daters are a bit more vulnerable than the average person. Don’t take offense but usually by the time people get to the point of trying to find love online, they have tried everything else-it’s true and you know it. That means they also know that those who date online are a bit more willing to do anything to keep a love interest , well-interested. Including sending money or whatever else they ask.
There are things you can watch out for so it doesn’t happen to you again. And there are things you can do to minimize the impact and the damage that this scammer can do to you now.
- They can’t keep their story straight. Changing the story is the first sign of a problem, or a dishonest person. When you start talking to a person online, when they give you information, make a record of it. When they tell you where they are form the first time, write it down in a journal of some kind. Or if they talk about where they work or if they have been married or not-doesn’t matter what kind of information they give you, make sure to write it down or keep a record somehow. This way, you can compare it to any new information they give you. And if the story isn’t the same, ask about it in a direct, but tactful way. If they don’t have a good excuse as to why they changed the story, then it’s a sign they are not who they say they are. Scammers often have someone write their profile information or chat messages, so one person may not know what another said to you and slip up.
- Their profile picture is too perfect, or they don’t have one. This is a sign they are not who they say they are. Unless they paid to have their pictures done professionally, the profile pic should be a regular one, as if a friend or other armature took it. Anyone who has a professional picture up on their profile might have stolen it off a professional modeling site. This happens very often, as a matter of fact. There is a modeling agency in Hawaii that posts head shots of their models and if you look closely, you will recognize many of the faces, both men and women. Make sure when you see a profile picture that you haven’t seen it somewhere-and if you get that feeling, do some research.
For profiles with no pictures, ask them to put one up. If they don’t want to, or make excuses it is a sure sign they are not honest. These people could have a significant other and they don’t want to be found by using the picture, or they are not who they say they are and have no pictures to cover up who they really are.
- They don’t want to talk on the phone. If you are in a good relationship online, and some months have passed, the next logical step is to talk on the phone. For those who don’t want to talk on the phone, or they constantly make excuses as to why they can’t-or miss appointments you have set to talk, they may not be who they say they are. For example, how do you know that the woman you have been chatting with online isn’t a man playing games with you? It’s a big thing for scammers to pretend they are women to hook men (older men especially) into a relationship and try to get the men to send money. Or, they might admit they aren’t the one actually doing the writing because they don’t speak perfect English and they are embarrassed, so they have someone else do it for them. Then they don’t want to talk on the phone or meet you for the same reason.
Insist to talk with them to prove to you that they are who they say. Otherwise, how do you know for sure they are who they say they are? You don’t! The general rule of thumb is, if you are in an online relationship for at least two to three months, it’s time to talk on the phone. If they constantly make excuses-drop them, period.
There are More Ways
There are many ways to tell if the person on the other end of the chat and messages is the person they claim, these are just the easiest ways listed here. If, for any reason, you don’t feel like the person is being honest with you, do your research and try the methods here. If they can’t make you feel secure and prove to you to the point you are comfortable with the information they give you, that they are who they claim, drop them, and drop them now! It’s better to end it sooner rather than later in any case. It is the only way to minimize the damage if they have already gotten you hooked. And if they haven’t yet, then you certainly don’t want to become so attached that you are blinded by anything they do or worse-you lose everything and then it’s too late-they disappear by that point and because it was a scam, you have no real information on them.
Unfortunately, in most cases, this scenario is the usual outcome. As it happens in many instances, people just don’t think of themselves as the type of person who is easily scammed. Unfortunately, those who think this way are in the most danger and the first ones who do get scammed.