If you’ve not tried it yourself, you probably know someone who has. Internet dating has taken the world by storm, and there are now a whole host of websites promising to match you up with your perfect date.
People who use websites to find a partner say that they provide a really valuable service, which can introduce you to someone who can change your life. The problem is that meeting someone new using this method exposes the online dater to all sorts of risks from unscrupulous scammers and fraudsters, who sign up to these dating websites as a way to meet potential new victims. Typically, they’re after money, and they’re not afraid to prey on innocent singles in the most heartless ways to get what they want.
Who are scammers?
Scammers have bad intentions from the start straight from the source. They could be located anywhere in the world. They’ll make up a fake profile, designed to lure in whatever sort of victim they’re planning to target as part of their romance fraud. They might set up a profile designed to get you to take pity on them, or with a shared interest to get you chatting. Once they’ve got your attention, they’ll ask you manipulative questions which are designed to get you to reveal personal information, without telling you much about themselves. This is because “they” don’t really exist!
A scammer will always have a reason for not being able to meet you in person. They might claim to be in the army, working in a foreign country, or providing charitable assistance which stops them getting out of the house. Either way, there will be a sob story to explain their absence. Eventually, they’ll start asking you for money, either on the dating website or offline if they have your contact details. They might want to buy a plane ticket to visit you, to tide them over after their bank cut off their account, or that they’ve been robbed. They’ll always start off asking for small quantities of money, but the amounts will escalate as they build up the “relationship” with their victim.
Who do they want?
Statistics indicate that most of the victims of online dating scams are women, aged between 40 and 60. They’re not interested in flings, and want to build something long term with someone special, and the scammers know it. They take advantage of the vulnerability of their victims, who usually have access to good finances, and are easier to con thanks to their trusting, sympathetic personalities.
How can we avoid them?
Even the most trustworthy dating website can be home to scammers. It’s not easy to be certain of the people you speak to, as there’s no easy way to verify the information they give. What you can do is rely on experts like Are They Safe, who can conduct a full investigation into your new friend, and check they are who they say they are. Our specialist online dating discreet background checks will give you the peace of mind to carry on with, or terminate, your online relationship, and know that you’ve made the right decision.
Of course, it’s really important to point out that not everyone you’ll meet on the internet is up to no good. The Telegraph reports that 20% of all new relationships established today come about as a result of an online dating site, so as long as you tread carefully in the water of the online dating world, and carry out the right background check, there’s no reason to write off online dating as a way to meet someone who could put a smile on your face but make sure you instruct ‘Are They Safe’ to carry out the right background checks.