Online Dating Scams – Valentine’s Day

ID-100129816Valentine’s Day is a time when people begin to rethink their love life and explore new ways to establish a love connection. Unfortunately, it’s also the time for Internet fraudsters to lure lovers into handing over their hearts and their wallets to those with less than true love intentions.

Typically, online dating romance scams usually start with a scammer setting up a fake profile and making false promises. After building trust, scammers play on their victim’s emotions by planning to meet them in some faraway place or asking for money. To get what they want they may ask you personal questions about family members, where you live, your birthday or pry into your financial status. So while online dating can be a convenient and comfortable way to make first contact with someone it’s more important than ever to be  “Fraud-Safe” this Valentines’ Day.

Tips to remember:

  • Never Give Out Personal Details You’ve heard this before but it can never be said enough. Never give out any personal information online.
  • Stay Within The Site Most dating sites have their own instant messaging and secure email so a red flag should pop up if you’re asked to contact someone via an offsite email address.
  • Stay Public. When planning to meet up with your date for the first time, tell someone where you are going and who you’re going with. Choose a public place in a busy area. Make sure you have a way to get home that also does not involve walking through shifty areas. Don’t accept  offers to be walked or driven home. It’s even a good idea to have a friend text or call you during your date to make sure all is well.
  • Limit Your Alcohol. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you more likely to condone behaviors that aren’t appropriate. Don’t accept drinks from anyone under any condition unless you see the drink being poured and it goes straight to your hands. Nasty things get slipped into drinks every day.
  • Go Dutch. While it may be a Neanderthal mentality, studies still show that a large percentage of males still believe that when they buy a woman dinner that she “owes” him sex.
  • Take Pictures Use your mobile phone to take pictures of them. You can say you want to use it in your contact list but it’s also a way to show people who you are with and where you are.
  • Be cautious even after a few dates. Even if you hit it off, you do not know this person very well yet.  Even after one or two great dates, stay somewhat cautious. Don’t entrust them with too much information right away.

Get MateCheck verified and ONLY date others who have been Matecheck verified themselves. MateCheck offers self-verification tools to validate your personal information which is housed by trusted 3rd party databases. The goal is to facilitate the information sharing that creates comfort in a personal relationship especially when it is initiated online – before you fall in love.

– Ali Goldfield, Psychotherapist

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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