How to Know if Your Online Date Match Might Be a Scam Artist

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Vet Your Match and Avoid Falling Prey

Diving back into the dating pool at any time can be nerve-wracking, but imagine having to worry about scammers, too! Online dating apps are rife with those who are waiting for an unsuspecting victim to catch unaware. However, the good news is there are signs that indicate your match might be a scam artist. Be on alert if they look too perfect, avoid phone calls and ask for money. Let’s take a look at why these are red flags.

They Look Too Perfect

It’s not uncommon to find attractive people on dating websites or apps, but if they look too perfect, it might just be too good to be true. Some people, looking to draw in unsuspecting victims, will avoid using real photos and instead choose stock photos of models as their profile picture. The idea is to draw the initial attraction with the fake photo and then lure the person in with sweet talk.

Some common red flags include those with people wearing designer hats or glasses, posing in front of beautiful architectural buildings or appear to be holding props. If you are suspicious, do a Google image search and see if the photo has been used elsewhere. It’s not guaranteed you’ll find it, but it can’t hurt to look.

They Avoid Phone Calls

After texting or emailing through the dating website or app for a bit, once the two parties get comfortable with each other, it’s a natural progression to initiate phone calls. However, if your “match” refuses to talk on the phone, it might be something to pay attention to. Scammers in other countries want to avoid the fees that come with talking on the phone.

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Additionally, if you do speak, but they say they are out of town on business or perhaps in the military, it’s advisable to discontinue communication until they are back in town. Oftentimes, this is the top excuse used by scammers to avoid setting up in-person meetings.

They Ask for Money

Many scammers are creative in the ways they ask for money, but asking for money, in general, is a huge no-no. It’s not unusual for people to fall prey, because the request for money doesn’t come right away. It comes after weeks or months of chatting — which in itself, is a red flag. Meeting after a few chat sessions is typical; if they continue to put you off or come up with excuses, move on.

Even if you feel that you can trust the person, don’t agree to send money wirelessly or ever give out your banking information, lest you wake up to find your account empty one morning. If you really feel that it’s a real request for money and you want to loan it, always arrange to meet in person. If they refuse to meet, you can be 100% certain it’s a scam.

Many seniors are vulnerable to scams, but that doesn’t mean you need to become another statistic. It’s great to have fun and explore the options out there, just know what to look for so you’re not caught unaware.

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~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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