When getting to know a potential love interest online, there are several telltale signs that mer, such as the following:

Many scammers have demonstrated a keen understanding of how to build and cultivate trust from behind a keyboard, meaning that they are skilled in turning new relationships into strong bonds – without having to ever meet their targeted victims.

Super Keen Off the Bat. Despite having never met, they are overly friendly and curious to get to know you, and may profess strong feelings of passion and love

They Keep Asking Personal Questions. Leading on, they don’t just want to become acquainted – they REALLY want to know everything about your life

They quite simply seem to be your perfect match, loving everything you love, and agreeing with everything you say; better check their photo for a halo

They Are Reluctant to Answer Questions. Conversely, they are more of a closed book, preferring to deflect questions and keep the focus on you instead

To quickly become a larger presence in your life, they may ask for your phone number so they can message and call

They are Never Available to Meet in Person. For whatever reason – perhaps several – meeting up is incredibly difficult, even though they keep promising that it will eventually happen

They Have a Disruptive Job. While some online daters will of course have genuine reasons for not meeting up, the “I’m out of town this weekend” excuse is a scammer favourite

They Are an Online Ghost. It’s fine for people to be very privacy-conscious online, but when someone has no online footprint – or a very minimal one – suspicions should be raised

Their Photos Seem Too Perfect. Leading on, they seem to look great in all their photos, with perhaps a little too many appearing staged and digitally altered

They Ask You to Keep the Relationship Secret. A star-crossed lovers or secret agent-regular citizen scenario may seem exciting – but in reality, anyone who wants to keep your ‘special romance’ a secret is more than likely a conman

They Ask for Financial Help. When someone online asks you for money, alarm bells should be ringing all over the place – no matter the reason given and how convincing they are

They Ask for Personal Info/Explicit Media. Similarly to above, never send any sensitive information or compromising images/videos to anyone you meet online; remember that webcam/smart device footage can be recorded also

Now that we’ve covered what to be on the lookout for, we can more easily identify what can be done to prevent online dating scams from unfolding. Here are some preventative tips/actions:

Research Online Dating Sites Before Joining. Don’t simply sign up with any random dating website – try your best to https://hookupdate.net/xxx-dating-review/ choose one that seems trustworthy, and ensure that your profile doesn’t openly display any personal contact details, such as your phone number and email address, for strangers to see

Don’t Just Accept Everything People Say. It’s perfectly fine to challenge a stranger’s claims in a light, conversational way; for instance, if someone says they’re a doctor, ask some questions to better gauge whether they are being deceptive

They Ask to Talk via Non-Online Dating Platforms

Be Careful About What You Share. When it comes to online relationships, never share PII (personally identifiable information) or explicit media depicting yourself; also, be mindful of how you present yourself/what you share during webcam and video call-based interactions

Don’t Send Money. Online dating scammers can be very persuasive when it comes to asking victims for money; be highly suspicious if this happens, take a step back, discuss the situation with people you trust – and DO NOT send any money

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