With so many online dating scams in the world it makes sense that dating companies are constantly trying to limit and minimize the risk for users. Unfortunately, with scammers often operating several steps ahead of dating sites, there’s very little possibility of eliminating the risk entirely. A hookup ID is one way that companies are combating online romance scams, but even this security measure comes with risks.
The concept of having a hookup ID makes sense, and most mainstream dating sites will have you complete a profile that will help to ensure that you are the person you claim to be. The problem is that even with identity protection systems in place, security ID scams still happen.
Things To Know about Security ID Scams
Online dating scammers will try to get your personal information or scam you out of money no matter how many security measures are in place.
A hookup ID is a way to confirm someone’s identity through a multi-step verification process, and once a user is verified their account has a “badge” to reflect their verified status. The thought process is simple: Verifying your identity will help people feel more comfortable when meeting people online because they are talking with “verified” users.
Several social media platforms already have a verification system. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have verification systems so that a little blue checkmark appears to “confirm” that the account is real.
These identity checks are done internally through the individual site, and you should never go outside of a site to become verified. In fact, anyone sending you an external hookup ID link is likely trying to scam you.
The Hookup ID Scam
Phishing For Information
Signing up for a hookup ID involves going to a website, usually the online dating platform of your choice, and entering personal information to verify identity. The problem is that scammers will meet people online and ask that you become a “verified” user. They send you a link, and everything looks legitimate until you enter in personal information and discover that your identity has been stolen.
The other scam that is frequently implemented in these cases is that fake ID sites will ask for a fee to verify your identity. There should never be a fee associated with Hookup ID sites, so this in itself is a clue that you’re dealing with a scammer.
Once they have your money and your payment information they can drain your bank account or run up a huge bill on your credit card before you know what’s happening, and since so many online dating scammers are based in foreign countries there are very few means of getting your money back after it has been taken.
The most important thing to remember is that if someone contacts you and asks you to become verified, you should go directly to the verification site offered by the online dating platform that you’re using, if one is offered. Don’t rely on links that are sent to you by strangers because it’s nearly impossible to tell if it’s real until it’s too late.
Close But Not Quite 100%
Even accounts that are verified can be problematic. Celebrities are prone to being hacked, and they’re also the unsuspecting victims of scammers who try to use their names to scam people out of money.
Though you’re not likely to find George Clooney on a dating site, he’s a good example to use of how scammers try to trick people into thinking they’re using a verified account when in reality they aren’t. Instead of communicating with George Clooney you might find someone named Georgee Clooney trying to talk with you. The misspelled name might go unnoticed long enough for the scammer to trick you into thinking that you’re talking to a real person, and by then you might have already been victimized.
What this means is that you might think you’re talking to a real person because the name is close enough to a verified account with the hookup badge displayed, but the name could have a spelling error, or be a duplicate account. These duplicate accounts are what you really need to watch out for.
In fact, many military romance scams happen when scammers steal the online identities of soldiers on Facebook and create fake accounts that copy everything from names to pictures to life stories. From there they contact unsuspecting victims and lure them into a trap. From the victim’s perspective, the account looks real enough. However, it’s likely not verified. So if you’re contacted by one of these accounts, make sure that you’re dealing with a verified account.
How To Protect Yourself from Security Dating Verification Scams
The only way to protect yourself from online dating scams is to be careful about giving out personal information to strangers on the internet. That sounds simple enough, but it’s amazing how easy it is for scammers to find victims and lure them into their trap.
It’s a good idea to become verified for a hookup ID, but only use your dating platform’s system. Don’t use an external system that someone recommends or asks you to use. If someone sends you a link and tells you to use it, don’t. It’s probably a scam.
When you’re interacting with people on dating platforms, make a note of whether or not they are verified. It’s not an immediate red flag if they aren’t, because not all dating sites will ask you to verify your identity. And even if the person you’re talking to is verified, exercise caution. If someone online asks you for information that you wouldn’t give a random stranger on the street, then don’t give that information to a random stranger online, either.
The Bottom Line
Even if you encounter someone with a verified Hookup ID on a dating platform, you still need to play it safe. Don’t give out personal information until you can confirm his or her identity. If the person you’re talking with asks for money, cut ties immediately. And if you’re meeting in person, be sure to take all of the same precautions you’d take with anyone else you meet online.
The Hookup ID verification system is meant to minimize risk to online dating user, but that doesn’t mean that it’s foolproof and even though it’s a security system, it’s not 100% accurate.
Scammers are often two steps ahead of the people they’re trying to scam, so it’s very important that you remain vigilant and work to stay safe when meeting people online. The little blue verification badge helps, but it’s not a guarantee against scams.
Utilize the identity verification systems offered by the dating platform that you’re using. Never pay to become verified, and never utilize links that are sent to you for identity verification.As with all online interactions, be smart and be safe.
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