There is always a chance that you might come across a romance scammer on a dating site. If you suspect that you’re being scammed, you may be unsure what to do at first. In some cases, you might have been talking to that scammer for so long that you’re not sure how to get out of it. However, if you remain calm and reasonable, you may actually be able to outsmart a romance scammer. In this detailed guide, we cover how to outsmart a romance scammer on the Internet today.
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Online Dating: How to Tell if You’re Being Scammed
Sometimes, if you meet someone great online, you can be blinded by how perfect they seem.
The conversations might seem so exciting and personal that even if they were a scammer, you would be in denial of it.
However, on any dating site, you need to be extra cautious going into it. No matter how great someone may be online, always keep an eye out for red flags and don’t ignore the warning signs.
They’ll Rush into Things
Scammers will often be way too nice and unnaturally forward with you right from the start. They will try to get close with you right away so that they can gain your trust to take advantage of you.
They will shower you with compliments and likely become attached to you far too quickly even if you have never met in person. These characteristics may just make them seem like an extra friendly or desperate person, but chances are, they are just someone trying to trick you.
Their Profile Could Be Too Detailed or Not Detailed Enough
Also, if you have doubts about them, take a close look at their profile.
If they have limited information or information that is not very specific, then this could be a concern. Scammers oftentimes do not spend extra time trying to complete a profile if they just want something quickly.
However, it is possible for them to actually have a detailed profile. If this is the case though, it might seem just a little too perfect. They could have unrealistic credentials and occupations just to pull you in. Plus, their photos might appear like something that would be seen in a fashion magazine. Therefore, even though there are some very successful people in the world, it is likely that a scammer would try to be one of them.
They Will Want Something from You
Of course, never give out money to someone you meet online. This should go without saying, but if someone you barely know starts asking you for something through a dating site, then that is when you know it’s a scam.
Even if they seemed completely real up until that point, it is important to never fall for it. Don’t be afraid to stand up to someone suspicious and ask for clarification. If they do strange things and you just let it slide, then they will likely end up taking advantage of you in the end. It is important to always figure out whether or not someone is a scammer before it’s too late.
7 Tips on How to Outsmart Romance Scammers
Once you have a feeling you’re being scammed on a dating site, you need to figure out a way to get out of it.
If you directly accuse them of being a scammer, then they will likely either do what they can to convince you otherwise or just move on to a new victim. However, there are some ways that you can outsmart them before they even realize that you’re onto their plan.
1 – Ask Them to Send a Current Picture of Themselves
If you suspect that they are pretending to be someone they’re not, then you should ask them to send you a picture of themselves. They may just send you another generic photo like the ones in their profile, but if you give a more specific request, then you may be able to prove that they’re scamming you.
You can ask them to send a picture of them next to a current newspaper or a screen with today’s date on it. That way, they can prove that they are taking the picture that day instead of stealing it from someone else. You could also ask them to send a photo of themselves doing a specific action, such as sticking out their tongue or touching their nose.
If they cannot send a picture with one of these specific actions, then it is safe to assume that they are not who they say they are. However, they will still try to trick you by making up excuses for not being able to send these photos.
They may say that their phone won’t let them take selfies or that they don’t have anything that says the date on it. As sincere as they may sound, do not fall for these types of excuses.
2 – Request to Meet in a Public Setting
You can never be completely sure about someone if you’ve never met them in person. So, if you are suspicious of someone you’re talking to online, you can suggest meeting in a public setting.
Even though they were probably very forward before, they will likely come up with any excuse they can to not have to meet you there. They may even suggest somewhere more obscure to meet, but do not fall for this. If you have never met this person before, make sure you only meet them in a place that you know is safe.
If they just keep coming up with more excuses every time you decide to meet, no matter how real their answers might seem, they are likely just trying to get something from you without having to actually interact with you in person.
3 – Use a Background Search Service
All these sites need is a few simple pieces of information in order to find out all public records about that individual. This usually includes a name and location. Odds are, when you search for their name, they will turn out not to be that person or you may find out other bad things about them.
Therefore, if you think your match on a dating site is lying about who they are, you can simply search for them to find out the truth. Then, if the results prove that they are lying, regardless of what they try to say, you should stop interacting with them and keep yourself safe.
4 – Ask Them Specific Questions
Since scammers want to gain your trust and get you to like them right away, they may just agree with a lot of things you say. They will claim to have the same interests as you, so they won’t really reveal anything unique about themselves.
Therefore, if they claim to like something that you like, ask them specific questions about it that only a true fan would know. Also, ask them personal questions that require a detailed answer.
If they respond with general answers to everything, then you can assume that they are not telling the truth. Dating apps are about getting to know people, so most people that you talk to would be more than happy to tell you about themselves. Therefore, if they are unable to answer some simple personal questions, then this is a problem.
5 – Refuse to Give Them Another Way to Contact You
Scammers will likely want to move conversations off the dating site as soon as possible. As soon as they feel like they’ve gained your trust, they will ask for an email, phone number, personal information, or any other means of contacting you. If you have any doubts about them, then you should refuse to do this. Never reveal any personal information or share any identity documents with someone you have just met online. This can lead to identity theft & blackmailing, as detailed out in this article on the federal trade commission website.
Tell them that you want to stay on the dating app until you can get to know them better or tell them you don’t want to move to a new form of communication or reveal other personal information until you’ve met them in person. By denying them of a new communication platform, this will frustrate them and may cause them to try even harder to get this additional information out of you.
If they seem to want to move even faster after you tell them no, then this is definitely a red flag. Never move your conversations to another platform if there is a chance that the person you’re talking to could be scamming you.
6 – If They Ask for Money, Tell Them No
No matter how sincere they may seem, if someone that you just met online asks you to send money, do not go through with it. Instead, tell them no and see how they react.
They may try to make more excuses or add more of a sob story as to why they need the money, but keep telling them no. If they can’t get what they want from you, then their tone will likely change and they will lash out at you. This is when who they really are will start to show and you will know that you have for sure been tricked.
If they start to threaten you, do not fall for their tricks. If you feel you are in danger, contact the authorities immediately without giving the scammer what they want.
7 – End All Contact with Them
If all else fails, the easiest thing to do is to stop interacting with this scammer. If you are unable to prove that they are tricking you, but something still seems off, then it is fine to just cut all forms of contact with them.
Block them so that they will be unable to keep reaching out to you, and don’t give them warning before you do it. If you ever feel unsafe while talking to someone online, the best thing to do is to just get out of that situation as quickly as possible. Not all scammers can easily be outsmarted, so don’t get discouraged if you just have to leave the situation.
As real as someone seem online, there is always a chance that they could be a scammer. When first talking to someone new online, do not give out too much personal information and always keep an eye out for anything suspicious. If you come across a scammer online, do what you can to discredit them and protect yourself from falling for their tricks. Also, if you think someone you know is becoming a victim of a romance scam, encourage them to try out these tips before things get worse for them.
If you want to make sure 100% they are a scammer, make sure to use a background search service like BeenVerified.