I receive complaints each and every day about internet dating scams. These stories break my heart. They’re tales of love-bombing and betrayal. Some involve sex addicts. Others hide marriages or money fraud. And my first inclination is to recommend people stay away from dating sites.
MSNBC conducted a survey that calculated 30% of e-dating participants were married. The number was higher for men than women. But the Oasis Singles Blog indicates that 30% of the dating pool, in general, is covering up existing marriages. So if the ratios match, e-dating at least, provides access.
The trick is to use e-dating wisely and be on the watch for hazard signs.
Free sites are apt to contain more scammers than paid resources for obvious reasons. The greater the disclosure and security provided by the site, the more likely they are to eliminate con artists.
- If you constantly reach voice mail, rather than securing direct contact, or if their written responses are delayed, your match may be waiting for their wife or business colleagues to get out of the way.
- Are they speaking in a hushed tone or only texting late at night? Their spouse could be right alongside them when they do.
- Are they making miraculous recoveries from illness? Telling you they’re sick one day, and then appearing perfectly fine the next, could signal they lied to hide their whereabouts.
- No photo on the site? When people want to send you their photo privately, rather than place it online, it could signal that they don’t want to be found out by a spouse. Let them know they need to post their picture, not send it to you directly.
- Weight, height and age are the most frequently incorrect statements on dating profiles. If it’s important to you, don’t take their word for granted.
- If they never take you home or identify where they live, it’s a tip-off that they’re hiding a spouse.
- Someone who is really into you would love to show you off to their family. Failure to do so could easily indicate a problem. Con artists will denigrate their family relationships. They’ll even feign that they’re dead. If you don’t meet the family, be very cautious!
- Avoid e-dating services that market people as wealthy or millionaires. No one who is wealthy wants to be punked by a Gold Digger. Their interest is not served by attracting you to their affluence, so why would they?
Always Photo ID a person you meet through on-line dating!
I know it sounds intrusive, and it is! But you are taking risks in diving into the dating pool, and so are they. Rather than springing your request to ID them on your first date, let them know ahead of time that you expect to exchange IDs when you meet. Their resistance is a good indication that they’re not on the level.