Updated: January 28, 2023
There’s a drawback to online dating’s growing popularity. As it becomes more popular and mainstream, it becomes a larger target for scammers, catfishers, and con-artists. So just who are these people and how do you avoid them and other online dating scams?
1. They Will Be Otherworldly Attractive
If you haven’t heard of catfishing, it’s when people make up an online identity to trick you into getting romantically involved. You know the saying if it’s too good to be true, it probably is? Well, that pretty much sums up catfishing in its entirety, including the looks of your potential match.
2. They’re Terrible Spellers
Not everyone has a degree in English Lit, however many scammers will consistently use incorrect grammar and spelling because they’re from a foreign country and are portraying themselves as locals. “If it is a scammer, oftentimes English isn’t their first language so look for any inconsistencies in grammar and spelling, or the use of language that is overly emotional for a profile,” says Davis.
3. They Don’t Ask Simple Questions
When it comes to communicating, those who catfish really like to wax poetic and are extremely formal and flowery with their language. “They wouldn’t say something like, ‘how’s your day going?’ Instead, they might write, “Beautiful Amelia, I do so hope your day is wondrous,’” says Davis. “The more specific you can be with your questions to them, the better. Most won’t have a clear sense of lifestyle and will continue to bring it back to what they want in a match.”
4. They Want to Get Serious Too Soon
Be cautious whenever someone is rushing things online. Not only will a scam artist make the first move with you, but they’ll also conveniently match your requirements to a tee while playing with your sympathy and striking when you are the most vulnerable. “Scammers try to emotionally connect via email so you feel like you’re in a relationship with them before meeting,” says Davis. “If the person seems to paint a picture of what it would be like to be together, delete their messages.
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