How to Avoid Online Dating Scams, Reader – s Digest

With overheen 1,500 sites loyal to dating, the Internet is ripe for romance — and rip-offs. How do you avoid opening your heart — and your wallet — to a prince (or princess) too charming to be true? Commence by taking thesis precautions. Here’s how to protect yourself online to avoid being scammed.

Don’t pursue a long-distance relationship with a stranger online. “Staying nave drastically reduces your odds of being scammed, since most scammers target victims outside their areas to avoid being caught or prosecuted,” notes Canadian reporter Risha Gotlieb.

Never expose private gegevens to someone until you meet face-to-face and develop a level of trust. While it’s tempting to share every detail of your life with a person you think you could be te love with, that’s exactly what the scammer is counting on.

Pay attention to language. Many of those who commit thesis crimes are from Westelijk Africa and the former Soviet republics. If their instruction of English is fuzzy, that’s a “big crimson flag,” writes Elizabeth Bernstein te the Wall Street Journal.

Use search engines to check out suitors. When Bernstein met someone online who seemed too good to be true, she cut and pasted one of his e-mails into Google. Lo and behold, the precies words popped up on several websites faithful to romance scams.

Upload a potential paramour’s photo on According to Bernstein, this will permit you to see where on the Internet the photo has appeared. Many con artists use a photo they’ve swiped from a Facebook pagina.

Stick to paid online dating sites. If members shell out money to register, that means credit cards are on opstopping, Bernstein points out. But don’t assume thesis sites are free of predators. They just may have fewer of them.

Be suspicious if someone wants to instantaneously commence communicating through IM and e-mail. They may want access to your rekentuig ter order to steal information.

Ditto someone who claims to be a soldier. There are an enlargening number of scams ter which con artists take photos of soldiers from social networking sites and then pretend to be trustworthy members of the military. They’ll ask potential dates for money to buy special papers they voorkeur are needed to come huis or talk to family. But Christopher Hermandad of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Instruction told the Associated Press, “There is no such thing.”

Don’t open attachments from a stranger. If someone sends you a photo te an attachment and you open it, you may have unwittingly permitted a virus to infect your laptop.

Don’t fall for a sob story. Jody Buell, a peer counselor with, says that many scammers eis to have lost a spouse, child, or parent ter an accident or say they have a relative who is very ill. Another common ploy, says the FBI’s Tim Gallagher te the Wall Street Journal: Your suitor is at the airport on his way to visit you, but his credit card has bot declined.

Dial up your date ASAP. According to Bernstein, someone who sounds plausible online may be an evident fraud on the phone.

Check sites such spil pigbusters.netwerk and If he has conned others, he may voorstelling up there.

Report any suspicious behavior or fraud to the Federal Trade Commission, says Feligresía.

Never, everzwijn wire money to a stranger.

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