How to Avoid Being Fooled When Dating Online

 

Dating online can be fun and exciting, not only for you but for online scammers as well. For the past decade, we have witnessed an influx of romance scams. Online dating sites are the playground for identity thieves, hackers, and several other nasty peoples. According to the FBI, there are some typical signs to identify such scams and protect yourself from getting duped.

FBI claims there has been a substantial increase in older victims becoming the target of online scammers. They often get duped of identity thefts, money laundering, and in worst cases, they are turned into unwitting  “money mules.”

Most online daters worry a lot about their first date with potential matches. However, your main worries should be more about the scammer who refuses to meet you, even after repeated attempts.

These online fraudsters are exceptionally talented when it comes to conning you for love and money. Thankfully, all of them follow a typical pattern. With just a cautious mind, you can identify these red flags and save yourself from getting duped.

Online Security Tips to keep scammers at bay:

Stalk them on social media:

Yes, you read it right. We are urging you to stalk the person you meet online and seems like a good match. Most scammers either don’t have a social media presence, or they have a pretty basic profile. Social media can help you find some obvious red flags.

Some tips for identifying such profiles are:

  1. They either have no or more than one social media profile.
  2. They have a very low friend count.
  3. Most of their photos online are model-like shots, and no activity related photos.
  4. The profiles lack pictures of their friends or family members.
  5. There are no tags on the pictures for any of their friends.

To keep your dignity intact, make sure you don’t become too creepy. Though snooping on someone’s social media accounts sounds outright sinister, it can save you from scams. This minor offensive step can actually be your best defense.

Make Google your best Friend:

Searching on Google has become a verb altogether. Googling is a common phenomenon these days, and people prefer searching for everything on Google. Just a simple knowledge of this search engine can help you from getting duped.

  1. Google image search: With Google reverse image search, you can search anyone’s image from the person’s profile. If the results of your search show up images mentioning it belongs to people with different names and residing in separate locations, you may have good reason to suspect them.
  2. Search for similar profile bio: It is typical behavior of a scammer to have the same profile bio in all their accounts. There can be many grammatical errors. Usually, scammers are from countries where English is not their main language. So, major grammatical errors always ring some warning bells.

Look for Red Flags:

As mentioned, there are some obvious red flags, which many people miss. Always keep an open eye and attitude to pick these subtle signs.

  1. Beware if an individual seems too good to be true. Do check them online.
  2. Beware if the individual persuades you to leave dating service and communicate directly through chatting apps of personal numbers.
  3. Beware if the individual always evades meeting in person. Even if they agree, they will make excuses to cancel them over and over again.
  4. Beware if the individual tries to isolate you from your loved ones and persuades you that everybody is against you, and he/she is the only person you should trust.
  5. Beware if they confess their love for you too quickly, even before you meet them in person.

Keep a balanced mindset and protect your private information:

Online scammers are nothing but con artists. They are masters of deception. They know the exact ways to manipulate you and bring them into their narrative of life in general.

It’s easy for anyone to get fooled into thinking that you may have an intimate relationship with your online match. When you are constantly texting and talking to a person throughout the day, it’s obvious to feel a natural attraction to the other person.

However, while all this conversation is happening, you need to have a closer look. Ask yourself below questions:

Are you in constant touch with this person?

Why are they not ready to come face-to-face?

Are you prepared to get so much emotionally involved with a person who is not ready to come out of this phantomized image?

Don’t fool yourself thinking into you have an intimate relationship because you are connected online. Dating platforms like Dating Blush have some great advice in this regard. You must always approach online dates practically. Always refrain from getting emotionally invested in a person before you met them for real. Romance scammers know how to convince and manipulate you.

Don’t get money involved:

Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone, this is just basic. Isn’t it? If your online prospect gives you a sob story or a convincing story that they need some financial help on an urgent basis, don’t fall into that trap.

Even if you want to help, do it the right way. If they claim they are U.S. citizens stuck in foreign locations and need funds, refer them to their local U.S. Embassy. If you still want to send money, do it via the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) Trust.  Always refrain yourself from transferring funds from your personal bank account.

Once you send money, you will be a cash cow for life. It’s always ok to say, “No.” If their love or affection is genuine for you, then they will stick around- with money or no money.

Final thoughts

Meeting your online date is a crucial milestone. We recommend if you are staying in the city, it must happen within the first week. If they are in a separate city or country, at least have a virtual face-to-face interaction. There is no dearth of video chatting apps these days, which is making them avoid it.

Moreover, listen to your gut. Your instincts never deceive you. If you feel something is not right, leave it then and there. You can take the help of a friend or someone from a family who can give you a third-person perspective on your situation and an online relationship. That’s the best you could do when you have any doubt.

When I Realized Something Was Missing

How to Fine Tune your Online Dating Messages

Having an online dating profile has become very popular these days. People access their bank statements online, rent videos online, and now can find love online. However, if you’re new to online dating you likely have a few questions, such as “How can I stand out?” or “How can I get a response from a woman who could be the one?” It starts by getting potential matches to view your profile, and in order for this to happen you must draw the match in with a clever or witty message. Here are a few tips on how to stand out in your online dating messaging.

State the Painfully Obvious

Be aware that while you personally may not be getting any messages, the women that you’re messaging are being bombarded on a daily basis by absolute creeps. A typical message to a woman on an online dating site is usually scandalous, short or just plain rude. Use this to your advantage! Let the girl know that yes, you are aware she receives 10 or 20 messages a day from jerks but you are not one of these desperate guys. Ask her to step out on a limb in order to see that you’re a decent man and a great catch. Being in tune with her problems and letting her know that you are not a creep will greatly increase your chances of receiving a response.

Catch Her Attention

If there’s an option for it on your dating website of choice, a witty subject title will give her incentive to read your message. Most people leave the subject space blank, which is a huge mistake, and doing this will certainly not help you get a response. A good way to leave her wanting more is to leave your subject open-ended.

For example, try sending a subject like “Hey, just wanted to say…”

and then continue what you were saying in the message. Leaving something to draw interest into the message itself will increase the chance that it’s read and replied to.

More than a Few Words

It probably goes without saying, but try to put some serious thought into your messaging. It can be discouraging sending multiple messages out without generating a response, but online dating isn’t easy and you’ll need to keep your heart in it. A girl will want to see that you have put time and effort into your message. Ask a few questions about her online dating profile. If she mentioned hiking being a hobby, bring up a few good spots to hike around your city or town. Keep the comments positive and end your message with a question. Ending a message with a question will give her an incentive to respond so that she can provide you with an answer.

For example: “You’ve got a million messages to sort through but your profile caught my eye when you mentioned you had hiked (insert name of mountain). Haven’t hiked that one but have been around some pretty cool trails in the area. Is that picture from this summer?”

Keep it simple and be polite in your messages and rest assured, you will earn yourself some responses. Update your online dating profile from time to time and remember to stay positive. A match will come your way!

Online

5 Signs to Look out Before Meeting Someone off a Dating Site

Probably providing the largest pool of declared individual candidates and couples willing to find someone for personal, romantic and at times sexual relationship, the Internet is proving one of the most favorable spots to find love and company. However large numbers of interested parties’ fraudsters, violent characters, chauvinist and maniac are keeping positioning themselves on the sites with the hope of nailing a few vulnerable souls. On many occasions I have received SOS cries after a few days of meeting people online. The funny bit is that after a few days of your refusal to help, the communications dry up and the relationships needless to say end up in smoke.

To be on the safer side however there are a number of tell tale signs you must be on the lookout especially if you hope to find someone for romantic relationships.

Frequency of Communication

Communication in any relationship is extremely important. While in the early stages the frequency of communication may be high but the number of time available will reduce before final stabilizing. When communication remains scarce from the onset and continues with the trend, the tell tale signs are out that the person might be so busy and would give you so little or no time off the Internet. It is advisable that, depending on how long you have dated on site, ask about his/her job demands and the amount of time he/her would set aside for family to understand how you’ll fit in his/her apparent strict schedule. If the arrangement doesn’t favor you, don’t take it off line when it’s going nowhere.

Possessiveness/Stalkers

Quite often you meet someone  online and as the dating game begins so does the questions why you didn’t answer to their questions as first what were you doing and who were you talking to?! Within a very short period the individuals without your permissions have intruded into your other social sites and are monitoring the conversations and reacting to them negatively as you hold your talking sessions with them. If he/she has not asked your permissions before placing in a friend’s request on face book or even asks whether you have other social accounts before asking to join in, then you are dealing with a stalker. Let them respect your space; chances are that they might already know where you stay and closely follow you after work to monitor your movement.

Other Online Subscriptions

Once you’ve started dating online, ask your date if they are subscribed to any other sites on the net. The social network sites they are subscribed into will give you an insight into the character of the person. For instance, if he is subscribed to pages with offensive messages, that defines his character. Take time to learn the person well by asking questions related to the pages they have subscribed to and have their personal opinion over the pages. This will help you make good judgment before taking it off.

Photos Used/Information

People dating online tend to post picture of their best moment, hence making them look at their best. As the days go by, ask for more pictures and additional information on their pages to get to know the person better. Request for various picture portraits, half and full sized photos to get a glimpse of what the physical attributes of the date are. If you like, then go ahead; if not, find your way out.
If your date is mean with information or uses pseudo pictures, request for the real thing and if they aren’t coming, don’t take it offline.

Verify the information given in the bio with them and if there is any bit of contradiction, take your time.

Language

While most people tend to be very careful with their language when they meet new people and especially when writing, familiarity loosens the care and people start using the normal language they would use in real life. Slowly but surely they start testing your limits by occasionally using words that would betray their lifestyles. Be keen enough to pick out these phrases as they might be crucial in determining the final decision. If the person is vulgar and swears all the time, be careful and they might just be telling you that they can’t handle their anger and so on. The language use also tends to bring out the upbringing of the individuals.

Finally, the final decision of when to take if offline solely lies with you; remember to ensure the first date off the net is arranged to be in public areas where you can call for help if in trouble. It is important to note that, if the person you were dating online with successfully managed to conceal their true self there, please take the first few dates in public to learn them before finally opting for a more private date.

Dating

3 Useful Tips for the Right Online Dating Profile

Gather 10 strangers off the street and inquire how many have ventured into the world of internet dating.  I can assure you there will be a massive gap between the number of people who have tried it, and the number of people who actually admit this.

But these people shouldn’t be ashamed as they most certainly are not alone.

In the interest of meaningfully contributing to the intellectual and spiritual progress of the human species, I have decided to compile a list of useful tips for those who are as yet un-initiated in the world of online dating.

The Photo

I guess I should start by saying that the following points are not a guide on how to find someone on the internet – they are just some things that might help you along the way.

The photo on your profile is the first thing any prospective lover will look at; first impressions have to be good in the online world, so make sure that:

  • Your profile photo is recent and shows the viewer what you actually look like
  • Your profile picture should be you and you alone. Resist the urge to use a picture of you with your dog (to show how much you like animals), your friends ( to show how popular you are) or members of the opposite sex ( to show that you are capable of communicating with them in a non pervy/desperate/ weird way)
  • If possible, your picture should show you doing something that you really enjoy. This will not only give a flavour of who you are but can serve as a great conversation starter when you finally start talking.

The username

  • Don’t try and show people how clever you are, but don’t plonk for a boring name like ‘Bob349.’ Try and get across a flavour of who you are.
  • It’s probably best to avoid anything too provocative like ‘kissmeiamdrunk’
  • Try to avoid those really strange looking jumbles of letters and numbers sequences

The Description

  • Like real life, it is better not to drone on for 5 pages about the amazing life journey that has brought you to this. Exact. Point. In. Time. Save that for the first date.
  • For the love of god, please remember to check your spelling!
  • Your description should be about 3 paragraphs long, one featuring who you are and what you do, the second should be about your individual likes and dislikes and the third should be about how your life and routine is at the moment
  • Be unique and unafraid of who you are- If you don’t like long walks and films then say so.

If you follow these simple points, people should be able to perceive what kind of person you are right away; the key is to find the right balance between individuality and accessibility.

You should also remember that the success rate for internet dating is probably higher than you think!

If you do get a date, your prospective lover will already know far more about you than a normal first date would, so just stay calm and just be yourself!

Anyone else got any tips, or have I missed something out?

Elise Lévêque is a lively and ambitious freelance translator who moved from Paris after meeting her fiancé. She’s well-known for her love of parties and shopping, and loves to blog.

Video Chat

Finding Love in a Nouveau Way

Humans are created in such a way that they all feel the need to love and to be loved. It is this need that has many people searching far and wide for a person to love or someone who can make them feel loved. While it may be easy for some people to get that person, others are shy and may even find it hard to interact with fellow humans. There are some who find it difficult because of the security issues involved when it comes to meeting a stranger. There are also some who are simply put off by how expensive it is to go on a date and get to know a stranger. Thanks to the advancement in technology, people no longer have to worry about these. This is because of the discovery of innovative ways of interactions such as video chat.

Video chat is basically a means of interacting with people over the internet and only requires one to have a stable internet source, a computer or laptop that has an attached camera. The person you are planning to interact with also needs to have the same so that you can carry out a cam to cam chat. It is actually a nouveau way to find love or just to have fun interacting with other people who may have similar interests with you.

This mode of interaction has several advantages over other forms when it comes to finding love. The fact that you get to see and hear the person with whom you are interacting means that you do not have problems of knowing their true identity, while people may create false profiles on other online dating or chat sites where video chat is not enabled. It is an effective way of getting to know your potential life partner via videochat, since it creates a virtual date environment and you can actually see if the other person is sad or happy, and instantly see their reactions towards your words, so you can adjust accordingly.

 

You can also build rapport with the person you are chatting with until you are able to meet them in person. This saves you the expense of traveling to see them in person too. What’s more, video chat dating fits those who’re better at verbal communications than writing and it provides those people with the opportunities to meet more people without having to rely on writing such as messaging back and forth on an internet dating site. If you are one of them and looking for the best way to find love, you should really try an online dating site with video chat rooms.

Prem says:
September 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm
I think this is one of the coolest ways to find love – The nouveau way ;). No matter where on earth you are, you will feel close to the person you’re having a conversation with. I think this trend is becoming more and more popular among teens and it’s much safer than other means of chatting where we don’t know whether the person to whom we are chatting with do really exist or someone is just playing around. Cam to Cam chat does give a feel of security and we don’t need to worry about any other thing, face to face communication is always the best. The best thing about this is even though when we are miles away we can be still see each other and can feel the comfort sitting back at their desk. Thanks to the rapidly growing technology which is making our life better.

Soul Mate

Can Internet Matchmaking Help You Find Your Soul Mate?

Not a day goes by when we don’t read about yet another celebrity couple announcing their separation. So, the real question is: If, with all their wealth and the luxurious lifestyles they lead, they still can’t get it right, how on earth do us mere mortals find the one whilst juggling full-time careers as well as our social lives?

TomKat are the latest in a long line of couples with ‘the perfect lifestyle,’ but did it really come as a big surprise? The girl next door fell for the billionaire actor she swooned over as a child; devout Catholic upbringing versus his Scientology, it really doesn’t read as a match made in heaven!

Many believe that we have only one soul mate, while others believe you can have numerous throughout your life- but the big question is: Do we actually want one?

Because you’re worth it!

Many online dating sites will dazzle us with the science otherwise known as the soul mate algorithm!  Can a computer programme really determine who we should fall in love with and if so, how on earth did all our previous generations get it so right?

Divorce rates are now 100 times higher than they were a century ago.  Are we too fickle, or just plain old clued up about living a happy life?

21st Century dating

Unlike the generations before us, we now have so much choice.  International travel, the internet and dating agencies are all things our great grandparents could not have even imagined.

We are a generation that know what we want, and we want it all!  So just how do we work 60 hour plus weeks in our dream careers and still muster up the energy to head out into the world and find our soul mate?

The answer for millions of people worldwide is the internet, with thousands upon thousands of online dating agencies that promise to find us everything from our future spouses to casual lovers.  So, just how does a computer programme determine who we will be blissfully happy with? Is it really as scientific and complicated as they want us to believe?

Probably not. It is quite simply matching us to those with similar approaches and beliefs in life; however, it does provide us with a shortlist from thousands of possibilities and let’s face it, who has the time to meet thousands of people!

Long gone are the days when internet dating was something to hide and be embarrassed about, and the children of the 90s are out and proud!

Can you find your true soul mate online?

Image Credit: t3rmin4t0r

Custom Love – A New Age of Online Dating

It’s hard to believe that dating sites once had to “sell” the idea of online dating to people who were far too nervous to even log in to a chat room.  Nowadays, everyone has their own dating site or at least a Facebook profile that looks sort of like an online dating profile.  Yes, the world has embraced online dating as a viable solution for finding love.  And while 1990s “love bites” cynicism was once the flavor of the day, today we live in a world of customized solutions.

 

Customize Your Passion

Now lovers, singles and anyone with a yearning heart can go out and find precisely what he or she wants courtesy of the online dating service.  What was once dismissed as an unromantic notion (the idea of taking romance to a computer screen) is now seen as the most logical, the most erotic and the most emotionally satisfying solution to loneliness.  After all, when you go online, you have an entire world of possibilities, and a wide selection to choose from, from casual affairs to niche or “extreme” connections, to long-term commitment, and even shared faith partnerships.  You get precisely what you want and in the end, isn’t this what romance really is?  The ability to dream of finding something so specific and so complementary, and then to discover it a short distance away?  In the end, compatibility is what you want.  Compatibility is what makes happy romances, as opposed to those Eminem-Rihanna music videos.  Online dating is all about customizing your relationship, not just killing time on a keyboard.

And true, it is an idea that a generation ago might have found offensive to the very idea of romance.  Just like, rock and roll was once offensive to the senses; just like, premarital nookie was once an abomination to one’s reputation.  Hey, times change and it’s clear that the 2000 era is all about the ME experience.  Frankly, customization is the best shot we have at overcoming that 50/50 divorce rate.  Perhaps if we were to spend less time flirting with disaster and more time flirting with someone who really matches our needs and wants, we would be headed in the right direction.

Text for the Memories

One of the most interesting aspects I find about modern dating is the instant messaging options.  Of course, most singles are anxious to progress beyond text chatting and to go straight into video chat (i.e. sites like Omegle and Chat Roulette).  True, and it is indeed a thrill to know what your potential partner looks like in real time.  However, the text chat feature (what usually starts a conversation) is one of the most brilliant aspects of the online date because it allows you to do the unthinkable—to create a long lasting memory by saving the chat as a text file or as a chat log.

It’s something that our parents before us could hardly have fathomed—the idea of recording a first encounter, and perhaps an entire courtship, so that one day one could look back on the first time and reminisce.  Indeed, it is quite an odd feeling to read your own texts years after the fact and wonder, “What was I thinking?” or “I can’t believe I said that!”  Reading old texts with your sweetheart may even be a sort of “loaded question” scenario, similar to a relationship board game.  Indeed, what were you thinking when you confessed THAT and when you implied THAT?  And I can’t believe all I said was LOL in response.  Why, it’s the new generation’s equivalent of the embarrassing high school yearbook picture!

A Community of Lovers

Whether you’re lurking at Adult Friend Finder or making new friends at Zoosk, one thing is very apparent: customers don’t just want the dating service anymore.  They want the community.  They want their own virtual “bar” where they can go in and enjoy the many unique amenities.

They come in for the webcam chat, but they stay for the blogs, they enter the contests, take part in the group games, and of course, when it’s time to stop cyber-dancing the night away, they get serious by narrowing and localizing their search so they can have a deep conversation with someone guaranteed to be fun.  One of the greatest things about online dating is that you can walk into a community and buy anyone a drink, from a single person to a married mistress, to a transsexual, gay or lesbian partner or even the BDSM master you’ve always wanted.  Another awesome trend: finding dates according to shared allergies!  You know you’re going to have better sex when you finally find that smoldering vegetarian hottie, or that gluten-free guy with the great gluteus maximus.

These are amazing times, folks, and we now have unlimited potential to go out and find the love we long for.  Now is the time to embrace passion, to super-size it just the way you like, and to order seconds and thirds and fourths.  Take a chance…join the online dating world and explore your potential.