Both the matchmaking industry and the dating site industry are rife with scams–here’s one matchmaker’s guide to avoid the scams:
No one wants to think they could be taken advantage by an internet dating scam, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are every single year. In fact, the US Embassy to Russia receives reports every single day from people concerned they’ve been scammed by a Russian single looking for love, and the U.S. Postal Service has created a video about the same topic on its FakeChecks.org website.
So how do you avoid falling prey to an internet dating scam in the first place? Take heed of the following red flags and you’ll be much more aware, prepared and ready should someone try and take advantage of you.
Have you ever exchanged emails with someone you met through an internet dating site, just to wonder if its the same person who is replying to your messages each time? Or perhaps you’ve briefly thought to yourself that the person on the other end of the communication really needs to employ a spell-checker.
Neither of these email discrepancies are cause for alarm; a lot of people aren’t very good with spelling and grammar, and they may be writing English as a second language. But if more than one of the following email discrepancies pop up during the course of your communications, it may be an internet dating scam.
- Communication is vague, difficult to understand or is repeated.
- Immediate (within 15 minutes) responses are received every time you send a message, with no discussion beforehand as to when you’ll be online.
- Email messages change in tone, language, style or grammar throughout the communication. This could evolve over time, or it could be apparent in just one email.
- A sob story is shared early on that changes quickly from an annoyance into an emergency – and only you can help.
It can be very heady to have an ongoing email chat with someone who is focused entirely on you. In fact, this is a great sign that the person on the other end of the conversation is truly interested and invested in learning more about who you are.
Where the danger lies however, is not their interest in you as a person, but rather that they don’t offer any detailed, personal information about themselves in return, or doesn’t really answer your emails in a personal manner, but rather changes the topic with each contact.
Appropriate responses are integral to determining whether or not the relationship you are creating is based in reality and not a potential internet dating scam. Could the person emailing you be merely copying and pasting responses from a pre-determined outline or script, or do their emails really seem to “get” you and offer some sort of individualized attention?
lthough cliche, the saying holds true for internet dating scams: if the person’s photo looks too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.
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