Online dating has become a popular and acceptable form for meeting new companions, but the following red flags might be signs of a scammer looking to cash in on romance:
Inconsistent communication: watch out for vague or repetitive email responses. If your new friend expects you to share detailed personal information—but avoids answering your questions—it’s best to end the conversation.
Long-distance relationships: if someone seeks you out from hundreds of miles away, ask yourself why they are interested in a long-distance relationship instead of trying to meet someone within their own community. If there’s no legitimate answer, walk away.
Unrealistic photographs: most scammers use fake or stolen photos to attract you to their profile, but if the person’s photo looks too good to be true, it probably is. If your new acquaintance is unable to produce current photos in real-time, be wary.
Requests for money: fraudsters will try to take advantage of your emotional connection to solicit money from you. They might claim to have an emergency and ask you to wire them money. Or they may ask you to do things on their behalf, like cash money orders or ship goods. These are guises to lure you out of your hard-earned cash.
If you recognize these red flags or experience other suspicious behavior while dating online, report it to the website’s administrator and do not engage with the person.
Prevent Financial Elder Abuse! Call us Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Our trained specialists are here to listen and provide assistance. Recognize, Refuse, Report. Call 1-800-222-4444 or Denver Metro Area 303-222-4444, visit us online.
[Photo courtesy of Nils Geylen/Flickr]