Tips For Avoiding Romance Scams Online
Looking for tips for avoiding romance scams? Let your friends at TextNow give you pointers on how to avoid getting phished while dating online.
Here's a deeply unromantic statistic: According to the FTC, online seekers of love lost a whopping $200 million to romance scams in 2019 alone. That's a lot of coffee dates.And while every scam is awful, of course, there's something a little extra horrible about preying on people's weaknesses and loneliness. So what's a lovelorn online dater to do?
Tips to avoid romance scammers
There are some red flags to keep an eye out for:
- Does the person have a profile pic that seems like they could be a model? Like your mother always said, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Are they moving very quickly? Going from "Hi" to "I love you" in a handful of messages?
- Are there any weird inconsistencies with their profile, or their messages?
- Are the messages vague and noticeably poorly written?
- Are they (and this is a big one), are they telling you an elaborate story about why they need money, as a prelude to asking for money?
- If you ignore or refuse their requests for money, do their messages get more desperate and insistent?
It goes without saying you should never send money to a person you don't know in real life, no matter how much you like them. Often a scammer will ask you for a gift card (iTunes seems an especially popular ask) rather than outright asking for cash. Why? Gift cards are essentially untraceable - once someone uses the code that money is gone.
The sad truth about the internet is people can claim to be pretty much anyone, so having a healthy skepticism is key to keeping yourself safe.
One great trick to avoid romance scams
So let's say you're talking a person who's tripping one or more red flags. How can you know for sure?
A very quick verification you can do is to use Google Image Search or TinEye , upload their profile pic and see what weird stuff shows up. A lot of scammers will simply steal a profile pic from a legitimate person, so if your image search brings up someone under an entirely different name, that's pretty much a bullseye.
Use these tips for avoiding romance scams, and remember to keep yourself safe out there. And for further info, check out these other very informative links below for more.