Finding love online from the comfort of your home seems like an exciting plan. This comfort and ease of access are why online dating sites are becoming popular. There has been a substantial rise in the number of users of online dating applications after the pandemic. However, with the increasing usage of online dating, the number of cyber criminals on such sites has also increased.
ExpressVPN’s safety guide reveals that there is a significant spike in the number of users of online dating apps. However, there has also been a substantial increase in the cases of online dating scams due to this reason. It has become very easy for scammers to create fake profiles and scam people without raising much suspicion. Additionally, they can simply delete their profile to remove any traces of their crimes.
What Are Romance Scams?
Romance scams or dating scams are traps that cybercriminals use to get monetary gains from their victims. Usually, such criminals try to target people who seem more emotionally vulnerable, as they do not remain very aware of the other person’s activities. Scammers try to use the emotional vulnerability of people to their advantage and garner monetary gains from them.
There have also been cases of blackmail, extortion, and robbing from online dating sites. It is suggested that users of dating sites be very aware of the issues they can face on such sites. Let’s take a look at some common dating scams and how to protect yourself against them.
How To Protect Yourself Against Romance Scams?
One of the most common dating scams is the military romance scam. Usually, such scammers tell their victims that they are currently stationed somewhere outside of their home country. These scammers try to get money from their victims by claiming that they do not have funds for housing or food.
Scammers also try to get money out of their victims by stating that they are having a medical emergency. In some cases, they also state that they are having a family emergency or having issues with a flat tire. Some users have also stated that scammers have tried to ask them for travel expenses so that they can meet them. There have been cases of men getting scammed by female profiles where they state that they are stranded and need money to get a cab or reach a safe location.
However, other than these common scams, there are also cases of extortion and mugging. Scammers try to ask people for explicit images and if someone shares such images, they blackmail them in return for money. Similarly, sometimes a group of scammers operate together and ask victims to meet them in a place late at night and rob them of their possession. There are multiple ways for users to stay aware of such situations and protect themselves from falling into the trap of scammers.
First and foremost, never share any private information with someone you have just met online. Most importantly, do not share incriminating pictures, no matter how much you trust the other person. Make sure to not believe anything the other person says until they have solid proof to back up their statements. Try to not indulge in any monetary exchanges, and under no circumstances send money to someone you recently met on a dating site. Make sure to meet during the day with any new potential dates, and try to choose a location that has a good influx of people.
Additionally, you should also try to make other people aware of the dangers of online dating apps so that they can also protect themselves against such problems.
Users of dating sites are not very aware of the dangers that they can face. More often than not, we hear cases of people getting scammed out of money by someone they thought they were dating. To protect yourself against such scams, it is important to ensure the identity of the person you are talking to. Additionally, users must refrain from sending any amount of money to anyone they meet on an online dating site. It is important to take precautionary measures in the initial stages of your conversation with people on dating apps so that you can block any suspicious people.