Online dating started to be an issue in the ‘90s and nowadays it is an established industry and a highly normal practice between people from all backgrounds. We can agree that online dating is basically meeting strangers on the internet hoping that during the process, users will be able to have fun and be capable of making authentic and trustworthy connections with other real people.
So, we should emphasize on the word real as the keyword in this case. The dangers of online dating go further than becoming ghosted, disappointed or heartbroken. It could be much worse. There are other risks involved that go beyond the emotional part, users could be victims of stalkers, identity theft or financial loss. For these reasons, it is important for consumers of this kind of websites and apps to stay alert to potential red flags and threats.
Identifying online dating scammers
Online dating scams affect thousands of people worldwide. When matters of the heart are involved, people put themselves in a vulnerable position. Usually, they let their guard down and scammers know too well how to take advantage of this situation.
In 2020 the Federal Trade Commission reported that romance scams represented a loss of $304 millions, so this is a very risky situation to be involved in. Normally, scammers will create fake profiles on dating sites and apps to try to strike a relationship with their targets: they will start talking, build trust and then trick them. These are some of the most common forms to identify a scammer in the world of online dating:
- GRAMMAR AND SPELLING MISTAKES –it is completely normal to make some mistakes here and there while writing but, if a message is evidently written with a poor grammar or even broken English, there is a 90% chance that it is a scammer, since many of them are not from the USA.
- QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF PICTURES- pictures are as important as texts. In general, fraudsters use stolen photos taken from other social media accounts. Using Google’s reverse image search is a good tool for users in order to verify the authenticity of the person’s identity.
- THEY ASK FOR MONEY –it is a common practice between scammers to ask for money from the person they are talking with. They could be asking for it with the excuse of traveling to see their victim, a medical bill or even to pay the membership of the site they are using.
- STRONG FEELINGS –it is very easy for scammers to lie, embellish and play with people online. Normally, they would rush too fast into making ardent love statements without having even creating a trustworthy relationship.
- AVOID MEETING IN PERSON – the goal for online dating users is to find someone they like and then meet them in person. Scammers will avoid that scenario at all costs, so they will be prone to make excusesnot to meet their victim.
How to be safe
In this case, safety is not an issue to be taken lightly. To be secure, it is very important as well as being aware that not everybody in these sites or apps have good intentions. Online dating users can take other actions to protect themselves:
- TRUTHFUL SITES – first of all, it is important that users make research to find which site adjusts better to their needs and which ones have a good reputation. They can read reviews or even sign up to the ones that are used by people they trust.
- RESEARCH THE MATCHES – some may think it is a little bit invasive, but a little research on Google of the person of interest never killed anybody. With a simple search, someone can verify if the person is really who he/she says to be.
- ASK QUESTIONS – a good way to catch up with hustlers is to keep the conversation going. Making hard and routine questions will allow users to find inconsistencies, lies, sketchy behavior, and more.
- BLOCK AND REPORT SHADY USERS – if a member is not feeling safe around a specific user that is acting suspicious and having inappropriate behavior, it is time to block and report that user so the security team can take the pertinent actions.
- PROTECT PERSONAL DATA – private information must be kept personal. If online dating scammers access their victims’ sensitive information, they could steal their identity. Sharing last names, home addresses and even a personal email or number could compromise their security.
The advantage of Non VoIP numbers
Non VoIP telephony is a service that allows consumers to have a virtual phone that is not tied to a specific location. The only request necessary in order to enjoy this service is to have a good and strong internet connection. Just that easy.
Using a virtual number will allow users to maintain their personal number in private, avoiding the leak of another kind of sensitive data. Criminals are able to hack all of their victims’ accounts one by one and have access to any type of personal information. The use of a different phone number than the personal one is an excellent first step to protect themselves.
VerifyWithSMS offers a USA Non VoIP numbers service. Operated by the Epsilon Technology LTD company, this provider helps users that still want to try their luck with online dating. Their service facilitates the SMS verification process in the different online dating websites and apps that exist.
Being one of the best services on the market with an incredible reputation, VerifyWithSMS has become the favorite option for those who are looking for a trustful and inexpensive service. It includes a wide range of payment methods that will help their clients avoid some headaches.
Without a doubt this service is simple, fast and reliable. Online dating could be a double-edged sword, with a lot of pros and cons, but if users take appropriate preventive measures, they could still enjoy a fun and lovely experience. Find love safely with VerifyWithSMS and their Non VoIP numbers.