Dating Tips and Advice

Dating Scams and how to avoid them

Profit from dating scams Who is behind the mask? Older Guy with a Younger Woman Bad news: you have been the victim of a dating scam

How to recognise a dating scam

This should be fairly easy: if what's on offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The problem is that once their libido is stirred, many people lose all sense of reason and become willing participants in cons which are purely about wealth changing hands - from yours to theirs.

The best way to avoid getting into these situations is to ask yourself (and your friends) some searching questions:

1. Is this person really interested in me?

2. Are they really the person they seem to be?

3. Are they much younger/more attractive than me?

4. Are they unusually interested in my assets - that's the financial and property ones?

The opinions of your friends and family are crucial in framing your responses, since they will be unaffected by the hormones whizzing around your body that will cloud your judgement.

Is she too good to be true? Dear Scammers, here are all my possessions. Don't let scammers have the last laugh by falling for something that's too good to be true Hands off my earnings

What are the most common dating scams?

1. "My mother/father/sister/brother/son/daughter is seriously ill and I have no money to pay for the care/operation/medical treatment they need. Can you lend me £X,000?" You'll never see it or him/her again.

2. "I live abroad but I really want to meet you. Only I don't have the £X,000 needed for the unusually expensive air fare. If you send it to me, I'll come and stay with you." Again, you'll never see the money - or your prospective partner - again.

3. "I know we've only known each other a couple of weeks but I really love you and I think we should get married. Next week." What happens next can vary but usually involves the new wife (for it's usually women who front this scam) being unhappy after the wedding and going off to stay with a relative. A couple of weeks later, a lawyer's letter will arrive petitioning for divorce; kiss goodbye to half of everything that's yours.

Or variants on the above. Be especially suspicious of interest from men/women overseas, since some have turned these scams into an art form and, for obvious reasons, they prefer to operate beyond the arm of the law in their own countries.

How to avoid dating scams

1. Don't flaunt your wealth on the internet. You're vastly safer choosing one of the many traditional offline agencies that interview all their clients and charge a joining fee, eg RSVP. No scammer is going to pay hard-stolen money to join when they have to prove ID and they have plenty of mugs to choose from on the internet.

2. If you must choose internet dating, at least pay for the service.

3. And, again, if you must choose internet dating, please don't post pictures of you posing next to your Aston Martin/boat/country pile, or anything else that potential scammers might find appealing and valuable. Sell yourself on your winning personality, rather than your material possessions.

4. Keep your friends and family in the loop at all times and listen to their advice. Introduce your dates to them and get feedback.

5. If at any stage you come across something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Run away!

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