How To Avoid Online Dating Scams
How to avoid online dating scams can be troubling for those new to the online dating scene. While there is always potential risk in putting money into a dating website, a little homework before pulling out your credit card can save you a lot of trouble later. Basic precautions for avoiding any kind of scam can be applied to potential dating scams as well:
- Knowledge is power and can help you spot a dating scam, so research first. Before giving an online dating site your personal and financial information by making an account and paying for it, it is most advisable to do a little research on the site first. This can be as simple as pulling up a web browser and searching for the specific site with varying words such as "reviews" "complaints" "lies" "problems" and so fort. As dumb as it may seem, try searching for "online dating scam" with the title of the site you're considering.
- Continue searching for information on the dating site(s) away from the computer. This can be done by asking friends if they have heard of the site, but more importantly if they have heard anything bad about the site. Scams are hard to cover up, and dating scams are particularly nasty. People don't just lose money, feelings can get hurt, hope can be crushed, there is a lot at stake when you put your self on the line with online dating.
- Does the site have commercials advertising for its services? What is the quality of the commercial? If it's a good quality commercial, it's pretty fair to say the site is at least making money. If the commercial is sketchy, featuring girls in provoking clothing, 70s adult film music, and moaning it's safe to say that you probably don't want to give them your money if you're looking for a lasting relationship. Good advertising doesn't necessarily mean the dating site is not a scam, but generally speaking scams are designed to target vulnerable people and the dating scam sites are not interested in putting a lot of money up front, which poses risk to themselves.
- Check the testimonials on the site. What are the members saying? These may pop up in your online searching as well. If the testimonials seem staged or unrealistic, it may be best to keep searching before making a decision. Some of the big name dating sites have nothing but excellent testimonials from their customers, but they are realistic, even if they are all of newly married couples who met on that site. Look at pictures on the site too. Dating scam sites are notorious for using stock photos and even stealing photos from social networking sites. Use better judgment if the pictures don't seem to match what is being said.
- Using common sense can help avoid dating scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the site guarantees you'll find love, in the form of 'your money back if unsatisfied,' then there may be no harm in trying. Just pay attention to your bank account for any erroneous charges. When filling out the account forms, take note of any strange information requested that seems unnecessary. Does the site have a customer service number, and if so, do they actually answer and provide information? Good customer service is usually not high on dating scam site's priority lists.