Online Dating: What You should Know about Staying Safe and Avoiding Scams

online dating scam

As with any interaction with people over the internet, you should use extreme caution; especially if planning to meet them in person. While looking for the best in people is a fantastic trait to have, it’s important to use caution and keep your own safety in mind at all times. If you are planning to try out online dating, here are some things that you need to know.

The Risks

According to the FBI, there were over 5,000 complaints of scams that occurred through online dating sites in 2011. Additionally, this study found that around 50 million dollars were stolen from online dating victims as a result during this time.

Women in particular are subject to inappropriate advances through dating sites. In fact, it was reported that around 40% of women felt uncomfortable due to unwanted advances through the dating site that they were using.

Fake profiles are another issue when it comes to these sites with about 10% being completely made up. This wastes the time of other users and often is a precursor to some kind of scam.

Running into profiles of people who are married is another problem for people on dating sites as it’s easy to keep another relationship under wraps when communicating virtually.

Physical safety is another huge worry and problem for those using online dating sites. According to, there are over 15,000 abductions, thousands of rape cases and hundreds of people killed per year due to dating sites.

While these statistics may scare some away, there is still some hope. Plenty of people stay safe and find love and happiness through dating sites each day. If you want to find a partner while keeping yourself out of harm’s way, here are a couple tips.

  • Don’t over-sexualize your profile, photos or username as you may bring unwanted attention from the wrong kind of people.
  • Request recent photographs and proof of job/hobbies/family life.
  • Do your research! Spend some time researching their name and place of work. Make sure to fact check everything that they tell you and even reverse search their photos to make sure that they are who they say they are.
  • Make sure to meet in public places and give all of their information to a friend before you go.
  • Meet up with your date in your own vehicle. Don’t get into the car with them as it could be a way for them to get you alone.

The Scams

Online scamming is nothing new. It’s quite easy to be deceptive when operating behind a computer. Scams can come in many forms, but most of the time it can lead to the loss of thousands of dollars. Men and women can be scammed while looking for love online. There are countless stories of men and women who have spent their life savings on someone whom they thought loved them just as much.

Major Red Flags

One thing that a manipulator does extremely well is making you feel bad for them. Everyone is entitled to a few bad days. However, when the person that you’ve met online has nothing but complaints, you should be wary. Most people fall into the trap because the manipulator won’t ask for any money until they know you are on their side. Many people who have been scammed reported that they felt so bad for their online love that they would actually volunteer to send money. At first, they may even decline the money saying that they don’t want to put you in a bad position, etc.

Online dating can be fun. You may even find the love of your life, eventually. Be careful and do your research. Don’t be too gullible. Above all else, have fun with your eyes wide open!