The downside of all that is available on the internet is the introduction on scams. They have too found their way with a little piece of hell; £37 million worth piece of hell. Scammers have found a way to play with your feelings and cash on them (sigh). Running a simple Google search will reveal hundreds of scam stories from people who were looking for dates and fell into traps of predators instead.

Sad part is there is not much investment needed in pulling this off, neither in monetary terms or looks wise. They only need the art of “too-good-to-be-true” words and promises and a naive target. False and pretty words earn trust faster than true words. Once earned, next step is to be the best gold digger they can be.

It is rather surprising how people can fall for such transparent scams but again we underestimate the art of lying and cheating. The thing is these people play and trick you with the promise of love and its safe to say love makes smart people to stupid things. It only takes a moment to blur the line between dream and reality.

Scammers make a large number but you can be sure legitimate people with innocent intentions make a larger number. Everyone you will meet will be a stranger but do not fully trust or doubt them all. Always remember, you can never be too careful.

Here are 4 ways to protect yourself and beware of scammers:

  1. Paid sites have higher chances of being legit. Scammers do not prefer going onto paid sites, making fake profiles and giving out their financial information. It’s messy, traceable and quite frankly an amateur-ish move. This in no way means you can let your guard down or ensures safety in any case. Like mentioned above, scam artists are good at cracking codes.
  2. If you are going to find a partner on one of these sites, you have to place a little trust in people but do not in any way let anyone take advantage of you. There is a difference between trusting and being naive. If you are making progress with someone and they suddenly ask you for favors or money, then you need to do some thinking. Do not blindly trust in them. Ask them for a number, address or better yet meet them in a public place. If they are easily willing then go ahead. If they make excuses upon excuses, sense the vibe. If they were honest, they’d be up to meeting you. If not, then sorry to burst your bubble but you need to cut off from them.
  3. Some users will tell you they live out of country. If someone comes up with a story of how they need financial help because they have seen hard times living in Africa, then you need to beware. People like these are playing with your feelings and cashing in on your generosity. Not everyone has respect for that. If someone who claims to live abroad and needs serious help approached you then try this. Tell them you have a friend in the foreign office and you can contact them to come to their aid. If they hesitate or run for the hills, scammer alert!
  4. Common sense will take you places and in this case, keep you safe. Any confidential information, financial or personal, should not be shared with anyone on these sites. Giving out your address or phone number on a dating side is a potential risk. Also, if they ask for big favors from someone they haven’t yet met in person is a huge red flag, identify it.

To wrap it up, do not be very easily trusting and think hard when it comes to these small decisions. They could make a big impact on your life. If you have already made this mistake, do not hesitate to call your local authorities to report them.