How to Avoid Dating Scams

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Woman with her hand on her head in front of a computer.At Muddy Matches we work very hard to ensure that scammers do not join the site, however many sites do not have procedures in place to identify and remove scammers, so it’s important to know how to spot them and what to do next. In the grand scheme of things internet dating is safe, but it’s important to be vigilant.

How to spot a scammer

Unfortunately not all scammers are the same (it would really make our job easier if they all wore lime green headbands), but there are tell-tale signs that should make you suspicious.

Their profile is very hard to read – If you find that someone’s profile text doesn’t make sense, yet they claim to be British, alarm bells should ring. Poor spelling and grammar is normal, but profile text that looks like a collection of unrelated phrases is not.

For example a spammers profile might read:

“Want wife love much, walks along beach, romantic evenings, TV dinner, love children, caring, loving, kind, dogs, fish, walk in the park”.

Things don’t match up – If someone’s personal details and their profile don’t match up, it might be a sign that they are a scammer. For example, the profile picture might show a young petite blonde lady with blue eyes and their description says they are tall with brown eyes.

They’re too keen – If someone appears to be moving too quickly, it might also be a sign that they are not genuine. Be very suspicious if they ask for your contact details in their first message without striking up conversation.

They ask you for money – The ultimate sign that someone is a scammer is that they ask you for money. To do this they may use the guise of needing the money to be able to pay to get to you or if they say that their wallet has been stolen.

What to do if you suspect that someone is a scammer

Google their profile – If you’re suspicious about someone’s profile on another dating site, copy a few lines into a search engine.  You may find that the text flags up known scammers on scammer warning websites. At Muddy Matches we hand vet every profile before it goes live to make sure that we spot known scammers and anyone suspicious.

Don’t share your private details – If you are suspicious of someone, do not give them your phone number, email address, address or company name. If you have exchanged contact details, you may wish to block them from contacting you. Most email services allow you to block certain email address.

Stop communication – If you are not comfortable with someone’s behaviour, you should stop communication with them and report them to the dating site. Do not delete any messages as they may be useful for the site to investigate. If you feel that you are being harassed, you may wish to report the person to the police and if you do so it is good to have evidence.

Please be assured that internet dating is safe if you use a trusted website and trust your instinct. For more information about online safety, please visit Get Safe Online.

If you are ever unsure about someone on Muddy Matches, please do not hesitate to contact us.