How do I Protect Myself from Scammers?

Friday, December 04th, 2015

Person getting money from a cash machine.Online dating is generally a safe way to meet a partner, but it is important to be aware of how to be aware that scammers do exist. Here are 10 ways in which you can protect yourself from scammers on online dating websites.

  1. Join a reputable dating site – If you join a reputable dating website like Muddy Matches, there will be measures in place to check for scammers. At Muddy Matches we check through every single profile and photo to make sure that only genuine country-minded people join the website.
  2. Don’t share your personal details online – Don’t use your whole name, your address, your email address or your phone number in your profile. You may think that it’s a good way to avoid paying the website’s fees, but it leaves you exposed to unwanted attention.
  3. Never send someone money – If someone asks you to send them money, do not send it to them! Genuine people will not ask you for any money to pay for transport, a new laptop, or any number of expenses that they will claim is necessary to allow them to see you.
  4. Be wary of sob stories – Tragically there are people who have experienced terrible life-changing events where they have lost all of their family, but sadly, there are also people out there who use sad stories to exploit others.
  5. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is – If you suddenly get a message from a drop-dead gorgeous model who wants to move across the world to be with you, it’s probably not a genuine person.
  6. Don’t move to Skype straight away – If someone gets in touch with you and asks you for your Skype details straight away, ask them to communicate via the dating website first. Some scammers use Skype as a way of gaining someone’s trust without actually meeting in person, which leads us neatly on to our next point…
  7. Don’t become pen pals – Meeting up in a safe, public place is the best way to get to know someone. If you chat to someone and they keep making excuses about meeting up, it could be a sign that they are a scammer.
  8. Be aware of gifts – Some scammers will send their victims gifts as a way of grooming them. If you’re receiving gifts without ever having met, it is not normal behaviour.
  9. Be wary of flattery – It’s normal to receive compliments like “you look really attractive in your photos”, but if you receive something like “you’re the most beautiful girl in the world, I dream of marrying you and spending the rest of my life with you” that is a sign that is too intense for someone who you don’t know!
  10. Report any suspicious behaviour to the dating website – If you are unsure about someone’s behaviour, or about their profile, make sure that you make the website owners aware of your concerns. This will allow them to investigate and to remove them if necessary.