Important Rules for Online SafetyParag Narang | Updated: 14-04-2020 12:04 IST | Created: 14-04-2020 12:04 IST
For the vast majority, meeting people through dating sites promises late night fun and flirty titillation online. When you are an adult looking for adult fun, becoming an online dater is always going to be among the best ways to meet likeminded people as you look for that special someone. Unfortunately, while dating site users are distracted by the idea of finding a date for the evening or lasting true love, there are still unscrupulous fakers around who have no qualms about hijacking romance to make money.
Thankfully, if you take the time to learn how to spot fake profiles, be safe and protect your personal information, you can enjoy all the thrills of online dating. Here's more about it.
Fake Dating Profiles
Even when you're on a quality dating site, you can come across people who are not who they say they are. The results of research on tendermeets.com reveal that up to 10% of online dating profiles are fake even when popular dating sites are trying to weed out the fraudsters by offering a subscription-only service.
Sometimes, people try to hide who they are because they lack the confidence to be honest about who they really are. These are not the same as the professional scammers who are just after personal details so they can defraud you in some way. Whatever the case, it sensible to know how to identify who they might be:
- Check out their photo gallery before making any kind of contact and see how many photos there are. If there are just a couple or they seem pretty generic, it could be an indication that the whole profile is fake. Someone with a reasonably large photo collection is far more likely to be real and authentic.
- Check the photos. Simply looking closely can provide clues about the authenticity of the profile. Check them against the written information given in the profile details and see if the photos are related in some way. To find out if the image has been used elsewhere, try performing a reverse image search by copying the image's URL into Images.google.com.
- Read through the profile carefully and critically and consider how well they've answered each question. If the answers seem disjointed, weird or even robotic, you'd be better off not making contact. Similarly, it's a red flag if a profile page is set up with a link sending you to another webpage. These are usually poor marketing attempts and the profile you are looking at is a fake.
- Check the quality of the language used. If you're going to interact with someone who's serious about dating, they will have worked on creating a quality profile without spelling or grammar mistakes. If it was posted by someone claiming to be a native English speaker, take the poor writing as another red flag.
- Be especially cautious when it comes to money even when you have been texting the other party for a while. It is not always as obvious as someone who seems interested and friendly asking to borrow money as a favor. These kinds of fakers take their time gathering details about you. They work on building a relationship so they can use whatever it is that makes you tick to their financial advantage.
The ultimate red flag is when the person you've been getting to know is reluctant to meet which after all, is the reason for joining a dating site. They'll come up with all kinds of excuses including needing cash for a plane ticket, gas money or a rental car for the journey. The golden rule is to never be in a hurry to send cash or share personal details. Instead, enjoy long chat sessions face-to-face until you know you're with someone who's serious about building a relationship.
The dating site you join matters too. A top site will be well-encrypted with no security flaws that enable hackers. Even so, you have a responsibility to look after yourself. When you sign up, create a robust single-use password and a new username just for this purpose. Also, avoid creating an account through ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and for added security, disable the location features on dating apps. Taking these steps would greatly reduce the chances of loosing your important data.
Even though you should be focused on meeting new people and taking part in fun online conversations, these days, online dating has to be about keeping an eye out for red flags too. Sadly, even the most cynical of online daters can get caught out once finding true love and romance is on the table, so the online dating mantra has to be, 'go ahead have your fun but 'trust your gut'. If something seems off, then it probably is. Once you're pretty sure a profile is fake, then do report it right away.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)