If you’re new to online dating, you may be apprehensive about sharing some of your personal information due to the hairy stories that make their way into the media. These reports can be from everything to the guy turning out to be a sex offender, the woman demanding money to even get to the first date or your potential partner singing Brotherhood of Man songs all the way through the date. All scary enough in their own rite, it’s true.
But before you get to that meeting up stage, there is plenty of other critical information you need to know about the entities that patrol dating sites under the guise of genuine singles looking for love online, whereas all they are really after is your money and they have developed some ingenious ways of doing it.
Even the most steadfast of singles get caught up in a fantasy web spun by these (generally) organised criminal gangs. But if you know beforehand what you’re looking out for, the telltale signs that you’re being approached by a scammer will stand out like a sore thumb.
Getting the best out of your online dating experience is all about being honest with yourself, not setting your expectations, not getting carried away by trying to impress another single who has caught your eye by pretending to be someone you’re not and, at all times, keep things in perspective by being totally honest with yourself and with anyone who shows interest in you. But not too much heavy personal stuff, at first – that type of information will have everyone on the dating site running for cover. Remember, many dating sites have seven-figure memberships: you are not the be all and all – there are thousands of others members that a single can move on to if you either come on too heavy or do not act within the parameters of dating site etiquette.
That said, you have a vague idea of who is in your league, if you go on the ‘like attract like’ unwritten rule. So if an absolutely stunning blonde of Scandinavian origin or chisel-chinned hunk with bulging biceps approaches you and you are by no means expecting to be contacted by someone of that calibre, start asking yourself: why? Not being funny, there is a 99.9% chance that the photo is not that of the person getting in touch, no matter how much they protest that they are Erika or Brad, rather, the image has been lifted from elsewhere, possibly even another dating site, on t’Internet and there’s an African national hiding behind the dating site profile with a rod and some heavy gauge line just waiting to reel you in.
Another giveaway is the opening line when someone new contacts you for the first time. It won’t open with a coy ‘Hi, there, I was wondering…’ or a ‘Just happened to see your profile…’. It will go straight for the jugular in ill-conceived English. The fraudster will open up with ‘My most beautiful darling,’ or ‘My most gorgeous sweetheart,’. All true enough sentiment when you’ve known someone for a while but, due to the foreign national’s lack of understanding of etiquette – they’ve probably lifted the text from a well-thumbed Mills & Boon – they make this fatal error (if you know to look out for it) upon first contact.
Stick with us; more over the weekend about what to look out for – and, more importantly, to report to the webmaster – to weed out the scammers from the genuine single looking to find you via the medium of online dating.