One of the main factors behind the popularity of online dating is Time. Since last decade, the stigma attached to online dating has diminished considerably. According to the survey by Pew Research Center, more than 15% people have stated that they have used online dating to meet their significant other. It is estimated that by 2040, almost 70 % of us will use a dating website to meet our significant other. Browsing different people with matching priority isn't as tiresome as meeting people in social context. But before you empty your pocket for a dating website or app, there are few things that you should know. Online dating isn't a fantasy world where you would meet people with your exact requirements. If you meet such people, there is a possibility that the profile is fake. According to a survey among US citizens, 53 percent have agreed to have lied on their dating profile. More than 20% of the women had agreed that they had uploaded pictures of their younger selves. More than 40% men agreed to have lied about their financial situation. People with fake profiles 'scammers' may take advantage of you in form of extracting money, sexual favors etc. once you fall into their trap. It is not always easy to identify a scammer. However, there are certain tips for you to avoid falling into their trap:
Make your profile scamming-proof. You should not enter too many personal details on the website. Dating websites usually ask for basic information such as age, gender, and a picture. Do not include details such as current location, job, phone number or personal email id. Scammers require these details about their victim before they can reel them in.
If there is a chat option on the dating website, it is best to keep your conversation on the website itself. This will keep a block on another person’s capability to gather more information about you. This will also help in case you have identified the other person as a scammer. You can easily report to the dating website with the chat content. In case you do not want to communicate with the other person, you can easily block him or her on the website. If you have moved to personal email id or phone number, it will be difficult to block the scammer as he or she may use different modes to keep communicating with you.
If a person keeps asking you for your personal number, you can also give him your id for mobile messaging services like WhatsApp, Skype, Google Voice Facebook Messenger etc. without compromising your personal number.
Do not give any leverage to the scammer in the form of risqué photos, messages, videos etc. which they may use to blackmail you. Avoid sending family pictures which may give them an idea about your lifestyle (money) and location. It has been reported by several teenagers that they have been threatened by scammers that their family member will be hurt if they do not agree to their demands. Hence, do not share anything on the website which is personal.
If you do not feel comfortable in talking to someone on the dating website then it is best to cut off the contact immediately. There are several options on the dating websites to block a person which will not allow the scammer from contacting again. If you suspect someone of being a scammer, do not delete the conversations and keep a screenshot of the same. This will help you in reporting him or her to the dating service. If they do not have your personal email id or phone number, they will never be able to communicate with you again.
Not reporting the crime to Internet Crime Complaint Centre (or relevant body) is the biggest blunders that one can make. There are several authorities in each and every country that have been framed to target these scammers. Most people do not report due to the stigma of family reputation. This is one of the biggest benefits to these scammers as they may continue scamming other people.
Online dating is an effective solution to a serious problem, however, there are issues associated with it. One should work sensibly after meeting someone on these dating site. There is no magical formula that your soulmate will be in front of your eyes in just one click !!