An unfortunate aspect to dating is that not everyone is looking for love. Some are only looking for sex and many are looking for money. The on-line dating world is littered with scammers. They come in many varieties including both men and women and men pretending to be women. You go on line and look at a profile featuring a very attractive person. How do you know that the photo is of a real person and a potential date? The truth is you cannot tell so easily. Instead of an attractive person from California, you may actually be contacting a male living in Africa and pretending to be an American.
On-line scammers frequently make errors in their use of English vocabulary, punctuation, and syntax. They are fond of using the word “dear” as if that is part of today’s vernacular. It is also possible that the profile can be flawless owing to the fact that the scammer has merely copied and pasted a real person’s profile and presented it as their own. Conversations will reveal that their chats do not match the quality of the words used in their profile. Scammers will rarely use Skype because they do not look at all like their posted profile photo. Some women are reluctant to use Skype because they fear that it is a prelude to cyber sex, but it can be a good way to verify that you are indeed chatting with the person in the posted photo.
In both on-line dating and when meeting a person for a face to face encounter there is always the possibility that money is the motivation for the contact. Scammers are often very patient and will wait until they have established trust to strike. Make a resolution to never give money to an on-line person or even a new person you have actually met regardless of how compelling, creative, or believable their story may seem. Often after weeks or months of exchanging e-mails on a daily basis there will be a plan to finally meet face to face. Then a sudden crisis will develop. The scammer will either claim to have been robbed, or a relative suddenly hospitalized, or a passport lost, or some other “temporary” financial crisis that can only be resolved if you send them some money.
Even if the person you are currently dating appears solid you should use caution when sharing financial information about yourself. There is no reason that your date needs to know your bank account balance or how big your retirement funds are. Even if your date reveals information about them self there is no reason to reciprocate. They could be bragging or misrepresenting their assets with the express purpose of learning about you. Be a bit guarded and keep the mystery alive.