University of Leicester psychologist Monica Whitty emphasizes a more fundamental rule: "If they're not prepared to meet in person within one month, walk away." While FTC fraud expert Steven Baker acknowledges the dating industry's fraud control efforts, "we'd like them to do more," he says.
He wants the services to be more proactive about contacting likely victims: After a user has been flagged as a potential scammer, the site could reach out to any members that user had contacted, disrupting the con at its infancy.
Some oft-used images might be linked to hundreds of scam attempts.
To entice women, scammers often use photos of men in the military, while attractive young women, particularly models and adult-film personalities, are used to attract men.
On newer sites, however, the number may be much higher, as scammers can flood recently launched sites with thousands of real-looking but fake profiles.
"Scammers are good for short-term business because they boost activity," he says, "but the site's reputation suffers, so new sites have to go through this learning curve." Petition online dating sites to help stop scammers. The dating industry deploys a host of techniques to fend off fraud, from automated defenses that spot suspicious language patterns or block accounts associated with IP addresses from high-alert countries such as Nigeria and Ghana to more labor-intensive policing by human teams.
When you first sign up, most dating services will go through the basics of scam avoidance: Don't share personal information such as your address or date of birth, be vigilant about users who ask you to leave the site and use personal email addresses, and never send money — especially overseas.
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2015 issue of AARP The Magazine.
Remember the golden rule - NEVER SEND MONEY TO ANYONE YOU MEET ONLINE.
Noticing What Isn't Right Engaging in Conversation Meeting the Person Community Q&A For most of us, finding love on the internet can be a gift from heaven.
For others, however, it can be a life-ruining decision – leaving us penniless, heartbroken and with many more problems heading our way.