Fakers, Cheaters, and Scammers on Online Dating Sites
There's A Sucker Is Born Every Minute...
....This phrase, often credited to PT Barnum, certainly holds true when it comes to dating websites. Even on the most well-established dating sites, (see our reviews on Match.com, OkCupid, and eHarmony) fakers, cheaters, and scammers have managed to hack the system, infiltrating the ranks of members eager to connect with their future partner, or at least to find a date for Friday night. Our own female dating guru confesses her red-face moment in our article, Scammed by an Online Dating Profile: Had by a Handsome Hunk, where the first type of online faker almost gets our innocent pre-guru in his evil clutches for his sexual satisfaction.
The Seducer, almost always a male, banks on the fact that dating websites offer a ready-made pool of hopeful women who often throw caution to the wind when they seem to have "made a connection" to someone they meet online. Like all sexual predators, this dastardly devil will take his time grooming and complimenting you, and then do his persistent best to get you to progress from email to instant messaging, and then to send photos via personal email, phone calls and then engaging in live video chat/cam. The seducer will use all of the techniques we wrote about in our piece, Online Dating Scammer Using You For Seduction? Generally speaking, The Seducer has no intention of meeting you in person, but has a specific goal in mind: getting you undressed and on camera, or simply getting his rocks off via any other way you agree to.
Case in Point: We maintain our profiles on OKCupid for the purpose of accessing member's profiles who request our services for coaching or re-writes. Naturally, we receive the requisite frequent emails from eejits who don't bother to read our profiles, with the typical come-on lines. Just yesterday, our female guru received an in-site message asking if she was interested in "much younger men". Although our guru is seduction and scam savvy, she must admit to a momentary heart flutter from this specimen's photo, before realizing he was purportedly 18 years old! After the blood returned to her pea-brain, she did what all savvy online daters do-- they reverse image-search using this lifesaving feature from Google. We would love to share the pic and result with you, but it turns out that the photo of this young man was lifted from a porn site easily found on the internet. The first giveaway was the giant age difference, followed by the professional looking pic which we image-searched, and then the final giveaway being the sparse narrative in the profile. Sorry, dude. You.Have.Been.Reported.
Or how about Jen Friel, (blogger from TalkNerdyToMeLover.com) and her awesome piece about her fake online boyfriend?
Although much has been written about the perils of married or otherwise unavailable (attached or engaged) men (and women, but to a much lesser degree), you would be hard-pressed to find a female who hasn't, in some way or other, been in the position of realizing that the man who has been flirting or communicating with her--or even dating her-- is not in any position to be doing so. This disappointing or devastating situation can happen independently of online dating, but is much more common when the man has the opportunity to hide his status or circumstance behind an online persona. Some may be searching for pure physical satisfaction, and others may be searching to fill an emotional void or boredom.
Warning signs of a married man can include the following:
- His photos may be distant, or not fully facial, in order to hide his identity. He will make up some excuse about professional implications, an ex-wife, or embarrassment. Married men tend to prefer free dating sites, so there is no credit card bill to explain.
- Cheating Man is unavailable to speak with by IM chat or telephone during normal hours, especially in the evening or on weekends until late at night (when his spouse is asleep). The married or unavailable man needs to structure his phone calls and dating hours around his family life, so Cheating Man man is largely unavailable at traditional dating hours, i.e. weekends and evenings.
- If your phone calls always go to voice mail, it may be so he can call you back when he is alone. If he always asks to meet you on particular nights of the week, say Wednesdays and Fridays, it may be that he has concocted a "weekday meetings" excuse to his spouse.
Too late? Fell for the dishonest fellow or gal?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate and miserable position of falling for someone, only to discover they are separated or divorced, you need to understand that despite the assurances of cheater--that they are leaving their spouse soon, or waiting for XYZ to happen before you can share relationship status--this is the exception, not the rule. We know you don't want to hear this: Break things off and tell them to re-contact you when they are single. You deserve someone who is available and clear and has space in their life to offer you their complete attention.
3. Scammer and Thief
Despite decades of news stories and tales from friends of friends who have been taken, swindled, and robbed by an online connection they thought was their soul mate, this actually does still occur. Be on the lookout for someone who:
- Moves things waaay too quickly and inappropriately. Grown up people do not typically profess their love for you after days or weeks.
- Patiently bides his/her time getting to know you, seducing you by sharing emotional intimacy, all the while figuring out what makes you tick, and where your vulnerable or blind spots are, until they spring their sob story about any number of terrible horrible no-good, very bad situations that you, and only you, can rescue them from.
- Asks for a loan to buy a plane ticket to meet you, or after they find themselves "robbed and stranded and without resources".
- Claims to be U.S. military or veteran and needs money for medical or psychological treatment
We've been made aware of a devastating new scam where online daters have been baited into having intimate IM chats, emails, or webcam conversations, which are then placed on a website, until they agree to a bribe to have it removed.
For more detailed information on Internet Dating and Romance from the Bureau of Consulate Affairs (U.S. State Dept), click here.
As always, if your intuition is speaking to you, listen. And don't be afraid to ask direct questions. Better to learn the truth early on than be in a position of heartbreak later.