In the article "Scammed By An Online Dating Profile: Had by a Handsome Hunk" , the Dating Gurus share this embarrassing but true story of falling for the oldest trick in the online dating book: being suckered in by a dating "persona" rather than a person. Here, we've broken it down for you quickly:
Warning Signs That The Person You Are Communicating With Is A Dating Scammer Looking To Use You for Seduction
1. Trust your gut. Your instincts may start out whispering, then yelling, and then screaming that something is wrong. If something seems too good to be true, it likely is.
2. The person you are communicating with asks you fairly quickly to take your conversation off the dating website for IM chatting, through Yahoo, Gmail, or some other chat server. Think about this: Why would they ask you to do this, when the chat function work just fine on almost all the dating sites? The scammer wants to get you off the dating website so that they can not be internally reported or flagged, which allows them to keep their profile active, or not be traced, and therefore continue whatever racket they are in.
3. The person's video, photographs, and telephone are all not working properly, or are unavailable for various and sundry reasons. Or, the scammer calls from a blocked number consistently. RED FLAG!
4. The person looks like a model, has pictures that are way more professional looking than the average bear, or has pics that look slightly or very different from the others on his/her profile. Chances are some of these photos are lifted from websites or other dating sites or hapless victims and plunked on their profile.
Try this: Check out a reverse image search such as tineye.com, which is free for non-commercial purposes, or use Search by Image on Google which lets you know the origin of an image.
5. The scammer asks for additional pics of you. These can be used to create his/her next dating profile, or to get his rocks off.
6. The scammer requests that you do video chat, which quickly progresses to copious compliments, followed by requests to show him more.
7. The scammer is not available to speak with by IM chat or telephone during normal hours. Are they married, and need to speak when they are out of the house? Are they out of the country, in a different time zone, and only pretending to live close to you?
8. The scammer is not available to meet in person. Ever. You may come close, but there is always a reason to postpone or cancel.
9. If you were gullible enough to give them your address or name the place where you work, you may receive flowers or other gifts as a way to convince you that they are real, and you owe them something.
10. The scammer may move quickly, telling you that you are the one, or that they have special feelings for you, and ask for personal information or money. We know you know this already, but just humor us: DON'T EVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL or IDENTIFIABLE PERSONAL INFORMATION to someone you've never met, or don't know extremely well.
As tempting as it is to try to get back at some poser, cut your losses, and don't spend any more time or give them any more of your energy than you already have. Shake yourself off, learn from your experience, know you aren't alone, and move on.