I would never criticise on-line dating sites; who am I to dampen the hopes of the eternal optimists?
However I would advise caution against those who would play on the emotionally vulnerable. On-line dating is a haven for the less-than-honest at the best of times – the twenty year old photo and the extreme sports hobbies? Please…
Assuming of course, that the person you’re interested in actually exists. The sophisticated scammers and long-con artists aren’t above masquerading and using emotional blackmail to reel in the lovelorn on-line.
A statement from Match.com explains “…we have over 100 fraud team agents who manually review every profile before it’s allowed on the site. But a few of these sophisticated criminals still slip through all of our checks…”
A few tips:
- keep all communications within the site – it can spot patterns of fraudulent behaviour and provide a reliable audit trail
- Do NOT send money.
- Do NOT give out personal details such as bank or credit cards, physical addresses, social security numbers
- Do NOT buy goods delivered to other addresses or ship packages on someone else’s behalf.
- Do NOT agree to meet strangers (that is what they are) unless by prior arrangement in public places and ensure they know you have told other people in advance. Secrecy in dealing with one-line dates is not your friend.