Spring Is In The Air (And So Are Dating Scams)

Despite the recession, online dating and matchmaking services are becoming increasingly popular. More than ever before, people are looking for love online.

Like a roller coaster, online dating can be fun and exciting, or it can be nauseating. Most dating veterans have been there, done that, with a few regrets and lots of lessons learned. While you may have already experienced a lot, you have yet to see it all.

It’s essential to be able to distinguish a conscious, healthy search for a mate from one that is potentially destructive.

Water seeks its own level, as the saying goes, which means that unhealthy and insecure people tend to find one another, which leads to destructive relationships. What’s worse is that insecure people are often unconsciously drawn to dangerous and sometimes violent mates.

Emotionally healthy, mindful people refuse to settle for unsuitable mates. People who are secure and self-aware tend to be more capable of recognizing threats to their personal security. When a person or situation triggers their suspicions, they trust their instincts and remove themselves from potential danger, cutting their losses and chalking it up to a learning experience.

Scammers take advantage of the insecure by telling them what they want to hear. They often mirror the tone and demeanor of the person with whom they are communicating. Beware of anyone who seems to echo who you are and what you want.

If more dating websites incorporated device reputation management to check for suspicious computer history, and investigated the behavioral characteristics consistent with fraudulent use, they’d be able to deny criminals the first time they tried to sign up.

If you use an online dating service, be on guard for scams. Stick to legitimate, well-known websites, and get referrals from friends who have successfully met romantic partners online.

When creating your dating profile, take care to consider the image you want to project. Never post personal information, including your full name, address, or phone number.

To vet potential dates, check whether the information in their online dating profiles matches other information available online.

If a potential date asks you for a loan or any financial information, immediately report them to the dating website.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses dating safely on The Tyra Show. (Disclosures)

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