Safe Online Dating: 5 Long Distance Dating Scams You Should Be Aware Of
Finding love online can be very fulfilling. After weeks, months or even years of searching, you finally have something to show for all the hard work. However, before you go planning your wedding and singing happily ever after you need to understand that the journey isn’t over yet.
Long distance dating can be very challenging. One of the biggest obstacles you have to overcome is that of knowing who you can trust. It has become an issue because there are so many scams out there it makes online dating feel more like a dance through an active minefield than a journey to find love. It is important to inform yourself if you have any hope of protecting yourself. To help you, here are five of the most common long-distance relationship scams and how to keep yourself safe.
Five common LDR scams
1. The ‘I’m in trouble send me some money’ scam
It is truly the oldest one in the book and here is how it goes. It usually starts off innocently enough. You meet someone online, they are the picture of perfection, and they tick every box you have. As can be expected in such accelerated situations, falling in love is more or less inevitable. Then one day she/he calls telling you of some devastating experience. It could be anything from a sudden illness or arrest to frozen accounts. They then proceed to ask you for financial assistance to help get them out of the tricky spot.
The worst thing about this scam is that you never know who is genuinely in need and who is just using you. The best thing to do is take the skeptical route and refuse to help. This is one of AmoLatina’s top safety tips: never send money to someone you don’t know personally. It might attack your conscience, but it is for your own good.
2. The always-unavailable-for-video-call scam
One of the best ways to verify the identity of someone you are speaking to online is by setting up a video call. It is the only way to know whether the person is as attractive in real life as they are in those photos.
One common scam related to this is the one where they claim to be unavailable every time you want to make a video call. The excuses range from poor internet connection to lack of webcams. If your new LDR partner is all elusive in this manner, then you might want to consider moving on because there is something fishy there.
3. Good old fashioned catfishing
This scam is in a lot of ways related to the unavailable for video call scam. However, there is so much more to catfish scams than fake physical identities. Sometimes, the person will lie about their whole life while using their real pictures and allowing video interaction. You might think you are speaking to a college educated business person while in real life they are an unemployed ex-convict. This type of scam is common, and you need to be willing to ask all the hard questions needed to verify that the person is who they claim to be.
4. The blackmail scam
When dating someone whom you have never met, it is always important to hold back on revealing sensitive information. The most important here is sexual information. Avoid at all costs sending nude photos or other sexually suggestive material. It is a real concern because there is a new trend of sexual blackmail cropping up in the online dating community. Here, the person you are dating demands money in exchange for them not making your sensitive photos and other information public.
5. The physical visit scam
This scam is another popular way that long distance relationship scammers use to get money from unsuspecting singles. You meet someone amazing online, and they are dying to meet you. However, they claim that they cannot afford travel expenses and would like your help. What happens in such cases is that after you send the money, some sudden complication comes up that stops them from visiting. Afterward, there is a big chance that you will not get to hear from them again.
With all this information it should be easier for you to avoid getting scammed. However, do not let this reality water down your hopes of finding love online. There are many good guys and girls out there genuinely looking for love. So wear your heart on your sleeve without any shame or hesitation. Just make sure also to guard it fiercely and give it to none but the most deserving out there.