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How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scam
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How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scam

It’s tough to realize that the person you met online who claimed they were genuinely interested in you, whether that be emotionally or physically, is actually a person who wants nothing from you other than your money. Blackmailers, specifically sextortionists, are successfully playing into the emotions or desires of people online and making online dating harder than it already is, by gaslighting and manipulating innocent people into believing they have a connection. In this article, we will discuss how you can spot an online dating scam and learn what you can do to avoid them.

How to spot online dating scammer – Tell Signs of a Blackmailer

Online dating is hard enough, and dealing with a potential blackmailer can put the cherry on top of an already stressful love game.

Sextortionists have found a niche in dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Grindr, and many more where they are luring people in by romance or a quick fling, and asking them to exchange explicit content for the fun of it, when in reality they are going to use that content against you until you give them money and a lot of it.

People are well aware that there are many catfishes online, especially on dating sites but how can you really tell if you are speaking to someone real? Let’s get into the tell signs of a blackmailer:

Photos

 Taking a good look at the quality and quantity of your interests’ photos is very important. Blackmailers will usually have a few good images of one individual, but they might even slip up and add images of other women or men that don’t match.

The blackmailers’ photos will be poor quality as well. This is because they screenshot original photos of the person, they are impersonating which leads to the photo coming out blurry and pixelated.

Language

The majority of sextortionists reside in foreign countries such as The Ivory Coast, The Philippines, and Nigeria. That being said, in order to disguise themselves better, these criminals create fake dating profiles that claim they are American and born and raised in major cities in the U.S. but their grammar shows otherwise

The majority of these suspects speak in broken English and will show lots of grammar errors when communicating.

Eagerness

Dating apps have become a big part of ‘hookup culture’ in that it is fairly easy to find someone on a dating app like Tinder, who is interested in a no strings attached relationship.

This is very beneficial to blackmailers because it gives them a better chance to ask for an exchange of images or videos fairly early in the conversation without any concern, but this can also be viewed as a major tell sign because of the eagerness in exchanging adult content before getting to know you.

Some suspects will come right out and ask for content or ask a few questions about yourself than claim they are ‘bored’ and want to have some ‘fun’.

Jumping Platforms

One goal these criminals have is to obtain as much information about you as possible including all of your social media platforms. It’s common for them to ask if the conversation can move to a different app like Instagram, or Snapchat because of two reasons:

Some dating apps like Tinder does not allow a user to send any images, because of this, suspects will try to influence you to add their other social accounts so they have the ability in tricking you to send explicit content or

They want to gain access to all of your followers so they can threaten to expose your content to your friends and family on those platforms

Сalls and Video Chats

If a person denies or makes up numerous excuses as to why they can’t call you or video chat, you should be very concerned. This may be one of the biggest tell signs of an online scam and you should end communication with this individual right away.

How to Avoid Online Dating Scammers

Now that you know what you should be looking out for when it comes to online dating scams, it’s very important and beneficial for you to learn what steps to take to make sure the person you are speaking to is real. Here are a few tips on how to avoid these cyber-criminals altogether:

  1. Keep strong privacy settings on all of your social media accounts.
  2. Try to avoid giving out your personal information and details about your life to a stranger online.
  3. Always ask to speak, or video chat with a person that you may be interested in.
  4. If they give you a phone number to text, search their phone number online to see if it’s a real phone number or a burner. These criminals always use burner numbers by carriers such as Neutral Tandem and Bandwidth.
  5. Lastly, and most importantly, DO NOT send any explicit adult content to anyone online, that includes strangers or even someone you may know. You never know if and when that content is going to be used against you.

To summarize, you should never trust anyone you meet online. Social media is a playground for blackmailers, even on platforms you might not have considered. We hope you take these tips into account the next time you date online. If you are a victim of online blackmail or sextortion  contact our sextortion helpline ASAP. Feel free to give us a call or chat with us online with any questions or concerns. We are available to you 24/7 and come with a 90% success rate in obtaining proof of deletion of your content.  Now you know How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scam.

DON’T LET THE BLACKMAILERS WIN

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