Posted in Dating


8 Ways to Be Safe with Online Dating

Online dating can be a great way to meet a partner, but there are some problems associated with it. Your online find might be lying to you, or you might be caught in a catfish situation. Here are some tips on how to spot a liar online:


  1. Look for Incorrect Data


If someone claims to be 6 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds, for example, that is a highly unlikely combination. Check that the bits of data on the profile match up. Also, compare these bits of data with the profile picture to see whether everything makes sense.


  1. Analyze the Profile Picture


Check that the photo makes sense with any captions or topics the person might have talked about with you regarding the photo. For example, something might be wrong if you ask when the picture was taken and the person tells you it was taken at the end of college, but you note that the person is wearing winter clothing. The end of college is typically in the warm months between May and July.


  1. Perform an Image Search


Search for the profile image using Google Goggles (info here, app here). If the same picture pops up all over the Web, you would have grounds to suspect something questionable is going on. It's even worse if you find the image on a modeling website or with a watermark over it, which indicates it comes from a photo stock website.


  1. Check Profile Information


Check for copied profiles by copying an excerpt of the person's profile information and then searching it in Google to see whether there are duplicates of the information on other places around the Web. Another way to check whether profile information is accurate is to ask about some local landmarks. If this person really is from your area as he or she claims, that person should be very familiar with the landmarks you bring up. A scammer from another part of the world might fail this test.


  1. Be Wary of Someone Who Wants to Avoid the Original Dating Site


If the person you are in contact with immediately attempts to speak with you through another medium, such as text, email or instant messenger, instead of through the dating site, be cautious. Ask this person why he or she wants to do that, and be cautious to move away from the dating site before you feel comfortable. Most genuine people want to find out about you as much as you want to find out about them and prefer to keep away from closer intimate interactions in the beginning.


  1. Be Curious


Ask many questions, and double check the answers, such as spellings of cities or towns. Repetitive mistakes and mistakes of an unusual nature might suggest a person from another country. If the person doesn't want to answer your questions, he or she might be a scammer. Even if this person isn't a scam artist, this person might not be worth your emotional investment if he or she won't answer some simple questions. Don't take excuses as a reason not to answer your questions. A phrase such as, "I've told a lot about myself before and have been hurt because it was too soon," is a classic line to turn the tables on your questions and to encourage you to be trusting. Don't fall for it.


  1. Never Give Money


Never give anyone money or valuable gifts before you know that person through personal face-to-face interaction. If you are asked for money or gifts from someone you know only online, ditch that person.


  1. Check for a Facebook and Twitter Profile


Anyone without a Facebook profile who has a dating profile is suspicious. Ask the reason this person isn't on Facebook. If the response is not a satisfactory one, be cautious. Also be alert to fake Facebook profiles. If the page's startup date is new, particularly if the startup date was close to the dating profile's startup date, it could mean the profile is fake. Having few photos is also a strong indicator of a fake profile as is having few friends and few discussions with others. Look for friends being tagged in the photos. Real profiles typically have tags. Check to see whether the person has a Twitter account. If so, see whether the historic tweets match the information the person gave you.