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Before the advent of Internet dating, we used to head to various places to socialize and meet people — bars, pubs, clubs, parties, weddings, places of worship, and even the library.
It took physical effort and mental courage to walk up to someone and introduce oneself.
So to keep you safe from heartbreak and scams this Valentine’s Day, we have put together a list of common scams and some tips to help you stay safe.
In this scam, a stranger contacts you through social channels and claims a common interest or a mutual connection, for example, from an introduction at a wedding or large gathering.
After an intense courtship period, the scammer asks the victim to connect with them via webcam and chat.
Other things to pay attention to even on legitimate dating sites — let’s face it, scammers are everywhere — include the following: If they supposedly come from an English-speaking nation, be on the lookout for awful spelling and grammar.
Not everyone looking for love online has the soul and finesse of William Shakespeare — and there’s certainly nothing wrong with not being a native English speaker — but scammers often cross borders electronically in search of new victims, and so truly terrible grammar is a red flag. Native English speakers have a natural cadence when they speak and write that isn’t easily mimicked.
The strategies these fraudsters use are highly sophisticated.” Whitty, whose field is cyberpsychology, has acquired much experience working with victims of romance frauds.
In her view, victims experience double pressure: They blame themselves, and their friends and relatives blame them as well.
The services claim to offer legitimate hookups, but they are either severely underpopulated or awash with scammers and bots.