Our friend Denise Richardson of givembackmycredit.com has posted an interesting article about how you can avoid internet scams and various other acts of fraud that are used by con artists posing as internet daters. The tips she lists come from Ms. Casey Jones, creator of Women Against Con Men (WAC-M). WAC-M was created to encourage individuals to fight back against being victimized by repeat serial con men.
Online dating sites are continuing to grow in popularity, but it’s important to remember that just because you’re being honest about yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean the other person is. Here are some basic guidelines of things to avoid and to do when using online dating websites.
1. Don’t over share! There’s no need to put personal information such as your phone number, IM screename, work location, or a link to your Facebook profile. You can provide those details to the person after you’ve met face to face and have an idea of their character. It’s a good idea to steer clear of anyone who presses you for personal information while you’re chatting online and haven’t met.
2. Set up an email account that will only be used for online dating. An advantage is that it will be easier for you to keep up with emails and they won’t get mixed in with work or other personal emails.
3. If you decide to meet face to face, make sure you schedule it for a public place in the daytime. Don’t allow anyone to pick you up from your home until you’ve been out with them a few times and are comfortable with them.
4. Asking someone for a recent photo might sound shallow, but it’s a very good idea. If they hold back a picture then they might not be being truthful on their profile.
5. A phone conversation should always come before a face to face meeting, but you should still be careful about it. Don’t give them a home or work phone number, use a cell phone instead. You can also learn a lot about someone by the way they speak.
6. Be aware, and beware. Because the online dating field offers so many opportunities for frauds, scams, and cons, you can’t let your guard down for a minute. Watch out for these red flags:
• Unwillingness to exchange photographs.
• Fake display pictures (like celebrity photographs)
• No display pictures at all • Blank or extremely vague “About Me” and other descriptive sections on the profile.
Predators and con artists abound on all kinds of social networking sites, but if you follow the above tips then you can avoid being taken advantage of by one of them.
If you have had problems with fraud, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.
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