Always tell a friend what your plans are and if they change.
If they start asking a lot of deeply personal questions that seem out of context, they could be attempting to phish you for personal information that they could use for identity theft purposes. It's one of the critical pieces of information they might need to set up an account in your name.
They’ll pan for gold among tens of thousands to find a few pieces of gold. If they’re a different person than on their profile photo, bail! If the person has a Facebook profile with 10 friends, well that’s a dead giveaway as well. For example, we know people don’t use the word ‘wire’ in regular dating communications. Report to the local police and ask to be referred to their cyber crimes unit. The problem is, most of these scams are cross-border and it becomes tough to coordinate jurisdiction.
It used to be easy to just Google phrases – criminals often reused them – but now it is less so. Q: What should I do if I suspect someone IS a scammer? That’s a red flag and is usually picked up by dating sites auto-detection systems. But the scammers know better to use that word on dating sites now. Its exhausting, and most victims just want to put the entire event behind them.
Love it or hate it, online dating appears to have staying power and will likely be with us for quite a while.