Over the years, dating apps have become increasingly popular in the lives of people looking for love. Dating apps have been so popular that in 2021, it was reported by Cloudward that 323 million people worldwide used dating apps or dating sites to meet new people.
While dating apps are great in many ways, the reality is that they’re also a hotbed for malicious people wanting to scam or take advantage of others. In their article, virtual private network provider and cybersecurity company, ExpressVPN found that there’s been a steady increase in the number of scams and the number of money people have been losing over the years. In 2021, people were scammed for over USD 547 million.
Understandably, these figures can be scary, but it doesn’t mean that online dating has to be. If you’ve recently started exploring dating apps, here are several things you can do to avoid becoming a possible scam victim:
- Only use reputable dating apps
Choose reputable dating apps with strict policies to protect their users. Research the app before downloading, and read reviews from other users to see if there are any common complaints about scams or fraudulent activity.
Some apps, like Bumble, have functions where the woman can speak first, which could help you filter out suspicious individuals more efficiently.
2. Verify their identity
One of the best ways to avoid being scammed is to verify the identity of the person you are talking to or have matched with. Ask for their social media handles to see if you have mutual friends or video call with them. This will give you an idea of who they are and whether or not they are who they claim to be. If they refuse to verify their identity or their social media profiles look suspicious, it may be best to move on.
3. Look out for possible red flags
Are they going too fast? Are they constantly talking about financial topics or cryptocurrency? Do they seem keen on taking the conversation from the app to another messaging platform?
These are several tell-tale signs that they could be potential scammers. Scammers may lure victims into investing in cryptocurrencies to avoid detection and legal consequences. Unlike traditional banking transactions, cryptocurrency transactions can be difficult to trace, making it easier for scammers to receive and transfer funds without being caught.
Scammers might claim to have inside knowledge about a particular cryptocurrency or investment opportunity and use this to persuade their victims to send money. Scammers may also promise high returns on investment, which can appeal to people looking to make a quick profit.
4. Always meet in a public place
Always choose a public place if you’ve decided to meet someone in person. This can be a coffee shop, restaurant, or any other busy place. This will not only ensure your safety, but it will also help you to feel more comfortable and relaxed during your date. Plus, meeting in a public place will ensure you can quickly get away if they attempt to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.
5. Don’t share sensitive information
Avoid sharing sensitive information, such as your home address or financial information, with someone you’ve just met on a dating app. Scammers may use this information to steal your identity or commit fraud.
Unfortunately, people have to be cautious when using dating apps, but it is a necessary step to protect themselves from potential scams and fraudulent activity. While it may be disheartening to question someone’s intentions and verify their identity before getting to know them, it is ultimately for our safety and well-being.
By taking the necessary precautions, we can still enjoy the benefits of dating apps while minimizing the risks. Trust your instincts, stay aware of red flags, and prioritize your safety when using dating apps. Doing so can increase your chances of finding a genuine connection with someone while staying protected from scammers and fraudulent activity.