The increasing number of fake romance scams and the incidences of romance scammers using the victims for various purposes including embezzlement, identity fraud, money muling and drug trafficking, have paved way for sensible dating.
Street smart internet users subscribe to safe online dating services and ensure that they undertake all cautionary measures, before starting a relationship with the attractive online partner. One such proactive measure is to conduct a holistic background check on the authenticity of the online dating profile.
#1 Romance scammers are blacklisted on watchdog sites for internet safety
There are a number of online platforms that allow online daters to share their bitter experiences of frustration and helplessness to the online dating community. These online initiatives act as watchdog organizations and publish lists of the scammers. It is possible for online daters to enter details like names, email ids of the romance scammers to run a random check on their genuineness. It may so happen that the scammer in question has used the same details to con many others, which will come to light by conducting this diligence check.
#2 Do not fall for fictional online persona
Many online relationships start by the first look at appealing photographs posted on online dating sites. But many such photos do not even belong to the person represented therein. Daters must carry out the following steps:
- Use presence of mind and reasoning skills, to correlate the photo with the country of origin, race and age, to the extent possible, by looking at the photograph critically.
- Use the services of professional firms in dating industry security, to ascertain the authenticity of images.
- Google images offers reverse image checks that can reveal the usage of the photos elsewhere
- Using stock images, cat fishing etc., are the other attempts to use a picture-perfect profile to lure genuine daters.
- In many cases, socially insecure people, incapable of getting into real relationships with eligible singles, often take pleasure in fooling people with fake photographs. This is a kind of cyber bullying.
#3 Get the marital status checked
If are hitched to your online partner for life and marriage is on the cards, in the near future, the following steps need to be undertaken to ascertain their true marital status:
- Simple and logical test: Get your spouse-to-be, to introduce you to friends and family
- Use the professional services of dating security websites to run a check on the marital status of online partners. In many cases, scammers lie about their marital status
- It is important to ascertain the age of the online partner. In many cases romance scammers coerce victims to get into relationships with minors and later on, threaten them with legal action from guardians.
- Do not trust the claim made by online dating services that there are only genuine profiles on the website. The simple reason is that they cannot afford to publicize the fact that romance scammers exist on their website.
Many instances of Nigerian romance scams reveal that there is absolutely no connection between the profiles mentioned and the true identity of the romance scammers.