How To Spot Signs Of Scammers When Online Dating & Tips To Protect Yourself

It's difficult to find the one when you don't want to leave your bed, but with online dating, you don't have to give up on love or your bed. You can now scan through hundred of potential partners and connect with people without having to go through the awkwardness of approaching a stranger. But there is a catch: The unknown is vast when it comes to online dating, and you might fall in love with a scammer that not only steals your heart but also your money.


Scammers and scams come in all shapes and forms, so you really can't be sure whether it's Prince Charming you're talking to online, or a con artist.

From catfishing to swindling all your money, dating apps offer more than just love. So, to help you protect yourself, we'll walk you through how to spot and avoid the different kinds of scams out there.

Spotting a fake profile

Scammers use fake profiles that have the same formula, so spotting them is fairly easy.

First off, if the photos on their profile look too perfect, and if there are only a few of them, do a reverse image search on them, or try to verify their identity on Google. You can verify their identity by typing in their name, occupation, and their town. If the results are not compelling, it's a red flag you should look into.


Another telling sign of a fake profile is not having links to other social media accounts. So, if you wanted to stalk your new love interest on Facebook and Instagram and were disappointed to find they didn't link them on their profile, think again about pursuing them.

Most scammers pretend to be businessmen on the road, or in the military, as these occupations provide them with excuses to not meet up. Further, in scams that target women, the scammer takes on the persona of a man who's very well off, while in scams that target men, the scammer pretends to be a young woman who's submissive and dependent.

In love already?

No matter how much Hollywood tries to sell us stories of people falling in love in an instant, it just isn't true. For a healthy, long-lasting relationship, falling in love should be a slow process. And if your online beau is telling you they love you after two days of texting, they are either delusional or trying to get all your money.


Does it feel like you've met your soulmate? Like you've finally found that one person who likes the same music, reads the same books, and has the same ideologies, and you can't believe you found them just two days ago? Well, we hate to break it to you, but it's probably a scam. A scammer will most likely go through all your photos and posts to understand your likes and dislikes. They would then agree with whatever you have to say, and then to top it all off, they would start making you feel special by telling you they love you.

It's easy to be smitten by all of this, but keep a level head and try to spot how quickly your love interest declares their love.

Taking things elsewhere

Scammers will try their best to break away from dating apps or websites, and their motive for this is twofold.

Firstly, by moving away from dating apps like Tinder, the victims will no longer benefit from their safety features. Further, by taking things over to a messaging app, the scammer can delete any messages, and destroy the evidence against them.


This may also be a ploy to get your mobile number or your email address, which is sensitive information. They might use this information to commit identity theft or other scams.

So, if they ask for your number and try to convince you to take things to another platform, you can count that as a red flag. Do not give anyone you've met online your phone number until you've met them in real life and they prove themselves to be legit and harmless. And, do not let yourself be swayed by their reasoning and coaxing to get your number. Keep in mind that scammers are persistent manipulators, so if they are nagging you too much, that can also be a sign they are a scammer.

Your no-show Romeo

Does your match always cancel at the last minute on meet-ups? Do they refuse to do video calls and voice calls? Do you feel like you haven't really seen them, despite texting with them for months? Well, if this is the case, you've probably got yourself a scammer.


A pattern of behavior in scammers is to plan meeting up with their victims and to give an excuse at the last minute as to why they can't make it. Most times, this excuse comes along with a request for money. They will ask you to wire them money for a plane ticket, or say there is a family emergency and that they need money instantly. At this moment, you are probably really excited about meeting them, and their plea for money will tug at your heartstrings. But do not send them money or do any kind of funding if you don't know them in real life.

Further, scammers will avoid video calls and voice calls. They'll give you the excuse of a broken camera or a bad internet connection. And even if they do agree to do a call, the video quality will be bad and they'll be using a blurring effect that'll keep their real identity at bay.


Getting to know you better

Whenever someone wants to know us better, we tend to think it's for good reasons, especially when it comes to romantic interests. But does your match bombard you with specific questions? Do they ask for sensitive information and images, claiming it's in the name of love?


If they want to know the answers to questions like the name of your first-grade class teacher or your first pet, they are most likely trying to get the answers to security questions. And, if they try to convince you that giving them your social security number is an act of love, it's a telling sign that they are a scammer. They will use this sensitive information to commit identity theft and commit credit card fraud by opening a credit line in your name, or they'll use it to hack into your devices.

Additionally, if they ask you for sensitive images, be wary, as they can easily use them as blackmail.

Money troubles

The most obvious sign your online romantic interest is trying to scam you is them asking you for money. If they ask you to send them money in the form of gift cards or wire transfers, do not send them. You will never be able to recover this money as they are anonymous payment methods.


Another scam to look out for is pig butchering, which is also known as the crypto scam. As Reader's Digest explains, the scammer will convince you to invest your savings in fake crypto assets and swindle away your money.

Another seemingly harmless financial scam carried out by these con artists is the money-mule scam, per Aura. It will look harmless to you because, in this type of scam, the perpetrator will send you money and ask you to send it to another party. This is their way of getting you to launder money without getting their hands dirty. You will unknowingly be committing a crime, so be extra careful.

There are so many different scams out there and if you are an online dater it is vital to stay updated and on the lookout.


The dangers of dating apps in general

Dating apps have a lot going for them, but are they really safe? Plenty of people engage in online dating without being scammed, but there is a dark side to online dating and it goes unnoticed by most of us. It's important to educate ourselves about it if we want real change to come about.


Dating apps are addictive thanks to the combination of a user-friendly interface and the thrill of searching for love. Getting matches gives you that motivation to keep on swiping and suddenly you're on the app for 10 hours. When we enter our data into these dating apps, our information is often sold to other organizations. Therefore, there is always a concern for our privacy.

The sexual harassment on these apps, especially toward women, is another marker of online dating's sinister side. Receiving unsolicited nudes and other forms of harassment make online dating unappealing and scary, even with the safety features of various apps.

If you want to protect yourself when dating online, make sure you always have your eyes peeled for scammers and the other dangers of the online world.