Anyone who has ever been taken advantage of by a scammer or catfisher knows that getting scammed can feel like a slap in the face, especially if you’ve been naively believing in the good in people for years. But newsflash: you’re not alone. Scammers are out there, and online scams are on the rise. Some even try to take advantage of trust and naivety; the person you thought you knew is suddenly a person you don’t know. Worse, some scams work just as well on someone who looks like you as they do on someone who looks different, so you may not even realize you’ve fallen for an online trap until it’s too late.
Find Love Online but Don’t Get Scammed or Catfished
What if you found out someone in your life was cheating on you, and you didn’t know it? What if you discovered that your partner was keeping secrets from you, and you didn’t know it? There are many things you can do to protect yourself from being catfished but being on edge is one of the biggest threats. You can never know for sure if someone is catfishing you, but if you follow these tips, you can avoid getting into the cycle of catfishing yourself and not get catfished:
- When someone out of the blue contacts you, that’s a red flag. If you’re ever contacted by someone who does not have your best interest in mind and seems to know far more about you than you do, it’s time to be suspicious. That is one of the red flags that should prove you’re not dealing with a good person.
- Never share your personal information. Scammers and catfishers are both in the business of stealing identities and personal information in order to gain trust and access personal accounts. Never give personal information such as names, passwords, or social security numbers over the phone to protect yourself. If you have to contact someone, ask that person to contact you via email, and don’t reveal personal information to anyone over email. Also, be cautious when chatting online with someone who seems too good to be true.
- Use only legit and high-quality dating sites. In your quest for love, you’re going to want to stick with a few quality dating sites. You don’t want to get stuck with a site that doesn’t meet your needs, and you don’t want to waste time on a site that isn’t worth your time.
- Never give them money… just don’t. Giving money to scammers or catfish makes things worse for you. The scammer or catfisher can claim this is a gift for helping them through their financial difficulties, but it’s actually an attempt to steal money from you. It might be tempting to help a loved one in need and then find out later that they are just a scammer, but even if you are not sure, it’s better to avoid offering them money at all.
- Take control of the situation. If you want to contact someone who has a skype account or a phone number or an email, or who you’ve met online, you should be able to do that easily. It’s not even reasonable for other people to control you on how you will be able to contact them. That’s really weird. If this happens, well, you are being controlled to be their next scam victim.
- You have the right to see proof of their identification. No matter how or where you’ve accepted a date, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the risk of being scammed or catfished online. For example, you can ask for proof of identity before meeting in person, be wary of anyone asking you to send money via the internet, and research the person you’re planning to meet before agreeing to meet in person.
The internet is a great place to meet people, but it’s also a great place to get scammed! Not only can they swindle and steal your money, but they can also steal your identity and even your reputation. People are increasingly staying in touch through social media and email, which can make it easy for people to pretend to be people they’re not in order to steal your valuables. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself in a situation that can render you broke and homeless. But there is a way to avoid all of this by being more careful with the people you meet online.