In recent years a new option for singles has become available and though these new opportunity offers many new perks to dating, with it come some new drawbacks to watch for.
One of the most common concerns of singles online is the fear of being deceived by others through chat, photos or even elaborate scams in some cases.
Knowing what to look for when you're already nervous about finding the right person can be extremely taxing; not only are you more than likely already suspicious, but you also don't want to turn the wrong person away if you happen to be overly paranoid.
So, how does a person tell if they are being lied to? Scammed? Played with?
It isn't easy and that's why so many online dating sites try to offer protection from scam artists by performing background checks that flag criminal records and marital status. Choosing a site that promises to ensure the legitimacy of it's' community members is an excellent first step in making sure you have the protection you need.
Once you become used to the community and chatting with other members you will be able to use a great deal of common sense to weed out any obvious liars. Some of the trickier users who seem to be focused only on getting attention by making up information that they believe will draw the interest of other community members will browse particular interests and match their profiles to fit. This can be particularly distressing as many singles are looking for others who share their interests.
Another great weapon against online dating fraud is making sure that you scout out your community before you join. Be sure to read any online dating review pages and community forums for any sites that interest you before you commit.
After making sure that you've prepared as best you can the most promising way of protecting yourself against fraudulent singles is to be careful with your personal information and how much you reveal about yourself. Listen to your instincts and if you're at all nervous, don't worry about missing out, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Over many different kinds of dating sites with many different communities some of those fraudulent users still manage to make some of the same common blunders that may not be so obvious to the new single online. Watch out for these warning signs, though they may not mean you're in danger of being deceived it may be in your best interest to keep a close eye on this person for the time being:
* Too much, too fast: If you come across another community member who wants to get all of their info out right away and in return wants you to reveal all about yourself, this is usually a bad sign. Though there are some community members who are just plain in a hurry, most want to meet people at a reasonable pace when it comes to getting truly personal. A good way of getting to the bottom if this is simply to point out that you feel the person is rushing you a bit and get a feel for how they respond; perhaps they simply find you exciting and got ahead of themselves or perhaps this question will send them packing.
* Perfect Photos: An attractive photo can capture the attention of a great many users and you too may become interested by one. Pat close attention to any photos that appear to be too professional or generic looking. A good sign to look for is a photo that reveals nothing about the person's taste, a sports team logo, collection of some kind or pets; anything that might be confirmed in the profile. Though of course if a person were dedicated enough they could lie on both photo and profile, it is a place where many deceivers have slipped up. Making use of a web cam will swiftly end this illusion.
* Pushy, Pushy: Anyone who pushes you to reveal information, move the conversation to a more personal medium such as web cam or phone, or even in person, when you have made it obvious you're not ready might not only be the wrong person for you, but may be trying to swindle you in some way, be careful. If after being asked to back off a bit the person is still too insistent it might be time to break off contact.
* Old Photo: A person who is willing to lie about what they look like may very well be willing to lie about a great deal more. A common tactic for people to use in the photo department is to post an older photo of themselves and try to pass it off as a current one. A simple way of getting around this deception is to ask a person to web cam with you where you can see them clearly, but beware when you're browsing for any signs that date a photograph as older than it is claimed to be.
* Prop Children: Some of the truly strange manipulators may even use children as a way of softening up other community members into thinking that their intentions must be innocent. Claiming to be full time parents when they are not, or perhaps not even a parent at all, this kind of deception is truly frightening. A good rule to go by is that people with children tend to mention them quite frequently, even when trying to be romantic, they can't help it they love their little ones!
If you come across a person who gives only vague info about their experiences as a parent or very generic feeling stories they may just be using the child as a prop, beware. To combat this you may ask constantly about the child and how they are doing, nothing too personal as you don't want to alarm a protective parent, but in general ask after the child's welfare, this should bring up stories that help you determine the legitimacy of the claim.
* Flirting and More: Depending upon what kind of interaction you hope to have online you may not be looking for anything serious yourself in which case you may not be as concerned about deception. Obviously then this type of warning is aimed more at the singles who are looking for serious relationships and it is about flirting and sex talk. While flirting online is probably an essential part of dating online it's also important to watch out for those singles that seem to be interested in little else. There are predators that browse serious relationship sites and are simply interested in getting others to get into the sex talk as quickly as possible.
In some cases the fact that this talk may stir up some very deep feelings and emotions that will later feel embarrassing is part of the draw; these people want to humiliate you. It is important therefore just as when getting physical in real life, that you only continue a conversation as long as you feel comfortable. If at any time you are unhappy with the nature of conversation, let the other person know and if they persist: exit out.
* Too Good to be True: Most of the people looking for true love online hope very much that they will come across a person who matches them in every way. This romantic notion is not unheard of and certainly with the broad reach that online dating has, your chances for such a meeting are increased when compared with traditional dating methods.
Unfortunately there are those who would deceive you about their interest in order to gain your trust. If over the course of getting to know another person you begin to feel as though their claims of being so aligned with your own taste may not be genuine you may want to test their true knowledge. Almost any fan, collector or enthusiast knows important details that might not be common knowledge. Using these details to test the knowledge of your new love interest may help you to feel better about the progression of the relationship, or catch a liar in the act; make sure when you ask that you do not give the person the opportunity to research.
Along with interest, if the opinions of the other person seem to continually match your own you may want to test their knowledge a bit. Perhaps you have truly found your match, or perhaps this person you're speaking with is just incredibly lonely.
When it comes to online dating you have to protect yourself against those would take advantage of the anonymity that online users are afforded for a time. It's important to remember that people lie in real life just as often and it is important in all aspects of dating to be careful and make others earn your trust before you give it.
Most of the deceptive, populations of online users are not commonly dangerous so much as lonely and desperate for attention so in most cases you do not need to be frightened. Remember to use good common sense, trust any senses that warn you against deceptive behavior and when in doubt always error on the side of your safety.