The first time I visited a dating site, I was desperate. I needed love! But I realized the more desperate I got, the more love seemed harder to find. I wondered why every hook-up I attempted never materialized. Well, I gave up and left the unhelpful dating sites. Somehow, along the way, I found love. I ran out of desperation completely. Years later, I opted to revisit dating sites and try my luck again. This time not as desperate as previously.
What do I do? I simply Google “dating sites,” and the search engine provides a list of dating sites. Well, the first thing I noted was an increase in the number of dating sites. So, I select the first result and sign up. The site asks for my personal information, including my mobile number and email. At this point, I pause a bit. “Why all these? All I’m looking for is a date,” I wonder. “Anyway, if this is the process, then I’ll just have to go through it.” So I input my details and proceed.
I opened accounts with multiple sites. The goal was to get a fine date, and I believed the best way to achieve that is by casting my net wide. It didn’t go well. I ended up unlucky again with my second encounter. But, every time I opened my emails after that encounter, I would find countless emails from these sites. “So and so liked your profile, log in to see who…” “You have a message from A**c*a…” “You may like so and so, sign in to see their profile…” I ended up abandoning that email.
Dating sites know you are in need. Scammers too. That is why dating sites are one of the riskiest places to be. Well, you may be lucky to get a date without struggle. Some dating sites are legitimate and real. There, you will find a perfect date, and a hook-up will materialize. What about these scammers masquerading as dating sites- asking for money before using their sites? Or, those conmen on legitimate dating sites out to take advantage of others’ dating needs?
Catfishing is a common practice taking place on dating apps. You find a sparkling profile only to realize the real person using the same account is not as glamorous as they portray themselves. Others come with pseudo accounts. You get a man operating with a female’s account to prank and victimize unsuspecting dates. In other cases, people get swindled money. Ladies are the culprits of this.
You find a fine lady only to be asked for money before a hook-up happens. For example, after hooking up with a lady, she may ask you to send her fare for her to come for a physical date. Having fallen for her, you unsuspectingly send her the money. To your amusement, that is the last time you hear from her. Well, there are more cases of fraud happening on dating sites, some too bizarre to narrate. The big question is; how do you protect yourself from these extortions? Below are some working suggestions.
- Do not provide your actual details.
No dating site is safe for you, no matter how positively reviewed it is. When signing up, you will be required to provide personal details like age, contacts, and more. Only provide information you are certain cannot be used against you. In my case, I had to abandon my email because of too many spam messages. Had I created an email I don’t use and sign up with it, perhaps right now, my abandoned email would still be in use. I don’t mean you catfish someone. My point is, you need to be cautious with the personal information you give out.
- Do not send any money.
You’ve heard of the saying if the deal is too good, think twice. Yes, always hesitate when making decisions on dating sites. Anyone asking for money for whatever reason is a scammer. Block them or do whatever you will to stop contact. Send money to no one, and you will never be a victim of fraud on dating sites.
- Avoid profiles without profile pictures.
An easy way to detect a catfish is through their profile. A profile without a picture is a red sign. While it’s not always the case, scammers do not put their actual pictures in most cases. They either leave the profile blank or use images like motorcars, bikes, forests, sunshine, etc.
- Too good to be true…
No human being is flawless. A perfect profile should scare you. Some people are blessed with appearance, yes, but some looks are just too good to be true. That might be a trap. Follow your instincts and only contact real people.
One easy way to lose it on dating sites is immediately saying yes to requests. Say as many no’s as possible and see who’s willing to wait or try harder. Build your wall high for only a few deserving ones to climb on, but not too high that no one can climb. A little bit of resistance will keep catfishes and jokers aside.
- Let’s stick to dating.
The objective of meeting on a dating site is clear. The moment the contact you’re chatting with diverts a subject to something else you should be suspicious of. It starts like that, and before you know it, you are giving out information that may be used against you. Be vigilant not to be misled and taken advantage of. Go slow on the rate at which you reveal information.
It was not meant to be an interview but a dating plan. Do not hesitate to take action if he/she starts asking irrelevant questions.
You can never be 100% safe on dating sites, but you may put measures to protect yourself. This article has highlighted six practical tips to use in protecting yourself while looking for a date. Remember, you are as vulnerable as your desperation levels; therefore, do not allow yourself to be desperate.