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Online dating: Think before clicking the ‘Ýes’ button

By Juliet Umeh

Since the advent of internet, online dating has been on the increase.

However, there are those who go into it with dubious intentions.

They feign romance fand lure unfortunate victims to a love affair that would hurt at the end.

The online dating scammers are well educated and are heartless as they look forward to profiting off victims who are lonely or have complicated love experiences. They are ready to steal the victim’s heart and money. Although there are stories of many who met their spouses online, the risk of getting hurt in online appears high.

However, risk is part of life. But should anybody wishes to take the risk of online dating, there are some precautions:

*Be diligent: When your online suitor is becoming too nice, dont be carried away. Take it slowly and  ask a lot of questions. Watch out for inconsistencies that might reveal an impostor.

*All that glitter is not gold: Some profile photos of these love scammers appear glossier than the hollywood stars. Check the profile photo, using Google’s “search by image” feature. If the same picture shows up elsewhere with a different name attached to it, that’s a sign you’re dealing with a scammer.

*Be wary of flirtatious andoverly complimentary emails. Paste the text into a search engine and see whether the same words show up on websites devoted to exposing romance scams.

*Respect your instint: Cut off contact immediately you begin to suspect that the individual may be a swindler. Don’t gamble with a swindler.

*Don’t feel a false sense of safety: Some feel because they made the first contact, they are in control of the relationship. that is, however, not always the case. Scammers flood dating websites with fake profiles and wait for victims to come to them.

*Don’t reveal too much: Revealing personal information in a dating profile is dangerous.  Scammers can exploit details like your last name or where you work to manipulate you or to commit  identity theft.

*Guard your photos: Don’t ever give an online acquaintance intimate photos that could later be used for extortion.

*Don’t send cash: Benevolence such as sending cash to someone youhave chatted with only online is not the best thing. Putting money on a reloadable gift card for the person, is a waste. You will never get it back.

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