Online dating is a beautiful experience for some people; however, the ugly side is revealed just in time before valentine’s in the Netflix documentary exposing an online dating scam, Tinder Swindler.
In this digital age that we live in, apps and websites have been the best source to meet people, fall in love, and network for business. However, it has become an avenue for Romance Scam. These kinds of scams usually start from a friendship to gaining trust and affection from their victim using a fake identity. It is one of the easiest ways con artists defraud people of their money and it can happen to any gender.
What starts as a whirlwind romance with a perfect partner that is sensitive to your needs and knows all the right things to say is not always what it seems; they promise moving in together, marriage, kids, and all the good things of life. In contrast, one of the obvious lessons to learn is avoiding people you meet who are suddenly into a financial problem. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the expert con scheme of The Tinder Swindler, see some here:
1. The perfect online profile
One of the best ways to fish out a cyber-criminal is from their profile information. Most scammers have a well-curated profile, with all the details everyone will love to see. In comparison, the average internet security expert will tell you not to trust a shape that has only half body pictures and perfectly edited photos. However, take not that the Tinder Swindler defied this rule by posting full images of himself and videos. He had all other evidences to make you convinced he is legit.
The documentary showed how scammers are being clever in how they present themselves. However, after having a closer look, some of his reference pictures turned out to be fake. The moral here is always to take the time to verify every detail and photograph. The profile might not give correct details of the people you meet online, always snoop deeper.
2. Being too open should be a ‘no no’
In the search for love, most people let their guard down and tend to open up to many things, so it is often a joy to meet someone who is just as open. The person readily shares details about their family, jobs, and lifestyle. Suddenly, they match your interests, things get emotional, and the ‘I love you’ fly everywhere.
Take a step back to evaluate the whole relationship; it might help to go through your chats to check for signs. Most scammers, just like the “Tinder Swindler,” always know the best things to say, are compassionate, and showers you with heavy doses of attention. When something seems too good to be true, it doesn’t hurt to cross-check the things you hear.
3. Rule out the meet in person test
From the online dating scam Tinder Swindler orchestrated, scammers are bold and are no longer sacred to use their faces. Previous research shows that most con artists will never want to meet in person or show you their real faces. This fact was non-existent for Simon Leviev, the con artist, from the documentary as he used his face and met up for dates to gain the affection of all the women he defrauded.
So, do not rule a person you meet online as verified just because they met up for drinks or take you out on a date. Instead, take your time to study their behavior before deciding to trust them.
4. Demand action when the sweet words start flowing in
More valid words have never been said than the phrase “Actions speak louder than words.” So, when an online friend starts professing love and marriage, demand actions to back their statements. The expertise put into the online dating scam Tinder Swindler is a clear example of actions and words. He tried to play it in his favor, and when he told the ladies he wanted to marry them, he asked them to move in together.
The ladies searched for a house, but he is nowhere to be found when it comes down to taking action and eventually paying for the space. He also tried to send sweet, pre-recorded videos, saying nice things, and most time, he avoided saying a name; instead, he used phrases like “my love.” If you suspect you are in this situation, ask for personalized videos, preferably live, and watch out for the signs. The goal is not to come out as being paranoid as there is an intelligent way to ask for actions to match their statement rather than assuming.
5. Learn to create boundaries for online dating
The documentary helped shed light on people’s straightforward approach to dating online. And how it is vital to have boundaries when dating in general, which would have saved some of the women in this prominent case a lot of trouble. While this relates to sharing every nitty-gritty detail about yourself, it can always be avoided if you set a limit to how far you can go, most especially for a person you just met.
Credit card and passport details seem to be below a boundary people can cross. If one rule gets broken, you might be tempted to go further. The lesson to learn here is that hoarding such information might dissuade scammers.
Dating Sites where scams are common
The truth is that no dating site is safe, and just as people are getting scammed, others find true love on these platforms. Romance scams are common everywhere, as many people only chat to gain something. For instance, Tinder has gotten some negative PR based on this documentary. But in the end, one of the ladies chose to remain on the site, in the hope of finding true love.
The only way to avoid getting scammed is to protect yourself and take precautions while dating. The con artists always look for lonely hearts to prey on, so do not give them that satisfaction. Otherwise, you will end up swimming in debts and, worst case facing criminal charges.
Ways to Avoid online dating scams like The Tinder Swindler
Dating scams usually start with scouting for a target, and when they see a vulnerable target, they go in for the swipe. The stories you hear victims telling could be you when you are not careful; while women are more prone to online dating scams, it can also happen to men. You can stay safe by practicing the following precaution tips.
- Do not post explicit details of your life on dating sites and social media pages. If you love to post about your daily life, make it cryptic and quit making details public. Con artists use all the information you share online to get to you. So, live a private life if you want to stay safe.
- When you meet a person you like online, carry out extensive research on their photo, name, work, and other details they share about themselves. You get to see if someone else shares the same identity and any other lies they might be telling you.
- Most romance scams are fast-paced, so you don’t have time to guess your decisions second. While it is cute to spontaneous and to go with the flow, try to take things slow. Ask yourself some key questions and ask your new acquittance many questions as well. Put them on the spot to clear doubts you might be having.
- You should beware of people that ask for your financial or bank records via phone, nudes, or secrets that they can use to blackmail you. Con artists can turn around and use these inappropriate details to extort you later.
- Always be careful with your money, and even if it is tempting to help online acquittances avoid sending money to people you chat with online.
- Be private with your personal detail. Avoid giving out your direct contacts such as phone number and home address to someone you just met online. Scammers are often quick to suggest chatting or calling you on your direct line. And will want you to leave the dating site or social media for private chats and phone calls.
- Always seek a second opinion from a person you trust. Never hide them from your friends, so you have the input of others. Most con experts have developed a scheme of lies that work.
The Tinder Swindler documentary film has brought a new angle and approach to dating online. While most people feel that a specific age range is susceptible to being scammed. As anyone can fall victim to the charm and allure of convincing words.
Whether you’re not on any dating site or only use social media platforms, always have your precaution level set to the maximum. In the end, do not feel pressured to do anything for friends and lovers you meet online.
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