With a few simple tips and tricks and a bit of thought you can be dating safely online in no time (source: The Love Queen)!
Don’t take things too quickly.
Exchange at least a couple of messages back and forth on the dating site before giving out your e-mail address, phone number or Skype information. This will give you time to observe your potential date’s social skills. If she seems overly impulsive, you might want to nip things in the bud rather than proceeding any further. Some people set up a separate disposable e-mail address solely for online suitors. That way, if someone becomes too persistent in their attentions to you, you can just abandon the temporary e-mail address. After the potential object of your affections has displayed the ability to write intelligent e-mails, move on to phone conversations and/or video chat. If you have any reason to suspect that her profile includes a fake or out-of-date photo, the latter means of communication enables you to verify the identity.
Catfishers, fake profiles and scammers.
Internet dating fraud situations most often occur when hundreds or thousands of miles separate the victim and the fake persona created by a con artist so try to avoid long distance people. One way to avoid catfishers is to do a reverse google image search for their profile picture. If you see lots of results coming up you have found something dodgy!
Do a little bit of online detective work.
Companies often review a job candidate’s social media profiles before making a job offer. There’s nothing wrong with something similar before embarking on a romance with the woman you met online. If her Facebook profile reveals she’s still married to the man she describes as an ex, you can bow out before you become “the other man.” If her Twitter timeline includes racist jokes, you can spare yourself future social awkwardness by not pursuing the relationship. Naturally, there are limits to this kind of activity. You don’t want to turn into a stalker. But looking up public information about a potential girlfriend can help you weed out unsuitable candidates for your affection.
Money = red flag.
You may think it can’t happen to you, but everyone who has ever been conned used to think that, too. Most of us can become a bit too trusting when our hearts and/or hormones are on the line. No matter how sincere the person seems, no matter how attractive she appears, head for the door if there’s a story about needing anything more than cabfare. Similarly, be suspicious of anyone who offers you expensive gifts like airfare to a foreign country.