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10 Sneeky Ways Scammers Use Online Dating

Updated on November 26, 2015

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Online Dating Scams

Online Dating can be so much fun, but unfortunately there are scammers out there you need to avoid too.

Here's 10 ways to weed them out, and what you need to know to protect yourself online and avoid the dating scammers:

1. Are the photos on their profile natural looking photos?:

If they look too professional, they may have been randomly downloaded from anywhere on the web. And the entire profile may be a fake!

I've seen it like this: I had a random man contact me online and in his profile photo he was dressed in a Pirate outfit. So, I Googled "Pirate Costumes" and it was the first picture that came up in the results! Actually, the pirate was a model for a party costume store online, and he'd just stolen the photos!

Another time, a man who messaged me on the dating website POF was using a photograph of the famous Actor Johnathan Rhys Meyers as his Profile Photo without any shame! Now I was just lucky that I'd seen his movies, otherwise I would have had no clue! I possibly could have been captivated by the seeminly good looking man contacting me. Just like he probably had hoped for.

There are professional scanners all over the world who use dating sites to scam money from unsuspecting single woman, but it's not just these professionals trying to con woman. I hate to admit it but I found my own ex-boyfriend had joined the same online dating site as me, and noticed that he had a real photo of his face on his profile, but he had photo-shopped a professional models bare-chested body! Right face, wrong body! OMG! This is a professional man, a genuine single, and and overweight man advertising himself as a buff model, to lure in a poor unsuspecting single girl.

Then there's a female friend of mine, who apon agreeing to meet someone in person who she had met on line, began to receive, a serious of photos of her date by text message in the days leading up to the date. First this man started out with a full head of hair and fit body, and gradually the photos showed him getting older, wider, balder... It became obvious to her that the photos on the man's dating profile were very old, maybe 10 years or more old, and the man she had planned to meet, did not look like his young self any more, in any way! The date fell through before they even met.

If you're unsure about someones online dating profile photos invite them to Webcam or Skype, or ask to see their Facebook Profile, and find out for yourself!

2. Prostitute Scams:

Prostitutes are straightforward in these scams, they place profiles on dating sites and social networking sites to solicit new business. Their profiles are usually easily recognized by sleazy user names and racy self-descriptions telling you exactly what they want (But not adding that there's a high price for their services), along with a suggestive photo.

3. Money Making Scammers!

I need to put this in bold, just so that it's perfectly clear: NEVER send anyone you meet on an Online Dating site money!

Scammers often play it this way: They profess their undying love for you, every day, for six months or more since the third email you exchanged. They even provide you with their phone number, and call and email you often. Soon after this, they will say they're in some sort of problem situation (Their employer hasn't paid them or there's a sudden Family illness where money for Surgery is required, or they can't save any money to fly to meet you so they want you to send them money for a ticket they will purchase themselves in their own country) and they ask you for money.

Too many genuine people have already been caught out this way, when they've been swept away by all the attention. But you're online looking for love - Not to give your money away! Don't take this risk! Don't give anyone your credit details or wire transfer money.

The person you are corresponding with is likely not the person in the photos you've seen of them (Can they Skype or Webcam?) and is most likely in Nigeria where this kind of scam is prevelant. The scammer see's your relationship as an investment. He is working hard to win you over because you are his ATM machine.

You will do better at avoiding these scammers, if you only date someone living in your own country, in your local area, and who you will be able to Skype, add as a Facebook friend before meeting so have some indication of what the person you're considering dating is like, and someone where you can easily organise a brief date with in real life when you are ready to meet for the first time (eg: A coffee date in person locally).

4. He resides in one country but is working in another:

This is popular with Nigerian Scammers. They pose as businessmen, architects, engineers (Always professional positions) and say they are from England and the like - But will soon admit in correspondence that they're working somewhere in Africa (Nigeria/Ghana). Often they use the word 'Godly' or 'God fearing' and hide behind a mask of religious beliefs. What men in England use the word "Godly" in every sentence? It does not occur. If he says he's from England and using the English language in an uncommon ways like these, it's probably a scammer. Take another look at his sentences, you may find what looks like copy/paste text, missing words, missing punctuation, little things that are not common to people where English is their native language. He'll may admit where he actually lives before asking you for money, but he will not admit to be part of a scam until he is caught by Authorities. Please report this kind of suspicious contact to your local authorities, as you may also save others from these scams.

5. Phone Scams:

The person contacting you and showing romantic interests, asks you to call them - and when you do it's a 1900 type of number - where you'll end up getting a bill in the mail for hundreds of dollars! Check the area code etc before you call it and before making any call to the number, question them about where the phone line is that you're calling (Is it their home phone? Work? Mobile?) and Google the number to check if there is a record of previous scams. Say you can't call that kind of number from your own phone but you'd be happy to Skype instead.

6. Where are they when they contact you and at what times?

Someone married and posing as single may only be able to use the internet to contact you from work - But are they available for you to phone them when they are home in the evenings? It's easy to check this out out once you have their number! If they cannot have any contact with you in the evenings, they are probably not single!

7. Try using an Online Dating Site where the other person has to pay to contact you:

And chose a big name brand Dating Website. Most scammers won't pay- or don't have the funds to pay to contact you, so using this type of Dating Site weeds out a lot of the Scammers and Spammers found on other 'Free' Dating Sites. The genuine one's out there who are interested in you will pay to contact you.

8. Trial the Dating Site before you sign up for a Paid Membership:

Almost every Online Dating Site will let you creat a FREE profile (where paying members can contact you). It gives you a chance to browse the site before having to pay any membership fees to contact others. This way you won't be scammed out of your money if the Website doesn't offer what you're looking for.

9. Read the online site's fine print about the costs:

Especially if you pay via credit card for your membership - You need to ensure your credit card won't be regularly charged for ongoing montly membership fee's, even when you're no longer using the site.

10. Does their email address prove their real?

If you suspect the single contacting you may be a spammer or scammer try entering their email address into some of the popular social networking sites - such as Facebook, Twitter or FRIENDFINDER and do a search to see what comes up.

If you don't get any results there, also try the email address they've given you in Google without the @email after it to see if they are using it as their Username on other websites - and investigate any of the other profiles they may have online from there.

Finally, if you've detected a Scammer be sure to report it to the Webmaster on the relevant dating site - to save other singles from getting caught out online!

Best wishes,


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    • profile image

      Donttellapassword 3 years ago

      Only a stupid person will give away money online

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      All excellent advice. I'm also worried that these sites might also steal your identity. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 6 years ago from Australia

      Oh, that's terrible dracaslair!

    • profile image

      dracaslair 6 years ago

      i met someone online and it was a fake.i was meeting a woman.a man pertended to be a woman.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 7 years ago from Australia

      Wow! Thankyou for sharing your story Glorina. It was lucky for you that you detected this scammer, and well done for reporting it too! Best wishes for the holiday season!

    • profile image

      Glorina 7 years ago

      Wow what an interesting topic! Just want to share my experiences. More about scammers is that,If they will be caught by you, they will use another profile and will find ways to be friend with you again until they will succeed. I was nearly a victim of this scammers last year Dec. 2008,Yes its absolutely right that they constantly online until you become closer and used God to capture your trust.In my experience, I thank God That I discovered it by analysing all his stories claiming hi as a rich businessman and I did reaaly believe at first, but when He asked for money, creating a story that he lost all his baggage during his trip to Ghana from United KIngdom, it does astonished me ,how come a rich and famous businessman travel without a sufficient fund. Impossible, and besides i never ever heard that an airline company such as one originating from UK, is so negligence as what he stated.So I compared his photo posted in Yahoo Messenger to what he sent to my e-mail.And I discovered the difference.So what I did,I made a deep interrogation and ask him to show in the webcam and when he keeps on making an alibis I shut him off by telling him that he is a scammer, and I did save our conversation so that I can familiarize his English version and I have something to compare, in case he will make another move to be friend with me again.And I reported it to the dating site he registered with.

      And He really does!Using another ID thrice.

      That is why I find difficult searching the true member joining the dating sites.

    • profile image

      franki79 7 years ago

      Good HUB,,,, except I did find one thing you may have left out, if a scammer is going to ask you for money, they're not going to ask you straight out, usually they will wait until they are sure the time is right, when they have your confidence and wait until you drag it out of them. they'll tell you the sob story and if/when you offer them money they'll decline and decline until you insist enough, then they'll reluctatly decline. They're doing reverse phsycology and/or guilt trip. They're not going to make themselves obvious.

      But point on!!

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