More people meet online now than ever before. What are the risks of becoming the victim of an online dating scam?
We’re at our most vulnerable when we’re looking to connect with other guys – when we’re looking for affection when we’re looking for sex. Gay dating platforms, like any other networks, are exposed to various types of scams.
Unfortunately, online dating platforms attract fraudulent activity.
Online dating operators have systems in place to try and protect users as much as possible from fraudulent activity, but nothing is foolproof. You have to keep your wits about you.
How do I tell if an online dating profile is fraudulent?
There’s no hard and fast way to do this – but there are a number of tell-tale signs that you should be alert to.
If you start chatting with someone and they almost immediately ask for your email, don’t give it to them. The same applies if they want to shift the conversation to WhatsApp immediately. Keep the discussion in the dating app until you’re confident you’re dealing with a real person.
Also, if the photo looks like it’s been shot by a professional photographer, it’s probably a fake. If they can’t send you additional photos of themselves, this raises alarm bells.
He had not filled in any of the biofields! That would make you question what they’re hiding.
If they’ve filled in their bio fields but it doesn’t feel very authentic. That would raise a red flag.
Encountering gay sex workers
You might encounter sex workers using online dating platforms to connect with potential clients. If you’re not interested in that, you can respond appropriately or Block them. Just remember one thing. The gay (and other) sex workers are part of our community. There is no need to report them unless they hustle you. It is simple. Once you turn down their offer of service, they should stop the conversation. If that does not happen, then only one warning should be served. One can freely assume that if one warning did not work, the only other action left is blocking the hustler and reporting him.
If you’re chatting with someone, and they ask you to send them money, don’t. Even if it sounds like they really need it – maybe they’ve got medical bills, or a sick grandfather, or some other really compelling story. Even if you’ve been chatting with them for quite a long time and you feel like you’ve established a rapport with them. If the money is to buy a ticket to come and see you – they won’t show up. Do not send money to strangers on the internet.
Generally, if something feels too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut instincts – if you think you might be chatting with a scammer, put an end to that conversation.
What should I do if I think I’ve been contacted by a fraudulent online dating profile?
Most dating platforms will have a Report function. On Gaydar, when you’re looking at someone’s profile you can report it by clicking on the triangle warning symbol.
It’s a good idea to report anything you think looks fraudulent – this will put the suspect profile in front of an employee of the dating platform – who can review it, investigate it, and suspend the account if necessary.
You should also use the Block function to prevent that profile from contacting you in the future. Don’t waste your time or energy on profiles that you think might be fraudulent. Focus on authentic guys that you have a connection with.
A Beginner’s Guide to Online Dating – Coming Soon