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Online Dating Gone Bad: A Look at the Real Dangers

Posted On   date13/02/2014

Online Dating Gone Bad: A Look at the Real Dangers

Online dating is a rapidly growing industry in the U.S. — more people than ever are turning to the internet to find their soul mates. Research shows that 1 in 5 marriages are a result of online dating.  While that number indicates “happily ever after” endings, the world of online dating is not always a fairy tale. Online dating poses some dangers and sociopaths often times target people who are vulnerable or lonely – or they may await the perfect prey. Here are some of the dangers involved with online dating.


Romance scams are a crime that can break both the hearts, and the banks, of men and women.  In the last two years, women have lost $80 million to schemes, according to reports released by the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.  Investigators say this is only the tip of the iceberg, and the real numbers are significantly larger.  Consider dating background checks to help reduce dating scams for added protection.  A background check investigation from a reputable investigator remains the best defense.


A Pew Internet and American Life Study tells us that many online daters feel that someone else misrepresented themselves in their profile.  Sometimes they are married and looking for someone on the side, or they are simply looking for a fling instead of a relationship. It is always smart to meet in a neutral location and to keep your personal details private until you are sure the person is really the person in the profile.  Private investigators estimate that 90% of the information on the internet is false or misleading.


When someone wants to get intimate quickly and asks for your phone number and your social networking details, be careful. Facebook pictures can reveal more than you realize and if the person has access to your social media pages, he or she can glean even more information about you.  So make sure to keep yourself safe online.  Protect your privacy.  Correspond online exclusively for a while before you are certain about the person and don’t let yourself fall in love with someone you have never met in person.

False profiles

Sociopaths have an easy time when they look at an online dating profile – you probably revealed a lot about yourself in your profile.  Professional scammers will write their profile to match yours.  You’re searching for a partner and they show up as a match – it’s as easy as that. People can make an entirely false identity complete with fake pictures and a false name, and a local phone and address to match.

It is especially important to move cautiously when seniors date online.  Remember that the senior population is newer to the virtual world and some may struggle to keep up with technology.  Older adults are also more likely to believe that profiles are accurate. This makes them a prime target for scams.

If you are skeptical, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the online relationship moving very quickly?
Does he or she ask for your phone number or other info immediately?
Does he or she seem to have nearly everything in common with you?
Is his or her online profile oddly similar to yours?
Is the person currently traveling or working overseas?

If you answer yes to these questions, you may have met an online scammer.  Get a background check!

Most people recognize that the world of digital dating doesn’t come without risks attached.  It’s appealing for many reasons. Enjoy the virtual dating world – just remember that there are real dangers out there – both online and offline, so you should always protect yourself.  Verify, and then decide.

C. Wright
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