Age gap dating brings the excitement of falling in love with someone from another generation, but it also brings its own set of challenges. One of the most common challenges with age gap dating is avoiding scammers and spammers on dating sites. Whether you’re hoping to find love online or have already met someone online, you need to be aware of these common scams and be prepared to avoid them in order to have happy and healthy relationships in your life. Here’s how
Discover Their Story
When you first meet someone, do some research to confirm that they are who they say they are. Check the results of their name in a search engine. Their internet presence, including their social media pages, should match the information they’ve given you about themselves. Through RomanceScams.org, which keeps a list of email addresses used by well-known fraudsters, you can verify someone’s address if you’re emailing them.
If you see an inappropriate age gap or a difference in religion from what they stated in their profile and it doesn’t feel right, it might be worth investigating further. It could be a scammer; it could just be somebody with different values than yours. Either way, there’s no harm in checking out the profile before diving into correspondence with somebody new, and it might help save you time. Remember, not all people on dating sites are looking for romance. Some may want to date casually, and others may have more malicious intent.
Search For Images Online
View the individual’s profile pictures as well. Copy the images, and then use a reverse-image search engine like TinEye or Google Images to look them up. It’s likely that the image was taken from another user’s profile if you find the same picture posted with a different name or other details. Check out the age difference in people’s profiles. The age difference can be used as a warning sign of potential scamming when there is an obvious discrepancy in ages between two users. For example, it may not be wise to have an older man courting someone who looks considerably younger than him.
If you’re unsure about the age gap dating issue, consult a professional counselor who specializes in this area. Most importantly, use your intuition! Your gut feeling is often correct. Be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true; usually, it is.
Take It Slow
Give someone you’ve met online some time to get to know you. As much as you can, find out as much as you can by asking plenty of questions. One of the warning indications of fraud is someone who wants you to commit to a relationship right away, so be wary of them. If they’re worth it, they’ll wait for you to take it slow and give them time to prove themselves to you.
What are red flags that indicate somebody might not be what they say they are?
● They ask you to send money or have your card info in order to ship something.
● They want your personal information without any background verification.
● They want you to use their links or call their phone number without giving any contact info of their own.
● You see profile pictures that don’t match up with the person’s name.
● They keep sending messages but don’t answer your questions.
● They share too much personal information before knowing you better. (they are trying to sell themselves)
● The person disappears suddenly after sharing lots of photos and conversations. (they didn’t like all the attention)
● There’s no way to track down this person when you do an internet search.
Meet In Person
Anyone who is interested in you should want to meet you face-to-face. Your online sweetie may be hiding something if you’ve been “together” for a few months but have never actually been in the same room. If you’ve attempted to schedule a visit multiple times and the other person keeps canceling at the last minute, be extremely wary.
If the person has given you excuses about why they cannot meet with you or has insisted that there will not be enough time, it might be time to cut your losses and move on. If your partner offers to travel or provides money for travel costs, don’t take them up on it! They are likely using this as an opportunity to steal from you.
Never agree to let someone send money before meeting in real life. The scammer wants you to wire money to him/her so they can disappear without being found. It’s always better if you can pay for your own transportation and lodging when meeting someone new in person. If the person insists on paying or helping cover any expenses, just say no! He or she is probably asking for money because he or she knows it is unlikely that he or she could send money back to his or her home country without getting caught.
Get a second view from someone you trust if you’re unsure about an online relationship, especially if you’ve been solicited for money. Explain the entire scenario to a relative or acquaintance and inquire as to if they find it strange. Choose someone who isn’t already aware of your romance and who hasn’t become attached to it.
Share No Intimate Images
Never send sexually explicit or nude photos or videos to someone you haven’t met in person. Those pictures you assumed were private might subsequently be used to blackmail you. Scammers can use your intimate photographs and put them on social media, where friends and family members will see them as well. You never know who will see the images and when, so it is best not to share them with anyone until after you meet in person.
Avoid Sending Money
Any request for money from an online flame is almost certainly a scam. You should presume they won’t ever return the money, even if they pledge to. If you must transfer the money nevertheless, protect yourself by establishing a written loan agreement—something you should always do when lending money to friends or family.
However, keep in mind that it can be challenging or even impossible to enforce the agreement if the person on the other end is a scammer using a false name. So, don’t just send any amount of money without a documented contract. Some people also prefer not to use their bank account and instead find another way (like PayPal) to receive funds safely. If you decide to use PayPal, go ahead with your transaction, but make sure you verify the seller’s address before clicking “Pay. And remember, no one should ever have access to your personal financial information like your credit card number and expiration date.