Online dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony, OurTime, Seniorpeoplemeet, and others have gotten a lot better at stopping scammers before they have a chance to take advantage of people. Sadly, there are still some people who will try to catfish and scam you into giving up your personal information or possibly even your life savings. One simple rule that you should always follow is: NEVER SEND ANYONE YOU MEET ON A DATING SITE ANY MONEY! It doesn’t matter what they’ve promised you or how bad you feel about the story they’ve told you. There is no such thing as a good reason to send money to someone from a dating site. Another big warning sign is that they’ll try to move you from talking on the dating site to an outside email on their first message. This brings me to the latest scam I wanted to talk to you about. I’ve heard of this scam in the past, but I have multiple clients who are currently being targeted at least once a day, so it is important you read on and make sure you don’t fall prey to the same predators.

I call this the “I’m asking for a friend” scam, and here’s how it usually goes down. You will get an email from someone who is the same gender as you. They’ll start off by telling you that they aren’t gay, but they have a friend who happened to see your profile while visiting them and looking at their computer. They will then go on to tell you all of the nice things that their friend said about you as well as their friend’s name and email address. They’ll usually close by suggesting that you give it a shot and reach out to their friend. Here is an example of the scam that one of my ProfileHelper clients received in the last 48 hours on Match.com:

If you look carefully, there are several warning signs in this email.

1. Poor Grammar
If you look at the way the message is written, it sounds like it was created by someone who doesn’t speak English as their native language. Check out the first line of the message and you’ll see what I mean.
“Hello am not a lesbian I am only contacting you in reference for my good friend . I don’t know how to say this but my my friend who came visiting seems to like your profile*smile*and all you wrote.”

2. Positioning Their Friend As a “Catch”
These scammers will grab your attention by telling you what a good job or how well off their friend is to try and hook your interest:
“His name is Christopher and he’s Entrepreneur,engineer in Petrochemical and renovation construction department.”

3. They Will Ply You With Vague Compliments
Scammers know that the best way to catch flies is with honey. To that end, they will tell you a bunch of very vague compliments that could really apply to anyone but are meant to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.
“he was really intrigued by your profile..” and “you are the only woman that caught his attention.”

4. They Will Appeal To Your Hope For Romance
Scammers are looking for lonely and vulnerable people. They will appeal to the part of you that desperately wants a happy ending in hopes that it will get you to contact their fake friend off of the dating site.
“I’m doing this because I believe in love and we never can tell where and when it would happen, that leap of faith is all that is needed, he lives close to you, and he is your age range”

5. They Will Try To Get You To Contact Someone Off Of The Dating Site In The First Email
As long as you keep your communication on the dating site, you have a level of protection. Scammers want to get you off the site quickly so they can scam you without the dating site catching on, capture your email address so they can sell it, or send you a virus or ransomware that can be used to infect and take over your computer.
“He’s not on match, Please take a chance to e-mail him, he’ll share a picture and more information with you. You can reach him at ( XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com )”

The important thing to remember is that most of the people on dating sites are just like you. They are single men and women looking for anything from a new friend, to a date, to the next love of their life. Keep your wits about you, use your common sense, and you should be in good shape. If you need help deciding which online dating service is right for you, or you need help making sure that you have the best profile and photos when you dive back into the dating pool, give me a call (Eric) at 1-888-447-7634, or check out our services and we’ll help you take control of your online dating life.