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Dating Scams: How to stay safe

Staying safe online is really much easier than a lot of people would have you believe. Scam artists are not that common, always use the same techniques and always show the same telltale signs and, if you think someone's a scam artist, it really is all too easy to just ignore them. That being said, it's only obvious when you know what to look for, so this article contains a basic rundown of the main features that typically identify a scam artist from a normal woman using an online dating site.

The first and easiest preliminary test of whether the woman you're talking to is a cam artist or not is to take a line, preferably the first line, of the first email she sent you and type it into Google. If she is a scammer, this will typically reveal various anti-scam websites that have archived this particular email to help people like you find out when you're being scammed. Typically, scammers use the same email thousands of times, copy and pasting it to many different people every day. Eventually when someone identifies that it is a scammer, they upload the email body to a website that exposes them.

If this doesn't work, try Googling the return email address and see how many websites, and of which type, feature the address. If it shows up on a scammer list, then there you have it & your scammer is exposed. If not, then this may simply be a new kid on the block and so if you suspect this person, you'll have to go a little further before you can prove that they're safe.

Asking for a full address and landline telephone number will normally scare a scammer away, offer yours in turn with the simple justification that 'I've had some bad experiences with online dating in the past'. If the person understands then you're likely to have a genuine match, while a dating scammer will usually run a mile at this request. Make sure you can get this person on the phone as quickly as possible because really there are no valid excuses if someone likes you and is interested in you then they will want to hear your voice.

If the person says they are too poor to afford a phone then you can almost guarantee that they are a scammer (how did they get internet access?). You can hear sincerity a lot better in the voice than in text, so switching to the phone early on is a simple step that can make dating online a lot safer.

Finally, the most revealing part of a scam is often the picture. Scammers will often use photographs of models which are easily identifiable as such, not just because the women in them are incredibly attractive but because the lighting and focus are all of much better quality than most people's amateur snaps. To confirm that the woman of your dreams is for real, simply ask them to take a new photo just for you. A lot of people recommend asking them to take one with a recent newspaper in it, although to me this seems a little bit over the top. Maybe ask her to take a picture of herself wearing a hat or outside her house (so you can see it), or anything that proves that she is actually the person on the other side of the screen.

Hopefully, if all these precautions are taken together, dating online and especially at WestEastCafe can be fun and lead to true romance. There are a lot of genuine people online looking for love which makes it even more important not to let the few scam artists spoil it for everyone. So, use common sense, stay safe and if you have any suspicions just follow the instructions above to sort the genuine from the fake and keep on meeting new people online with WestEastCafe!
 
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