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The Pitfalls of Online Dating

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The Pitfalls of Online Dating

In today’s age of modern technology, online dating is quickly becoming the norm. But is it really the best approach at finding lasting love?

There are definitely pros and cons of online dating, but it seems the cons are far more prevalent. In an effort to better assist clients, I have tested the waters of online dating. I have explored several different avenues and was sorely disappointed in each, yet not at all surprised.

The scammers by far outweigh the legitimate love seekers, even among women. This holds true for the seemingly reputable pay sites as well as the free sites. For every one serious seeker, I was contacted by at least three potential scammers.

It is easy to spot a scammer online but, unfortunately, many women turning to online dating are often lonely and fall prey to these smooth talkers. By the time she realizes her potential love interest is a scammer, she has become emotionally invested and thinks maybe she will be the exception. Maybe she’ll be the one genuine connection this person makes. Maybe she can change him.

How to spot a potential scammer online? There are a few basic traits that seem to be standard among these people looking to take advantage of vulnerable women online. The first and foremost is that the potential scammer claims to be in the military. He is almost always stationed overseas with a big time difference so as to limit real-time communications. More often than not, he claims to be a widower with at least one young child who is in the care of his parents.

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These potential scammers come on strong and are quick to use terms of endearment and express how beautiful the target is. The talk is quick to turn to long-term potential. They talk a good game and claim to be successful by painting a very enticing picture of themselves. The biggest give-away, though, is very poor grammar and spelling.

Because these scammers claim to be in foreign countries, they open the door by claiming they do not have money to travel to meet potential love interests. Lonely and desperate victims may fall for this by offering to pay for travel expenses. Several of my clients who have found themselves falling victim to these scammers talk about them asking for money to buy cell phones so they can communicate regularly. They often request gift cards, as well.

It is estimated that these online love scammers have cost victims between 50 and 100 million dollars a year.

While potential scammers troll the varied sites and social media looking for victims, so do rapists and sex offenders. The statistics I have found claim that one in ten sex offenders can be found at online dating sites while 25% of rapists have active profiles. According to Internet Predator Stats, 16,000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rapes are committed by internet predators each year.

Tamara’s Verdict

Scammers and sexual offenders aside, online dating sites and social media are flooded with persons simply looking to hook up … they are solely interested in a quick sexual encounter with a stranger. If you do opt to pursue love online, just know what you may be getting into. Go in with an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism. Protect yourself. Online dating is no place for vulnerable or gullible persons.


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