Are you thinking — who would ever do online dating? More people than you think. In fact, millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat room to meet people.
It does work. In fact, one out of five relationships starts online. I know professional people who used online dating; it resulted in marriage.
But as with anything, you have to be careful so you are not scammed. On the Internet, it’s easy to pretend to be someone you are not. Are you really friends with all of your “friends” on Facebook? Do you have a lot of personal information on a dating site? With so much information about you online, a scammer can sound like they know you.
They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money.
OnGuardOnline.gov has some great tips to help you avoid scams. Be wary if your “sweetheart” does the following:
- Suggests leaving the dating site immediately and use personal email
- Moves the relationship along too quickly
- Claims to be a U.S. citizen who travels out of the country frequently
- Plans to visit, but has to cancel plans due to personal problems, including money
First and foremost do not wire money to your newly discovered “attraction” to cover:
- medical emergencies
- hotel bills
- hospital bills for a child or other relative
- visas or other official documents
- losses from a temporary financial setback
- losses from a mugging or robbery
Tell me about your experiences with online dating. Maybe I can help. I’ve been married 45 years, surely I’ve learned something about relationships in those 45 years.