For singles, arguably the most dreaded day of the year is around the corner. Fresh off being grilled by relatives as to why you are single during CNY, now comes Valentine’s Day, where just about everyone (but you) seem to have a date to enjoy a memorable day together… what a FOMO moment.
But hey, with how advanced online dating has gotten nowadays, there’s always a dating app, such as Tinder to save the day, right? Yes… and no. Before you start looking for your prospective date, it’s prudent to take note of a few points to prevent that dream date from turning into a nightmare.
Be alert when using dating applications. Online scammers are always on the prowl for unsuspecting victims. Since their criminal tactics are getting more advanced, here are some ways to check if your online match is actually a scammer:
1. Vague Profiles
These are probably the easiest to spot. No pictures, no bios, no details. You would be a fool to fall for these spam profiles.
2. Too-Good-To-Be-True Profiles
What’s the first thought that crosses your mind when you come across a profile with professional photos of an unimaginably hot girl or guy? Wow, I can’t believe he/she’s still single! Don’t ignore what your brain is telling you – this might just be a fake profile. Have a closer look for warning signs such as limited number of similar-looking photos or overly suggestive photos. Vague bios are also a red flag.
If your virtual other-half offers to send you gifts or parcels containing luxury items such as cash, expensive jewellery, watches, to show you how much he/she loves you, be warned! If you do accept the offer by providing sensitive information such as your real phone number or email to him/her, you will soon be receiving calls or emails from the "Customs" requesting for payments in order to 'release' your gift to you.
4. Asking For Personal Information Or Money
So your online match has passed all the tests you’ve set with flying colours. In fact, he/she is perfect in every way: kind, patient, loving and very concerned about your life. They want to know everything about you, including how much your salary is and which bank you go to. They want to know where you live and work so they can send you ‘gifts’. They may ask for suggestive images that can be easily identified as you. Do NOT ignore these red flags!
Known as ‘catfishing’, these are the most cunning scammers who earn your trust with their fake personas before asking for money for reasons like hospital fees or their failing businesses. And when you don’t pay up, they may even start blackmailing you with those sensitive pictures you’ve sent.
Never trust online profiles blindly when you have not met them in real life and always remember to not let your feelings overrule logic. That’s the best way to stay safe while finding the perfect partner.
Happy Valentine’s Day!