Looking for and entering into romantic relationships via the Internet has become more common in recent years. A lot of them are ending up as success stories too.¹ However, some Internet dating tips need to be kept in mind when navigating the online dating scene, not only in order to maximize one’s chances of finding the right partner, but also to avoid falling for frauds by scammers who prey on those who are looking for romance and companionship on the Internet.
First of all, one has to consider that people are not always 100 percent truthful when it comes to the information they provide about themselves on Internet dating sites such as Match.com or okcupid.com. According to a report on the website of the New York Times, studies show that a large percentage of people — both men and women — lie about their age, weight or height in their online profiles.² So it’s a good idea to consider this statistic so as not to feel too disappointed when finding out that reality doesn’t match up to expectations.
Internet dating tips from the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana focus on another important aspect of online dating: how to avoid scams or fraud. According to the report, you should be wary if someone you met online immediately wants to communicate with you via telephone or personal e-mail or says “I love you” within your first few online communications.
Probably the most important warning to heed relates to being asked for money. So if your prospective Internet date asks you to send money to him or her for whatever reason, e.g., alleged medical emergencies, travel funds, online purchases, be alert and realize that it could be a scam.³
Finding a date through an Internet dating site could be an enjoyable and fruitful experience. But it’s important to use your common sense and remember the Internet dating tips described above if you want to protect your emotions and your money.