As you step out into the world of dating, you are full of hope, nerves and anticipation. This is an exciting time, full of possibilities but unfortunately there are plenty of people waiting and ready to take advantage of your vulnerability. It is not a good idea to approach dating with cynicism, but at the same time it is advisable not to enter into it with naivety. Your first step to avoiding a dating scam is just to be aware that they are out there and know the signs to look out for.
Dodgy Dating AgenciesThere are so many dating agencies that take on so many different forms; it is difficult to know which of them are genuine. With the internet scene constantly growing and new genres such as speed dating emerging, there are many people ready to cash in on your dates.
The best way to judge the worth of an agency is by recommendation. Ask friends, family and colleagues if they have had any experience with a good agency and take note of any scare stories. Similarly, maybe you have seen an agency mentioned on the news or chat show. Big name agencies are generally a safe option as they have established themselves, have money behind them and a reputation to uphold. Just because an agency advertises on TV, radio or in the local paper doesn’t make it reputable – it just means they have spent a bit of cash.
You can apply the same criteria to internet agencies and also search online forums to find out what other people’s experiences have been.
Before you part with any money, make sure you know exactly what you are getting and have a written record of what they are promising. Check out general prices amongst a couple of different agencies, what they offer and the standard of their services. If you think you have been taken advantage of report to it trading standards. Writing to your local newspaper about the incident is also a way of exposing them.
Personal Scam ArtistsThere are plenty of amazing people for you to meet on the dating scene. Unfortunately there are also a few that are there to take advantage of you. These people look for vulnerable targets that they think they can easily coerce and gain their trust quickly. Don’t let yourself be their next victim. Again, it may make you feel cynical but by being wary about any new date will help you protect yourself. If your date seems to be asking too many questions or prying into your personal or financial life then be careful. Scam artists are very adept at putting their victims at ease and making them trust them. The best thing to do is trust your instinct. Sometimes something just doesn’t feel right but you can’t put your finger on why – listen to that feeling. Usually we have had doubts about people who turn out to be bogus but have convinced ourselves we are being silly.
Never give out any financial details, addresses or passwords to anyone, no matter what their reasoning is. If they are genuine they will have no need for it anyway.
Don’t think that everyone is out to scam you because they are not. The majority of agencies and dates will be perfectly genuine but it is always sensible to be aware of the possibilities and watch for any warning signs.