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Online Dating Scams: Don't Believe Talks Of Home Foreclosures

Dating has always been rough, and online dating is scary for many singles, but online Dating scams have become increasingly prevalent over the last few years. Rather than seeking love and companionship, scam artists are usually out for money, and they are uncannily adept at picking vulnerable targets for their ploys.

According to MSNBC, one of the most dangerous aspects of online Dating scams is that the perpetrators will spend weeks-sometimes even months--gaining the trust of their victims. They chat with them online, sometimes even calling them on the phone, and build a solid foundation of trust over the 'net before they strike.

One of the newest such scams involves real estate, which is a testament to the ways in which these scams evolve. Because of the recent panic over foreclosures and other housing woes, many scam artists ask for money to save their homes and to avoid being put out on the street. Their "dates", aware of the thousands of people who have lost their homes due to sub-prime mortgages, feel obligated to help out.

Most of us believe that we're too worldly and experienced to fall for online dating scams, especially after we've read articles like this one. However, what you have to understand is that the specifics of the scams evolve just as fast as victim awareness. Sure, you've heard of the Nigerian advanced-fee scams, but new variations pop up every day. The same is true for online dating scams.

If you're going to pursue online dating in order to find companionship, it isn't enough to know that scam artists exist or to familiarize yourself with the current scams that are making headlines on the news. Instead, you must prepare yourself for the possibility that anyone you meet could be a potential scam artist, thereby preparing yourself for the worst. Furthermore, you must steel yourself against any sob story that might come your way, regardless of how much it might pull at your heart strings.

The easiest way to avoid Online Dating Scams is to set some ground rules before you start posting profiles and responding to the advertisements of others. A proactive approach to Internet dating will ensure that you don't get caught unaware, and will protect you from situations that you might otherwise not deem threatening.

First, don't send money to anyone. You might have been talking to Joe for the last six months about everything from your cat's chronic diarrhea to the impatiens you're planning to plant in your front yard. But when Joe suddenly e-mails with a dire real estate problem-he's facing foreclosure!-don't break out your checkbook and offer to cover his debts. This is most likely a scam.

Of course, it is important to remember that home foreclosures are happening everywhere, and that it might actually be happening to the person you're dating online. However, you can avoid scams by offering helpful solutions to the problem that don't include dipping into your savings account. Suggest credit counselors and repayment negotiations that might help your date to fix his situation.

Source:

Bob Sullivan, Seduced into scams: Online lovers often duped, MSNBC.com

By Steve Thompson - Steve is a full-time freelance writer. In addition to the more than 3, 000 articles he's written for AC, he has also written articles and other materials for more than 100 happy clients. He enjoys writing abo...  

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