Here are some expert tips on avoiding scams:

  • Military pictures should turn on your scam radar warning. Some of the biggest scams occur from supposed soldiers in the armed services with a believable sob story and a desperate need to settle down.
  • Try and keep the conversation going on the dating site messaging system rather than being dragged off to Skype or MSN, at least initially.
  • Employ some basic conversational tests: If the person claims to be local, engage in a local-knowledge conversation (e.g. the weather, some nearby event, sports team, TV, or festival) and watch for mistakes. If the person is not claiming to be local, consider why he or she would want a long-distance relationship. Is there good reason, such as some particularly unusual common ground? If not, why aren’t they restricting themselves to people a bit nearer to their current location?
  • Look out for words like “dear” and old-fashioned romantic language, as well as badly formed sentences.
  •  Never, ever send money to anyone on a dating site!! and especially avoid wiring cash.
  • Always be on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.

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