Last year in November, a young Kenyan student was reported to have been allegedly murdered by a boyfriend she had met online few months before the accident took place. The accused British citizen was later discharged because the investigation showed the insufficient evidence.
This story doesn’t seem to be that frightening, eh? Maybe because this is just a petite example of the dangers you might face while dating online.
Yes, you may be easygoing, carefree and definitely – young, and these years are flawless. But it doesn’t mean you should be absolutely indifferent to your online security. Why? Let’s find that out.
1. Your chat partner may appear not who you supposed it to be.
Yes, for sure, online dating is totally comfortable for a student: it shortens the way to get acquainted and ask for a date. Sometimes you basically don’t have enough time to search in bars and clubs for a person to hook up with. But be observant – the person you talk to can surprisingly turn out to be someone else and, as well, have some cruel intentions. This is a flipside of modern technologies. Trust your gut. Or ask for a recent photo that includes a newspaper with a date; although everything can be forged nowadays.
2. Not a date at all.
Some chat partners may appear not dates at all – or not even living creatures, but a scam to hit you up with marketing messages or other spam. Stay out of members who instantly ask for your email or cell phone number – it’s a scam in almost every case. Nothing really bad happens if you share your private information (as long as it is not your insurance or credit card number), but the annoyance you feel about permanently receiving spam is ineffable.
3. The Online Shakedown.
The most common and, maybe, the most hurtful of all scams. A person gets to know you, signifies its affection and then asks for a small (or not that small) financial help in order to visit you or because of some troubles, whatever. Avoiding this one is quite easy – just don’t send any money to your online dates. Sometimes, such type of scam is accompanied with mismatches in your date’s messages. In the end, are you that rich to send money to strangers? If you are – why should still be a student?
4. Dating a sociopath.
Or any other kind of persons who are not to be called normal. The Net gives numerous opportunities for insane people to fulfill their social needs. Meeting such person in real life sounds like the greatest stupidity of all. But in online chat such person can act absolutely trivial. Your ‘relationship’ with this one would move on rarely fast, conversations are interesting and exciting as these guys are often highly educated. Further manipulation occurs, to let you know just how ‘special’ you are to them. Other reactions and actions of these persons are unpredictable. Stay out of people who seem to act too obsessive and strangely, don’t provide much information about yourself, and be generally cautious. If curiosity overpowers you – take someone with you on a date and make sure you meet in a public space.
Dating scams are probably as old as civilization itself. But like all things driven down the information super highway, online dating is one way dating scams have picked up speed. You can experience such things while you are young, but try not to ruin your student years with such escapades. Even if you don’t feel it, these scums break your heart. Value yourself highly and respect your comfort – these parts of you will become more important in the adulthood.