THE BLOG
07/31/2015 05:22 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2016

How to Protect Yourself From Online Dating Site Scammers

shutterstock

You would be shocked at how often I hear stories about women connecting with scammers on legitimate dating sites. These men are con artists who will find a way to touch your heart and your pocketbook without a second thought.

I don't want to scare you and cause you to stop going online. There are plenty of good men out there for you to date. I want you to be able to protect yourself from potential scammers by being able to identify clues that will tip you off.

Here's what to know about online dating site scammers and the single best way to keep yourself from falling victim to one of them.

Who The Scammers Are

These men will often say they live in metropolitan cities in the US but their work takes them elsewhere in the world. They say things like, "I'll be back soon. Wait for me. I can't wait to meet you."

In reality, most of these men are from other countries. Jobs that pay well are scarce. Men there who are willing to con you have learned that in a couple of hours a day, they can easily communicate with women in the US, find their weak spots and make a fortune.

They speak with British accents, knowing American women easily fall for their voices. They sound romantic to us.

They will send you pictures of themselves and they're usually really handsome. Look closely at these pictures. They are often shots of models they've pulled from the internet. Sometimes the men in the picture don't even consistently look the same from shot to shot.

A huge tip off is when they send you family pictures of children or grandchildren but they aren't in the picture with them.

They often send poems they say they wrote for you, but they just copied and pasted them off the internet.

How To Spot A Scammer

As you chat for hours every day, scammers will find your weak spot. If you've lost a close member of your family, don't be surprised if they tell you they have too.

They use holes in your heart to get you to trust them. We bond easily with people who have had similar losses in their lives.

You Can't Find Any Trace of Them.

Try searching for their name on Google. You aren't likely to find anything. But if you confront them about it, within days you will see a listing pop up with their name and phone number.

They make excuses for never being able to see you.

They say they want to see you so badly and even tell you they are making arrangements to travel in a month or two. Yet as the date arrives, suddenly they aren't available and the date gets moved back over and over again.

Or they will share news of the big business deal they are in. You'll hear how they just need a little more money to finish it.

They'll tell you this is all the money the bank will give them and how their family members have invested too.

Then they'll email you copies of contracts to make the deal seem legit and ask you for a loan just until the deal is signed. Once the deal is done, they say they'll wire your money back to your bank account.

Never, Ever Give Them Access to Your Financial Resources!

Through this negotiation you hear a lot of I love you, I can't wait to see you, baby, and As soon as this clears up, I'll be there and we'll be together.

The #1 Best Way To Protect Yourself

Follow this formula with the men you communicate with online...

Keep emails to no more than 3 or 4.

Then move to the phone.

Keep phone calls to 1 or 2 max.

Then meet ASAP!

He will try and keep you in the communication process as long as he can with his romantic poems and sad stories of his life. He wants you to feel guilty saying no to him. Don't get pulled into this con. Move on and date other men. Don't get pulled into a fantasy relationship that will rip your heart in two and wipe you out financially if you're not careful.

Date men within driving distance of home. If a man tells you he'll be out of the country for a month or two, tell him to give you a call when he gets back. Don't mention your income or where you work. You can say you're a nurse or an executive but don't mention where or how much you make.

Be aware of sounding needy and lonely in your profile. It makes you perfect prey for scammers looking to hook you into their scams. If you're not certain about someone, write to me or share your story with your friends. They are objective and can give you an honest opinion of what they believe is going on.

If this has happened to you, you are not alone.

Thousands of men and women get caught up in these scams. Situations like this can leave you feeling emotionally devastated. You might find you have a hard time trusting men again.

There are lots of really good men out there to date online. Yes, there are scammers on all of them, but now you have the tools to spot them.

Lisa Copeland is known as the expert on over 50's dating. She's the best-selling author of The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50 and her mission is to help as many women around the world as she can discover how to have fun dating and finding their Mr. Right after 50. To get your FREE Report, "5 Little Known Secrets To Find A Quality Man," visit www.findaqualityman.com.