Online dating can be an easy way to meet potential partners and with an estimated 91 million people worldwide using dating sites and apps, you certainly won’t be stuck for choice of potential suitors. But as with everything online, this type of dating doesn’t come without its risks and the problems of online dating continue to affect thousands of unsuspecting users.
In fact, an extensive report from Kaspersky found that a staggering 55% of people who have tried online dating have experienced some form of threat or problem, ranging from a security incident to meeting with someone who lied about their identity. You may have even fallen victim to an online dating scam yourself.
Below we outline five of the biggest problems with online dating and how to spot the signs
1. Scammers prey on vulnerable individuals
Sadly, there will always be scammers and fraudsters out there looking to exploit trusting, vulnerable individuals who are just looking for love. These might be people hoping to steal your identity, extract money from you or gain access to your personal, sensitive information.
This can be done through a range of tactics but a common one is asking seemingly harmless questions to gather as much information about you as possible. In fact, the same study found that over one in 8 (13%) of those who use dating sites have been tricked into sharing sensitive information with a fraudster.
Remember, if you’re talking to someone genuine they should never ask you to part with your money or give away any sensitive information like your address or bank details. So be careful not to share too much and sadly, if someone seems too good to be true, it’s probably because they are.
2. People lie
A whopping 57% of people that use online dating sites confess to lying on their profiles. This can range from white lies like adding a few inches to their height, to lying about their marital status, name or even who they are altogether.
This is one of the biggest problems with online dating. Anyone can create a profile and say whatever they want about themselves – true or not! This has become known as ‘catfishing’ – the practice of creating fake online personas to trick people into forming romantic relationships.
3. Hackers can access your information
Those that use dating websites are twice as likely (41% compared to 20%) to fall victim to a cybersecurity incident than those who don’t. This is because cybercriminals can use the apps to gain access to their devices or to infect their devices with viruses. This can lead to them accessing or tampering with sensitive, personal information stored within – for example, accessing bank details or your home address through a smartphone
4. You could be putting yourself in danger
It’s a sad reality that there will always be unsavoury people out there and some of them choose to use online dating as a way to prey on unsuspecting individuals. This means when setting a date with a stranger you met online, you could be meeting quite literally anyone and you could be placing yourself in real danger.
If you choose to meet with someone you found on an online dating site, be sure to always meet in a public place and think about taking someone with you in the first instance to ensure your date is who they say they are.
5. Dating scams can be extremely costly
The BBC revealed that scams rose by over 64% in 2019. In fact, between January and June of last year, as much as £7.9 million was lost to dating scams, with only £500,000 of that being returned to the victims.
These staggering figures show the extent of online dating fraud and sadly, while we all like to think we’re sensible, criminals are always finding new ways to steal money from unsuspecting individuals. This could be by asking for money to sign up to their dating site, or perhaps users of the dating site who you’ve formed a relationship with then asking for money for a visa or as insurance on a date.
Whatever the scam, it’s clear that many people are still losing out to these callous schemes.
The alternative: Choose dating agencies instead
If you’re looking for a partner but you want a safer way to do it, dating agencies can be the perfect answer. They will ensure potential suitors have been properly checked and verified to make sure they are who they say they are. Plus, dating agencies don’t require extensive profiles full of your personal information and they reduce the likelihood of you falling victim to a security breach or scam.
At Ignite Dating, we offer a safe environment for you to meet single, like-minded people. Our service is confidential, offering complete discretion and there’s no need for you to create an online profile. If you want to avoid the perils of online dating, find out how we can help by getting in touch