When meeting someone on the internet or through dating apps, it’s always good to take a step back.
The so-called “fake dates” are still on the rise as are virtual scams — which have even gone viral on streaming with shocking stories (such as The Tinder Scam and Masters of Deception, both from Netflix ).
To avoid unpleasant surprises during dates and avoid possible theft, we spoke to experts and separated tips for you to prevent yourself from online conversations, even before leaving home.
1. Check social networks
This first step has almost become a natural reflex in times of virtual interactions and contacts created on the internet.
For those who have just made a new match and are meeting someone online, this is also the first point to consider. You have to check Instagram and Facebook from start to finish,”.
Even if the person is not an assiduous user and does not post content regularly, the simple fact of being present in the digital universe can already indicate that this is not a fake profile looking for scams.
2. What if the person doesn’t have a profile on the internet?
In that case, it is better to be suspicious immediately. “Of course, there will be one or another suitor who doesn’t like social media, but even so, it’s something very rare — even because this person is available on dating apps.
“If the individual is nowhere and doesn’t use their cell phone much, that’s fine. But if it’s just on Tinder, it’s pretty weird.”
3. Know how to check images
Some research tools help to find out if the images used in the suitor’s profile are genuine and do not belong to someone else.
One of the simplest processes involves right-clicking on the photo, copying the URL, and pasting it on images.google.com — the engine will identify if this photo has already been used elsewhere.
Apps like Reverse Image Search and TinEye are also useful for Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. Just copy or save the portrait and download it into the app, which cross-references the file with similar results and indicates whether the image matches the profile.
4. Avoid giving out personal information
Andréia reinforces the importance of not disclosing information such as residential addresses or place of work in the first conversation. This approach involves personal issues scares.
I have already been sent two stories like this, in which the women were asked several questions and, luckily, they touched each other and did not take the conversation further.” According to her, nowadays men are the main profile of victims.
“Girls are much more used to checking information. Most men are not that careful about apps. They risk seeking flirts in isolated and dangerous places.”
5. Phone calls, video calls, and the “picture of now”
An alternative to meeting the suitors before leaving the house is to make video calls or send photos of the current moment – popularized by the phrase “send a photo of now”, a meme in the flirting universe.
These girls send photos and videos via WhatsApp and FaceTime. In addition, these groups scour your Instagram and other networks to see if there is potential for robbery.
There are two different paths: women fall more into scams that involve betrayal and men fall into much worse crimes, with risk of death”.
6. Good old Google
For those who cannot pay a detective in cases of mistrust, Daniele says that it is possible to obtain basic tools from internet search services.
If you have the person’s data (such as the cell phone number), you can access information on Number Tracker and check the age, for example. But still, there is a risk, and if no information matches the profile, get out.
7. Never lend money
It may seem obvious, but it’s good to reinforce. Just like in the documentary The Tinder Scam, a simple request for “help” can be very expensive in the future. “I have clients who have already given cars to Tinder suitors.
Someone else invested in a business with her new boyfriend, and it turned out that his name wasn’t on the documents. You have to be very careful not to fall into traps.” The same goes for encounters that can turn into sudden trips. Best to avoid!
8. Bonus: Make appointments in public places
Last but not least, it’s essential to schedule meetings (especially if it’s with someone you haven’t met in person) in public places such as malls, squares, parks, and restaurants in high-traffic locations.