Halloween’s once-a-year scary, but merry, festivities will soon be upon us. Online dating, however, is a scary proposition all year long.
Below are some tips on what NOT to do when looking for love online.
WARNING: MARRIED PEOPLE AND CRIMINALS WILL BE PROSECUTED
Online dating site True.com’s “value proposition” is “Background screenings for felons and married people; We can't guarantee criminals won't get on the site, but we can guarantee they'll be sorry if they do":
If you are married and representing yourself as single, or if you are a convicted criminal, be aware that you could be guilty of fraud and subject to civil and criminal penalties under U.S. federal and state law. For example, Title 18, Section 1343 of the U.S. Code authorizes fines of up to $250,000 and jail sentences of up to five years for each offense. TRUE reserves the right to report violators to appropriate law enforcement authorities and seek prosecution or civil redress to the fullest extent of the law. If you are married or a convicted criminal, please close your browser.
DON’T BECOME A “PROFESSIONAL ONLINE DATER”
Onlinedatingmagazine.com warns against turning into a jaded “professional online dater”:
Professional online daters who start relationships will generally keep a back door open, silently known as “an escape route.” As soon as there is any difficulty in the relationship, instead of trying to iron things out, they cut and run. The next morning, they “unhide” their profile on the 25 dating services they belong to, that is if they ever took the time to hide their profile in the first place.
You are a “professional online dater” if:
You find yourself comparing someone you’re meeting or talking to with a great profile you’ve just seen.
You sometimes want to end a date early, so you can go back home and check your messages and mailbox.
You stopped seeing someone because a better prospect landed in your inbox.
STOP DREAMING ABOUT OVERSEAS ROMANCE
The United Kingdom’s “Office of Fair Trading” advises that in online dating, there is no “dream partner from overseas”:
An online dating scam is when a scammer, male or female, creates a false personal profile and makes contact with you via an online dating agency or even a specialised chat room. The scammer says that they are seeking romance or a soul mate but are really out to steal not only your heart but your cash too.
The scammer will ask for your money! This will not happen immediately - however, before long the scammer will ask for financial help for any number of reasons. Almost always, they will ask you to send money using an untraceable source such as a telegraphic money transfer. Some of the most common reasons they give for why they need your help include:
I want to meet you but I don't have enough money to travel to see you,
I have been robbed and beaten or I require urgent surgery or treatment for a serious illness or me or my family member has been a victim of a serious or fatal accident and you are the only person who can help,
I am stranded abroad and I don't have money for travel or visa costs.
Other signs are:
your new date looks like a model - this is probably because the scammer has used a stolen or a magazine picture
your new date only gives you a post office address and/or a phone number which he or she never answers and which does not have voicemail
DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN A MILLIONAIRE
MillionaireMatch.com asks “Does your economic success make it difficult for you to meet that special someone?”:
Why try other dating websites that can only claim to get results, when you can meet tens of thousands of successful and quality singles and friends right here!
This is the best and largest place in the world to meet successful, beautiful friends and singles for dating, fun, or a relationship that may last a lifetime.
Our clients include CEOs, professional athletes and doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, professional models and cheerleaders, engineers, and Hollywood celebrities, just to name a few.
Everyone is welcome here to find their perfect matches or quality friendships. (BUT) You don't have to be rich or famous to enjoy the site.
DON’T BE A CHEAP DATE
JupiterResearch finds rising prices keep new subscribers away from online dating:
A January 2006 JupiterResearch consumer survey found that 5% of Internet users paid for online dating subscriptions in the last year. Industry-wide user conversion rates fell for the first time since JupiterResearch began tracking that metric.
Nate Elliott, JupiterResearch Analyst says, "Although online dating revenues continue to grow, rising prices have kept a large number of users from converting to paid subscribers. Thirty seven percent of visitors who don't convert say dating sites cost too much, making it their leading complaint."
The Beatles may sing out “Can't buy me love, love...” but in online dating love doesn’t come cheap, or risk-free!