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If you fall into this category, be especially wary of people that you meet through dating websites. If there's a single mantra to keep in mind, it's this -- the number one defense against phishing is awareness. Have you been the victim of an online romance scam? Think Again Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison targeted primarily at cheating spouses has been hacked. Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam. However this is a far more serious issue than has been portrayed in the press, with considerable implications for user safety. Read More or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say. Share in the comments below! The reverse search engine that usually gets most of the clicks is TinEye. Asking for any other financial information—where you bank, anything about your credit cards, how much you have in savings—should be a big warning sign. The AARP also says that seniors are a common target of these scams. This week, the database has been leaked. If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. Read More , but it could also be a scammer. Are your indiscretions about to become public? However, repeated excuses at the last minute are a definite warning sign. Not Being Able to Meet While the British scammer mentioned in the introduction to this article met his victims in person, most scammers will avoid face-to-face meetings at all costs. Taking these precautions can help save you thousands of dollars—and even more heartbreak. What tipped you off to the scam? Some scammers will use similar excuses for avoiding phone conversations, though many will talk to you on the phone before reeling you in for the scam. Trust Your Instincts Most of the time, you can spot an online dating scammer by trusting your instincts—if something looks off, be extra wary. Read More , so sharing any sensitive information might be a bad idea anyway. They might even set up a time to meet and then say they were held up by something else. This is difficult for non-native speakers. It all seems obvious in hindsight, but people want to believe in other people, and that can get in the way of our better judgment.
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