On the heels of a recent news story about a rather gullible person getting their car stolen while meeting someone for a date from an online personal ad, at their house, (c’mon man), I thought it might be prudent to re-post this Online Dating Advice article Dating Scams – How to Avoid Them, by Jay Reiss, The Online Dating Coach. It’s a little dated but it still holds true, and there are some good examples at the end which you can read if you click to the original article. It also focuses specifically on Craigslist, which is a little unfair, but it applies to all free online personal ad forums.
Be on the Alert fo these Dating Scams in Your Inbox
How to Avoid a Craigslist Scam
Within 30 minutes of my placing a few Personal Ads on Craigslist, I received the following emails. All of them are Dating Scams and here’s what they have in common:
1. They arrived within a few minutes of my posting my ads.
2. None of them referred to anything I wrote in my personal ads – and no personal reactions were offered. This is a Red Flag and a classic sign of a Craigslist Scam in my experience.
3. Lots of suspicious email addresses were used.
4. Most of these replies asked me to log into another website – a BIG Red Flag of Dating Scams all by itself!
5. Notice that almost all of these emails ask me to reply to a different email address than the one used to write to me. Typically, a Craigslist Scam will operate this way too.
6. Also notice the attempt at using “hip” language – for example, “what’s shakin” and “I really dug your post” etc. This language is generations apart from today’s “hip” language. It comes across as a fifty-year-old trying to sound like a twenty-year-old (and many Dating Scams sound like this).
My advice is to be on the alert for similar emails if you post personal ads on Craigslist – and to avoid becoming a victim to a Craigslist Scam, do not answer them!