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Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining.However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.The Risks Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious. Viruses & Spyware A basic understanding of computer viruses and spyware.
You should check if the dating site you are using is a member of the Online Dating Association (ODA).Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.Inclusion of the ODA's logo on the site indicates membership.Creating your online dating profile: protect your identity and personal information Be Anonymous - Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are.Don't include your surname or any other identifying information such as your place of work either in your profile or when you first make contact.