How to Spot a Scammer: A Relationship Expert's Tips to Stay Safe When Online Dating

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Published Date|
April 2, 2024

How to Spot a Scammer: A Relationship Expert's Tips to Stay Safe When Online Dating

Have you ever swiped right on someone who seems too good to be true?

Online dating scams are becoming more common than ever, and it can be hard to know how to spot them. 

Relationship expert and KMA Therapy Founder Kimberly Moffit spoke to CBC News New York to give you the tips you need to stay safe when searching for the love of your life.

From spotting common scams to finding out their true identity, Kimberly offers plenty of ways to spot a scammer before they waste your time, money, and energy.

After watching this video, you’ll know how to spot a scammer and stay safe while online dating.

Why are Online Dating Scams So Common?


When it comes to romance, we are so excited to meet the love of our life. Meeting someone in today's day and age is hard enough, and when we find someone that has a few qualities that we think are what we really want, our emotions start to get elevated. We get excited. 

Sometimes, those excited emotions cause us to see this person with rose-coloured glasses. Unfortunately, this can be a fun thing. It's very exciting. But those rose-coloured glasses can also make us see red flags and willfully ignore them. In my work as a relationship expert, I've also seen people not even see the red flags at all.

The 3 Most Common Online Dating Scams

So what are some romance scams that people should watch out for when online dating? 

what are the most common online dating scams

So when you're online dating, there's a couple of ways that people can scam you. People can scam you of your time and people can scam you out of your money. 

1. Asking you to pay for travel expenses

So when it comes to money, you really want to be looking for things like travel expenses. So if you really hit it off, and this person says, “Oh, I really need some money so I can book a flight to come and see you.” You send them the money and then surprise surprise, they never come. 

2. Asking you to cover medical costs

Another thing is that they might ask for money for medical expenses. Maybe they have a family member that’s sick or they claim to be sick themselves, it's something you should watch out for. 

3. Needing money to get out of trouble

Another thing is that they just have a really extravagant life, wild things are happening, and they've gotten themselves into some trouble, and suddenly they asked for money as a way to save them. 

These are some really classic schemes that you see online and things that you should definitely be on high alert for. 

How to Prepare for a First Date With Someone You Met Online

So what are the best tips for properly vetting someone before going on a date? 

1. Keep your conversations on the dating app

It's really important to actually stay on the app until you're comfortable going off the app if you are online dating. 

For example, a dating scammer is going to try to get you off the app as soon as possible because they want to lovebomb you and they don't want the app to flag them. So don't actually get off the app until you're feeling comfortable until you're pretty sure that this person has a rapport with you. 

2. Research their phone number and social media handles

Once you've exchanged numbers, you're going to want to Google that number. 

Look for things like:

  • Where's the area code?
  • Do any names come up?
  • Is it consistent with the things that they told you about who they are?

You want to be really hyper-aware of these things, and if anything doesn't seem quite right, ask about it. 

3. Ask for a new photo

The other thing you can do is ask this person to send you pictures of what they're doing that day. 

You can always look at the time and location stamps of photos, and if something doesn't line up that could be another red flag. 

Next Steps for Safe and Successful Dating

After watching this video, you know how to spot scammers and stay safe while online dating.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re relationship experts. We’re here to help you navigate the complicated dating landscape and help you feel confident when finding the love you deserve.

Register online to learn more about working with a relationship therapist or download our free Therapy 101 Guide to explore how therapy could work for you.

If you’re not ready to take the first step, read these articles for more information:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead
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