How to spot a scammer
At Match we want to ensure that you have a safe, friendly experience on the site. Remember that on Match you you are fully in control of your search and can choose to take things at your own pace.The approach that members take to get to know you will always vary. However, in all cases it is worth asking yourself, “Is this person looking for a relationship, and are they interested in the person I am”. The sort of photos they use as well as the language of the personal ad can help you decide whether the member is genuinely looking for a partner or not.
To make your dating experience as safe as possible, we’ve laid down simple and easy-to-follow advice on how to spot people who might not be as trustworthy as you think.
What is a scammer
A scammer is anyone using match.com disingenuously to trick or scam other members, normally by asking for money.
How to safeguard against scammers
Match’s dedicated Customer Care team works hard to ensure that unwanted accounts are removed from the site. Our moderation team manually check photos and personal ads across the site and a built-in screening system helps identify suspicious accounts, remove them and prevent re-registration.
While we are confident that our measures ensure a high level of security, we urge members to maintain vigilance while dating online and report any suspicious profiles to safeguard other members.
Behaviour to watch out for
We encourage all members to report any behaviour they deem inappropriate. Behaviour we urge all members to report include:
- Asking for money or banking information
- Offering paid services
- Claiming to be stationed abroad or frequently traveling
- Refusing to meet in person or speak on the phone
- Pushing a serious relationship before meeting
- Forcefully asking for personal information
- Sending you links to other websites
- Repeating themselves frequently and appearing disconnected in communication
- Avoiding answering questions about themselves
Language and character traits of scammers
- Using a combination of words like “honesty”, “trustworthy”, “loving” and “caring”.
- Being overly romantic e.g “walking down the beach holding hands” or “sleeping under the stars”.
- Describing themselves as a “simple person”
- Including phrases such as:
- “I will love to get to know you better”
- “This is my last day on the website”
- “Write me your email address”
- “You have a beautiful smile”
- Starting sentences with “Am” instead of “I am”
- References to “true love”
- Job based overseas, e.g. Pilot, Soldier, General military personnel.
- Sob story – the scammer has a major setback in life, e.g. kids / partner died.
- Overcome with love and affection despite never meeting you.
- Quick to take communication away from the website, pushing to exchange email addresses.
- Asks many questions about you, while revealing only very general information about themselves.
- Requests for money, for reasons including:
– Stuck overseas and need funds for travel home
– Arranged to visit you but unable to afford travel costs
– Lots of money stuck in a bank account which they’re unable to get to until they reach UK / home.
– Medical issues, sudden need for treatment
How to report a suspected scammer
Click “Report this profile” where you see suspicious behaviour. Places to report a user can be found:
- At the bottom of the member’s profile
- Above the typing area on Instant Messenger
- Beneath an email message
- By clicking the three dots in the top right hand corner of a profile on the match.com app
Scenarios of scammer behaviour
I’ve met someone online and say they need travel expenses to visit me, is this a scam?
Using the list of scammer behaviour to watch out for, this unfortunately, sounds like suspicious scammer behaviour. You should never send money to someone to meet online, whatever the premise. Scammers will often pocket the money or use the bank details you have given to gain access to your online banking and pocket even more money. Scammers may go as far as sending fake documentation to corroborate their claims such as: photocopied plane tickets, visa requirements and passport information . Do not trust anyone behaving this way and report the member to match.com to safeguard further members.
I’ve been asked to support a charity from a member I don’t know very well, is this a scam?
Unfortunately, scammers will often use noble causes such as charities to get you to transfer money. There are many reputable charity websites which are completely safe to transfer money to, however charities do not solicit donations through dating websites and so if you do not know the person well and they are asking for money, chances are they are working on a scam. Stay clear and report the member to match.com
Someone I have been messaging online has told be of a lucrative business idea, is this a scam?
Never send money to people who propose business ventures or suggest sending money to help get you rich, especially if the offer requires urgent action for a limited time only. The scenarios vary in details from inheritance money that needs to released, to gold mining in Africa, however the story is always the same. No matter how earnest or tempting the offer, never send money or financial information to anyone claiming to have a business idea you can cash in on. These stories are cleverly formulated to make the scammer rich. Don’t trust them and report the member for inappropriate behaviour.
A match.com member needs money to help a family member, is this a scam?
Never send money to other members; however desperate the situation may seem. You could risk your details being used for identity theft or money laundering which is a criminal offence.
Trust your instincts and ask yourself “is this person looking for a relationship, and are they interested in the person I am?”. The way they communicate and the sort of photos and information they use on their profile should help decipher if their interest is genuine.
Relationships and trust naturally happen over time, beware of anyone rushed declarations of affection.
Use match.com messenger for all initial contact and never disclose personal contact information without feeling completely comfortable to.
Requests for money or financial assistance are not acceptable. You should never send money to anyone you meet online; just as you would never give money to someone you recently met in a pub or cafe.
For more information and advice on staying safe online, read our safety article.