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The world of online dating has opened the door to love for millions of men and women up and down the country. While embracing this arena could be the start of your happy ever after, it’s important to remember that there are some dangers to consider too. Catfishing is one of the biggest.

For those that are new to dating, catfishing is when somebody lures another user into a false relationship. They may then ask for money, try to steal your personal data, or use your private messages as a bribery tactic. This is naturally something you’ll want to avoid. Here’s how.

1. Choose the right dating agency

There are literally hundreds of dating websites out there, but only the best will do. Selecting one in which all accounts (like the profiles you’ll find on Old Style Dating!) ensures that you’ll meet genuine people. Knowing that all users are real puts you in a far more confident position and is an aspect that you must not get wrong.

2. Protect your account

We all have a tendency to share too much information online. Stop leaving yourself open to fraudulent activity by changing your privacy settings. In addition to doing this on your dating profile, remember to do the same on social media. After all, catfishes will head straight there.

3. Research their social media account

If other users are going to check your social media accounts, it’s vital that you do the same. If a Facebook page has very few friends and is largely inactive, it could be a red flag. Of course, some people just don’t use social media in the same way as others. Still, it’s something to consider.

4. Use Google

Google’s image search feature is a blessing for anyone using the world of online dating. Search the image of the person you’ve met online and, if multiple profiles surface, there is a strong chance that the person you’re talking to isn’t who they say they are.

5. Ask questions

While you don’t want to scare away a genuine love interest, it’s important to learn as much as you can by asking questions. If answers are vague or contradict each other, there could be an issue. Even if it’s not a catfish, perhaps the person is married. Either way, you’ll want to steer clear.

6. Ask to meet or video call

The sooner you get to verify a person, the sooner you can put your mind at ease. If the person doesn’t want to meet or Skype, their excuses should get the alarm bells ringing. If you do get to video chat, though, be sure not to do anything sexual as this could be used against you.

7. Speak friends and family

Discussing online dating with friends and family may seem a little embarrassing. In truth, the stigma surrounding online dating has long gone. Your loved ones care about you and may see things that you’ve missed due to your hopes of this being something real.

8. Trust your instincts

Many catfishes use very intelligent ideas to trick their suspects. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot spot them. If your gut instincts are telling you that something isn’t quite right, trust them. If alarm bells are ringing before you’ve even met, it’s probably best to find someone else.

Online dating is a wonderful thing, but you need to stay safe at all times. Make sure that you do.

Looking for more Dating tips?

Here are 4 Tips to Choosing An Online Dating Profile Picture.

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