Dating apps give you the opportunity to meet many potential partners. The problem is that there are many you may have to weed out before finding the right one. There are also plenty of scammers out there who will take advantage of those looking for a real relationship. It’s natural to want to ignore online dating red flags if you are developing feelings, but you are just deferring the inevitable. Here are some online dating red flags and how to avoid them.

online dating red flags

A sketchy digital footprint

If your match remains a mystery when you do an online search of their name, it’s not a good sign. The person could be a catfish with a fake profile. It is easy to set up a fake profile on a dating site. A thin or generic profile on a dating site is another warning sign.

Plenty of pics, but few words could be a sign that someone is not really invested in finding a romantic partner. It’s not worth wasting your time if a profile doesn’t give you a good glimpse into who a person is. Someone who doesn’t put some time into saying more about themselves and what they’re looking for is unlikely to want to put time into a relationship. Zero effort on a profile should be a warning sign. You should also be wary of online profiles that have inconsistencies. If you’re suspicious, you can do a reverse Google image search of a profile pic to find out where it comes from.

You might  find images to be misleading and something that you cannot trust easily. You might try to entertain yourself through pre-recorded videos on the adult entertainment sites but you might also find them to be phony and non-authentic. The world has transformed digitally on a massive scale and the popularity of free cam sites is one of the key things to happen in the digital sphere. They are highly interactive and offer transparency and connection when you meet someone directly on the webcam. Knowing a person directly through the cam is the best alternative to spending endless time on dating sites.

Attempts to move you off the dating site

Scammers will try to move you away from the dating site. They want to get you to another site where they can get your personal information, credit card information and other personal details. If someone quickly tries to make a connection with you and starts flattering you, you need to be wary. You could soon get a message asking you to use another phone number or go to another website or email address. Don’t leave the original dating site because if you do, you are no longer covered by its security measures or terms and conditions.

Appearing and disappearing without a plausible explanation

You may experience being ghosted while dating online. This is almost always a red flag. If someone you’re interested in disappears every now and then, there’s a good chance they are not being honest about their relationship status or intentions. If they aren’t emotionally available, they could lead you on. You could find yourself in a relationship that’s not emotionally healthy for you.

Keep an eye out for any mixed signals. If someone frequently disappears for so-called emergencies, it’s better to cut off any romantic relationship. Consistency is key to successful dating.

Not wanting to meet on Facetime/Skype or in person

You are most likely to be dating online because you want a real-life partner. Unfortunately, there are many people who accumulate matches online without any intention of translating them into real life. If you’ve been talking to someone online for a while and they always make excuses not to meet up in real life, you should probably cut your losses.

Another reason for not wanting to meet in person is if the person is a catfish with a fake profile. If someone always makes excuses not to meet and requests that you send money, you are being taken for a ride. Asking for money is one of the most obvious signs that someone is talking to you for the wrong reasons.

If you meet someone online and start chatting, insist that you chat on Skype or FaceTime by at least the end of the third week to make sure you aren’t wasting your time with a fake profile or a married man.

Asking for sexual pics or videos

The prevalence of online dating has led to an increased amount of digital intimacy. With this comes more potential for sexual harassment and sharing of private pics and videos without consent. Asking for digital content can be a ‘turn on’ when someone cares about you, and it is done safely, but it can turn into a nightmare in other scenarios. Dating in the digital-first world means it is just as important to have safety conversations online as you would in real life.

Avoid sweet talkers who continually flatter you and start telling you they love you before they really know you. Someone who goes heavy on compliments may not have the best of intentions. They may be paving the way to blackmail. If you engage in sexual activity via video chat, you open yourself up to sexual blackmail. Scammers will record encounters and ask you for money.