Dating in this day and age means competing in an arena of glamour and glitz to sell a winning dating profile. Online dating apps have taken the world by storm, and everyone is committed to finding a match, a new buddy with the same hobby, or just a stranger for the night. Finding a genuine connection can be difficult, and modern dating continues to struggle with the rise of online dating scams. Dating and starting a new relationship can be exhilarating if you find the right one for you.
It’s no wonder people are exhausted from a continuous trend of swiping, liking, being ghosted, and getting catfished on dating platforms. Ghosting is unexpectedly ending a communication without explanation, often at the peak of getting to know someone on a deeper level. Everyone reacts to being ghosted in a number of ways, ranging from apathetic to feeling betrayed and devastated. Some argue that ghosting is directly linked to online dating and use such strategies to cope with difficult decisions in moving the relationship forward. The bottom line is that ghosting can be mentally and emotionally distressing due to its lack of closure.
The word catfish is just as intriguing as the act itself. Catfishing is a severe issue with online relationships in which one person pretends to be an individual or something they are not. Master manipulators of the online world can easily grab ahold of someone’s identity and property. Anyone can be a target if left vulnerable to these scammers. They operate for a number of reasons varying from simple boredom and wanting to target someone’s insecurity to illegal acts of fraud resulting in the financial loss of the victim.
A scammer will always use their victim’s insecurity and weakness to their advantage. Love bombing is one of their techniques to gain their trust and control the pace of the conversation. This particular technique is also used to play with the victim’s emotions, boost their self-esteem, and get them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, like giving money to someone they haven’t met in person. After they’ve earned their target’s trust, they’ll pretend to have an emergency, a medical issue, or travel fees. The Tinder Swindler is an excellent example of this type of scam. According to the Netflix documentary, his plan was to meet women on Tinder and trick them into believing he was a wealthy heir dealing in the risky diamond business. He developed long-distance relationships with his victims and used their money for luxurious trips.
As human beings, we are designed for social interactions, and a real connection is still a rare find these days. Although falling in love involves a chemical reaction that decreases careful thinking and leads to poor judgment, proper education is the key to prevention against catfishers and reacting excessively negatively to being ghosted. Recognizing red flags in the conversation will help you get out as fast as you can. Stop the conversation the second you feel uncomfortable, and inform someone about your situation. Having control over your decisions and keeping in check your well-being will keep you out of danger.