Spotting Scam Artists

If you’re like me, you’re rebuilding. Especially relationships of various kinds. The reasons why are abundantly clear, if we don’t we can have some mighty miserable times, especially around the holidays. Disconnected from old friends, in my case married friends, I’m not invited to events they’ve planned, others, newer friendships that are just starting to build on shaky legs aren’t there yet.

One instead sits at home and binge watches Netflix, although there are  worse fates than watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Now I’m looking forward to next season.

I’m on the market for a bestie, plus maybe one or two close girlfriends. People I can hang out with and who won’t easily be bothered if I hit TMI, just tell me I’ve crossed the line. I’m always on tenterhooks these days, worried I’ll say too much about being trans and make someone uncomfortable and just bottle up my feelings.

And of course it would be nice to find a girlfriend or maybe a boyfriend. I’m starting to wonder whether finding a girlfriend is practical if I find I’m flexible. But this is a story about finding  Miss Right or Miss Right now at least.

There’s a lesbian dating site called Her, and it can be used for free or you can buy a premium subscription that unlocks a few more features. It’s a little odd but it has the basics, searching for people filtered by age and distance. It doesn’t have conventional profiles.

Any site that allows free use is prone to abuse. OK Cupid has this sort of thing too and I’m not sure there aren’t scammers on paid sites but they are probably much less common. At least I didn’t run into them on Match.

How do I know someone is a scammer? I’m glad you asked. Scammers have taken some victims for as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars over years, always just around the corner to meeting them.

Some of these are specific to Her, but most aren’t. Most of these are pretty general.

  • Pictures that are yellowed and/or grainy, and no selfies
  • Brand new and no connections or friends
  • Instant flattery beyond something nice like complimenting your eyes. Someone telling me “Hi gorgeous” is an example. I think I’m ok looking, I know damn well I’m not beautiful.
  • The profile says they live 20 miles away and they say they live in Texas
  • They claim to have been born and lived in the US but apparently don’t know the correct idioms (at best) or totally butcher English (at worst). It is often clear that they are working from a script.
  • Ignoring what you say
  • Declaring affection for you or that they can tell you have a good soul or that you’re loving, etc. never having met you
  • Ignoring requests for a selfie (definitely ask for one)
  • Interestingly claiming to be in the army. Don’t worry, they typically seem to know nothing about the actual names of the army bases and camps. No dear, the name isn’t camp Edgar. Another referring to the Army National Guard as something like the National Army.
  • Claiming a job but knowing nothing about it beyond what you can Google, or being incredibly vague
  • Not really having a conversation
  • Trying to pull you out of the chat and into something outside the dating app. I did that for an app called kik because I could just delete it after, but I would never have done that for something I really use
  • Professing that they will be dedicated to you or that they have feelings for you
  • Them saying age is not important. It is true that there are some young people who like to date older people, but unless everything else is squeaky clean I wouldn’t buy it. Plus I really think there’s little or no long term relationship potential between me and a thirty year old.

Needless to say, under no circumstances should you ever agree to send money or provide personal information.



One thought on “Spotting Scam Artists

  1. Omg, my girl friend and i was just discussing this issue yesterday. She got almost caught up in one of these very things several years ago. She was telling me what to look for and well it was all there and i was getting the woolies anyways. So when you call them out on things they tend to disappear. At least I’m not the only one who felt this way and feel I’m just going to have to start hitting the bars instead. Online dating is just to damn stressful.


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