Younger men dating older women or “cougars” has been all the rage in recent years thanks to a progressive movement of the younger generation towards anti-ageism and inclusivity. Cougar dating apps like MilfsLocal are a testament to this. However, people are still wary of using them because of the dangers that may be present online. That’s why we’ve collated some of the top cougar dating scams and are here to give you tips on how to avoid falling prey to many of them.
If you’re interested in finding out more about what they are, you’ve come to the right place! Read on and tag along with us as we guide you through everything you need to arm yourself with when it comes to dating scams in the online dating world.
What is a dating scam?
Fraud and scams have been with us for a long time. However, it has evolved along with technology, primarily how people socialize, thanks to improvements in communication and social media.
As online dating has become the norm these days, scammers have become smarter in running their schemes. A dating scam may present itself as a decoy to lure innocent users into being either extorted for wealth or confidential personal information they may use for whatever purpose they have in mind. The FBI even states that romance scams are rampant online, leading to an estimate of USD230 million in losses just in 2016 alone.
Different platforms such as websites or online services may also serve as a scam, cashing in on desperate people for companionship or a romantic relationship. They may start with something as innocent as a free service but then come with a catch that completely blindsides the user.
Some dating scams are even harder to track nowadays—that’s how good scammers are in creating different schemes to lure and phish financial data or sensitive information from people.
Scammers are not always who they say they are!
Ever heard of the term “catfishing?” It has only existed for a few years but is now more recognized worldwide. A person assumes a false persona by using fake photos and sometimes a different personality to look for romantic interests on the Internet. In recent statistics, at least 10% of online dating profiles are fake.
The sad reality is that these entities exist in the online realm. And because an individual may have become smitten with a scammer for their use of flowery verbiage or perhaps leaning into their victim by winning their trust, which they have carefully established through numerous correspondences online, it will be harder for someone to discern whether their romantic interest is genuine or not.
While we can list down the many advantages of finding a relationship online, particularly with the numerous success stories we usually hear, the truth is it’s tough to ascertain an individual’s true intention, whether you’re a cub looking for your cougar or vice versa.
How to spot a dating scammer on cougar dating apps before you fall for it
While spotting a scammer proves to be harder nowadays, there are still some telling signs that you must first look into every time you have an online encounter with someone—especially if you’re in a cougar dating app, obviously searching for your own cub/cougar.
Here are some of the common red flags that you must heed every single time.
Their profile seems suspiciously “perfect” – you’ll notice immediately that their photos are too “put together” as if they were shot in a studio, without any candid photos taken through their smartphones. Most authentic profiles would have many pictures in different situations or backgrounds. Another thing to note is if there are not many details in their profile for you to read into who they are.
They want to be in a relationship with you right away – Hearing the words “I love you” would probably be the sweetest thing you’ll ever hear, but hearing it in less than three days when in fact, you haven’t established yourself to see if your interest exceeds that much is very alarming. What more if they ask for your hand in marriage within just a week of communication? That’s an absolute no-no. While it may work for some people, always remember that this isn’t the movies, and the chances of you getting into a romance comedy-like treatment for your love life wouldn’t always happen in reality.
They ditch you when you’ve already agreed to meet up – We’ve all heard this happen thousands of times; people would make lame excuses to avoid meeting you or even get stood up on the actual date. But, say, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Suppose it’s a recurring theme for your prospect cub or cougar. In that case, it’s probably because they’re trying their best to hide their identity. Not a very promising start for a relationship, right?
They demand money right away – If a prospect date or love interest asks for money even if you haven’t met personally yet, BEWARE. Their usual alibi would include paying medical expenses, paying off gambling debts, or even making up elaborate sob stories to reel in on your vulnerable side.
Tips for avoiding falling for dating scams
With these common signs in mind, there are simple and easy ways to avoid them. These are safety checks that you can put in place to avoid getting conned by shifty personalities online.
Verify a person’s identity – while this may be hard to track, you can efficiently conduct an online search by trying to look them up on social media platforms to check if they do exist. You can also use their email address and location, along with other details to check their legitimacy.
Take time before jumping into a decision and confide in someone you trust well. – You may consult with a close friend or family member and share your situation. Frequently, a scammer would try their best to disconnect you from family or friends and urge you to make hasty decisions, especially if it involves a large sum of money.
Meet in an open and public space – if you’re deciding to meet your cougar date for the first time, always remember to be at an advantage by completing them in public. Never agree on going to a private location, especially to a place that’s unfamiliar to you. If they try hard in insisting on doing so, it’s best to back off. If they are eager to meet you and their intentions are clear, they won’t be offended if you ask them to meet them at a pub or a restaurant, right?
It’s not all bad, have confidence and always trust your gut!
Dating someone you meet online is always a risk one has to make, but it isn’t always scary as we picture it to be. As long as you are aware and understand its risks, there are ways for you to fight them. We hope that by learning the top cougar dating scams, you can avoid them and formulate strategies on your game plan when it comes to your dating style.
There are trusted apps for you to find a cougar or cub of your own. MilfsLocal is just one of the many options you can consider who deeply value your data privacy while providing a safe platform for cougars and cubs alike to meet and have a good time. Signing up is also a breezy affair, and as long you create the best profile, you’ll be sure to gain the attention of a lot of its members.