by John Santana
Online dating is indeed a risky but potentially rewarding experience, especially for those who are looking for certain connections. Through dating apps, it’s easier than ever to connect with potential romantic partners. However, with this convenience comes a new set of risks. A retired detective warns that sharing photos with online matches is not always safe.
While sending photos to your online matches may seem like harmless fun, there are a number of reasons why you should think twice before hitting that send button. In fact, in 2020, online dating scammers in Savannah, Georgia, used a woman’s dating app photos to lure people out of thousands of dollars.
The Dangers of Sharing Photos With Online Matches
The photos you send to your online matches when given to the wrong pair of hands can pose real threats. A report by the US Federal Trade Commission stated that over 52,000 people have been scammed last year through online dating. Photos can be reverse-searched to track where you live and may be even used as a threat to post it online.
On TikTok, Mike, a former detective who goes by Killer Bee Tactical, LLC, showed his followers how photos you sent to your matches can be used to locate you and get more details about you. “If you’re online dating and you send photos to strangers, you just sent them where you were,” he explained. The TikTok clip he stitched showed how clicking an information button underneath an image can reveal the place and time in which the photo was taken can be seen.
From blackmailing to catfishing, sending photos to your online matches can put you at risk in more ways than one. In this article, we’ll explore why you shouldn’t send photos to your online matches and what you can do to protect yourself.
Scamming is arguably the most common and effective way for scammers to trick other people into sending something valuable on any online platform, including online dating sites. These scammers might ask for money through what we call “love scams,” where they pretend to be someone that they are not.
Scammers can be very convincing, persistent and persuasive; they may even know personal details about their target. Their goal is usually financial gain by getting their victim to send them money or information that could be used in identity theft scams later on down the line.
Harassment is a form of bullying, which is another reason why you should not send your photos to any of your matches at all. Pinpointing signs of harassment can be helpful to protect yourself from potential scams. If your matches are making comments about your qualities, and you feel uncomfortable or uneasy afterward, they might be harassing you so be careful with that.
Catfishing is a term used to describe when someone creates a fake online persona in order to deceive others. They might use someone else’s photos and pretend to be that person in order to establish a relationship. If you send photos to someone who is catfishing you, you’re essentially giving them more material to use in their deception.
Staying Safe While Online Dating
Many people still wonder if it’s safe to send their pictures on a dating platform, even though reports show that dating applications are relatively secure right now, you’re still safer by not doing it.
Just because you’ve been matched with someone on a dating platform does not mean you’ll have proven that you are real by sending your picture At the end of the day, you might be risking yourself with potential scams and extortions. So, do yourself a favor and not send any pictures of yourself to suspicious individuals.
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