The advent (and renewed social acceptance) of online dating has resulted in a slew of sites aimed at attracting all kinds of customers. From retired pensioners looking to find a little spark in their autumn years, to self-proclaimed social outcasts, eager to find a partner with whom they can complain about being misunderstood and alone, together. But perhaps the biggest boom in online dating has been seen in the no strings attached dating scene. It’s easy to see why, as proclaiming you’re actively on the lookout for ‘the one’ on a very public website could seem more than a little desperate, but if you’re just looking for “A little bit of fun,” there is less at stake.
If two individuals meet through a no strings site, there are very few expectations and what expectations there are, will (in theory at least) be shared by both parties. As such, they are great platforms from which to meet like-minded people who are looking for the same thing you are and if the relationship should blossom somewhere along the line into a full-blown romance, then it will have happened organically.
Of course, however, there are notable drawbacks to no strings attached dating, most notably the users who are not using the site for its intended purpose and are instead using it either for their own twisted amusement, or to make nefarious financial gains. Here we’ll be examining each of those potential users, and letting you know how to avoid them and enjoy your time online and offline, with the real people that you want to meet.
With the sheer number of online dating sites available now, it’s to be expected that there will be a fair amount of scam sites. Thankfully most of these sites are barely up for a few hours before the internet watch dogs have them taken down, but remain wary of the few that escape through the net. If a site is asking you for credit card information, or access to your Paypal account, make sure it uses a verified payment system. Do your research, scan forums for other site users who can verify it’s legitimate and (above all else) remember that if it seems dodgy in any way, your initial suspicions are probably more than warranted. Don’t take the risk!
We’re not talking actual robots here (though if said robots were as well equipped as Daryl Hannah’s ‘Pris’ from Blade Runner I’m sure few men would argue), but scam artists who create fake profiles, and use them in order to milk personal, valuable information for users (mainly credit card and bank details). As no strings attached dating sites are seen as less ‘picky’ than more conventional dating sites, they tend to attract more ‘bots’, who will use profile pictures possibly downloaded from pornographic sites to entice gullible men into their traps. There’s one simple rule for avoiding bots and it’s an old one, but a good one; if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!
This refers to fake users who actively fish for (how do I put this delicately?) ‘intimate’ photographs, which they can then post elsewhere online either for profit, or for their own twisted amusement. To make sure you’re not being taken in by one of these crafty monsters, once you’ve exchanged a few emails with them and feel like you might want to get to know them a little better, ask them to take a picture of themselves holding a piece of paper with your name on it and then send it to you. This might sound a little paranoid, but in the world of online dating, sometimes it pays to be a little bit more cautious than you would be ordinarily.
A sad fact is that the vast majority of dating sites don’t have much in the way of a vetting policy, and this means that an unfortunate amount of fake accounts can make it through the cracks. These are generally set up by bored teenage boys pretending to be glamour models and they will be easy to spot from a mile off (terrible grammar is usually a dead giveaway). But when you do spot one, be sure to report it to the website administrators, as there will be some men desperate enough to fall for it, and no man deserves that.
These are profiles that actually end up linking you to a pornographic or escort site. They are more common than you might think and tend to run rife on the less popular sites. To void these, simply refuse to click on any links you’re sent, as they could also lead you to computer viruses or phishing scams. If the message reads as being impersonal, copy & pasted and is capped off by a nondescript link, then you’ve probably caught yourself one of these.
Of course the lion’s share of users will be the genuine article, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your guard up at all times. Otherwise, just relax and enjoy yourself! You might end up finding the partner of your dreams, or at very least an exciting fling!