The dating game isn't what it used to be. For those seeking a prospective mate, using online dating services is no longer a taboo-it's often the go-to option. That means coming into contact with a lot of unknown people. While most have perfectly honorable intentions, some identity thieves take advantage of people's hearts to get to their identities.
To protect your identity (and heart) when dating online, a healthy dose of caution can be useful. Above all, if someone sounds too good to be true, they probably are. Watch out for these other signs that someone might be turning on the romance for all the wrong reasons:
* Asking for too much personal information. If someone requests an address right off the bat, or too early in a relationship, don't be afraid to withhold the information. Home addresses are an important part of the information an identity thief needs to collect to pull off a scam.
* Someone who's too forward. They might claim to be swept off their feet, but a dating prospect who wants to move too fast might be making a break to steal an identity. Keep things at a comfortable pace, and if they're more aggressive than what seems reasonable, don't hesitate to cut off ties.
* Requesting money. Identity thieves preying on daters have been known to come up with elaborate stories to try to extract money from their victims. They might claim to have been robbed, or to have beloved family member who is gravely ill, and then ask for a wire transfer to help them through their difficulty. Sending money via bank transfer can give thieves information they need to access bank accounts and commit identity fraud, so resist the urge to help out.
Most people only think of protecting their hearts when dating, but protecting identities should be just as important. Otherwise, daters can be in for double the heartbreak.