How to avoid online sex scams: don't be the sucker!

Be very wary of anyone whose emails have a false ring about them. You’ll have encountered these emails in everyday life and hopefully know what to do with them! But seriously, do be careful and don’t hand over any money – this is about casual sex, not prostitution.

Six ways to spot a scammer on sites like Adult Friend Finder and Craigslist:

  • They’re simply too good to be true. There may be some very young men who have not yet learned that attractive women don’t just start coming on to random guys they’ve never even clapped eyes on in real life, but the rest of us know that if something sexual seems too good to be true, it usually is. Striking up a rapport with someone on a legitimate dating site or social media site is a different thing – but if you just receive some kind of come-on out of the blue, bin it.

  • Phishing scams often talk in Americanese – “hiya hon” and “my GF” and “hit me up”. Not very convincing when the scammer is purporting to be living in Southampton, England! Any email with these phrases in is a hoax. Delete.

  • The email never mentions a specific location. The writer just refers to being in “your town”. Or they’ll have picked some weird, random location they’re in, like “Kensington” or “Mayfair”, as they’re the only bits of London the idiot scammer has heard of, probably from Austin Powers too many times. Delete.

  • Out of the blue, an email will arrive (usually in your junk) saying that you two spoke on a dating site before and they lost contact with you. As ever, there will be no concrete references to anything about you and your life. Blah. Delete.

  • They attach an absurd picture of a balloon-chested model. Delete.

  • They will always direct you to some other website, purportedly because their email is not working. Hmmm. Why not? Or “because it’s easier to talk there”. Er, easier than email? Delete.

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