Determined to find your love through online dating? Nothing wrong with that. But it’s important that you be aware that your openness to welcome a total stranger into your world can make you vulnerable.

Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe while perusing dating sites and avoid falling prey to online dating scammers:

1. Question the age difference

If you are middle-aged and you are being approached by a twenty-something online dater, you should at least question their intentions and make sure you are dealing with a truthful person.

2. Spot the inconsistencies

When a story is told, all you have to do is listen and make sure there are no strange details or inconsistencies. Are they are supposed to be away and out of reach for the weekend? Then, question why their online dating profile shows they have been active within the last 24 hours.

3. Be suspicious of rapid escalation

They want to move everything offline although you have been chatting only for a few hours? Isn’t this too soon for you? Are they asking you to pay for their airline fare so that you can meet up in person? Don’t let anyone push you into doing things you are not comfortable doing.

4. Do a background check

Without being paranoid, perform a small investigation of your own: google the person’s name, and check that the profile picture does not belong to someone else. You can do this by dragging and dropping their pic into the search box on Google Images.

As long as you take precautions, online dating can be a really rewarding way to meet someone new. Check out our recommendations of the best dating sites around and start looking for love today!