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I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t give them your bank details either.

Ask any of our members and they’ll tell you this extra focus on safety creates an environment that’s really not like anything they’ve found anywhere else.

But it also means we get some extraordinary insights into the sorts of things that scammers, fakes and fraudsters will try to do to get money (or worse) from their intended victims.

The sooner you are able to check that the person at the other end of the internet connection simply like their profile, the quicker you will have eliminated 95% of the scammers out there.

The simplest way to do this is to meet in person, of course, and we’ve got some advice about doing this further down on the list below.

Never give out any personal information to someone you have only met online.

Remember the example I gave earlier about the scammer from Ghana impersonating the executive in Chicago?

But you don’t even need to wait to do this: the Internet now provides a number of tools for having a video call with someone which don’t require you to hand out your Skype ID or email address.

Our favorite is Appear (appear.in), which lets you set up an instant, private video chat with someone for free, without giving out any personal information.

Not only does one report after another highlight how many people are being duped by scammers every year, but we’ve had many members of Stitch tell us their stories about how they’ve lost money themselves.

My favourite story is that of Maria*, one of our members lost close to ,000 to a scammer from Ghana.

You see, after being stung, she was so upset that she went back to night school and trained as a private investigator. You guessed it: cyber-security, with a focus on fighting scammers.

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