And, of course, if you're embarking on a relationship with anyone, with severe money troubles, good person or not, ask yourself: Is this really what you want?
If your potential suitor is talking this soon about how they're struggling to pay the rent, don't be surprised if your new boyfriend or girlfriend and his or her kids are asking in a few months if they can move in with you.
But as Fleet puts it, there is a fairly standard way people date online: " Let's say that you have met someone online.
If you're writing each other back and forth over email, or you're talking on the phone, of course, you're going to want to share information about yourself.
But don't share more than you're comfortable with, or before you feel the time is right, says Carole Brody Fleet, an Orange County, California-based speaker who has presented on online dating and has authored several books, including an upcoming title, "When Bad Things Happen to Good Women." It can go the other way as well.
If your potential suitor brings up his or her own personal information too soon, such as discussing his or her own financial situation "in any way, shape or form – that warning sign just became a lot bigger," Fleet adds.
As online dating has become more popular and mainstream – is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – and more and more dating sites are cropping up, the risks of falling prey to greedy scammers is becoming greater.
Last year, the Better Business Bureau received over 4,000 complaints about dating sites; many gripes were about billing or other service-related issues, but there were enough protests about unsavory characters that the BBB put out a notice, warning consumers to be on the lookout for scammers.
The Federal Trade Commission also frequently issues reports on online romance scams.
There's even a name for what these con artists do: Catfishing – that is, posting a fake profile and hoping you'll take the bait.
Online dating is challenging enough, without having to worry about scammers.
After all, you may be fretting that the photos you've posted don't show you at your best.