Happy New Year! I’m thinking some of you have a NY resolution of finding a new love interest. Cultivating a committed romantic relationship? Or maybe just testing the waters to see what’s out there? With so many online dating sites like zoosk, match.com, eHarmony to choose from, internet love has evolved into present time’s one stop shop for hook-up culture and sad to say has also been swarmed by online dating scammers.
My daughter loves to watch the TV show Catfish. There was a time when My Frenchie and i just started our LDR / “jnsq” that my daughter used to tease me that I was being “catfished” by him. I didn’t know what it meant then. After a while my daughter stopped teasing. I guess she decided that My Frenchie doesn’t meet the criteria. We didn’t meet online, we actually have met face to face in Paris before we did this online thing, I know where he works, we’re pretty transparent about each other, he has never asked me for anything (except to come visit me here in the US and if he can send me some stuff/ gifts and I said “NO” to both… not yet, at least.), we didn’t have any kind of “love bombing” situation, and I guess we somehow passed the test of time.
Not everyone on Internet dating sites is looking for love; some may be hoping to scam their next potential victim. ~~~ Dr. Phil
For those who have no idea what “Catfish” is…
The episode of Catfish that I’ve seen usually starts off the same way. A hopeless romantic is being introduced and this guy/girl declares that they’ve found “The One”. They actually believe they have met their soulmate online. However, there’s one problem… they have not actually met, yet. They contact the host, Nev S. and his crew to investigate and facilitate the “meet” when they start to feel that something smells fishy.
It usually ends this way… 😦
A few times my daughter managed to encourage me to watch it with her. It was actually in the beginning of this LDR / “jnsq” with My Frenchie. I guess she was really worried that I was being catfished. But my case is different. He’s the one who wanted to come and see me and I’m the one who either brushes him off or makes excuses. He knows when to stop bugging me. He doesn’t want to make me uncomfortable. He’s very sensitive in that way. That’s why I like him so much. He picks up subtle cues. I won’t lie, there was a part of me that thought he may be a catfish after I watched a couple of shows and I had to ask myself if I’m just in denial. Then I realized he wasn’t and that I was just getting paranoid.
So going back to the show “Catfish”. I don’t understand how these men and women can be so blinded as to talk and believe a person who doesn’t run out of excuses to see them. Even on skype. Seriously. this one girl was in a “relationship” with this guy for more than 2 years and all she had was a voice and a photo. How can anyone fall for that? Haven’t you heard of google goggles? BTW, you can also check there if your photo is being used by other people, i.e., to catfish unsuspecting victims.
Here are some scary catfish stories…
It’s a scary world out there. But wait! There’s an App for that! LOL No kidding! Apparently someone came up with a “Coy app” which is the first app of its kind to require a video profile in order to utilize the app and search for members. Fool proof? I think not! These scammers are crafty.
5 SIMPLE GOLDEN RULES: (this is actually common sense but if you haven’t been blessed with it, read on…)
- If the person asks for money = scammer. ~~~> Disconnect asap.
- Never give any personal info esp. related to bank and credit card accounts.
- Never accept money transfer from their account to yours e.g. pay 90% back. — the money is stolen and can only be traced back to you. You’ll go to jail for the 10%
- Never accept any trade as gold. — You’ll need to pay upfront and you’ll never get it.
- Be careful to give your phone number to anyone you don’t know. — a smartphone/iPhone can block a phone number. You can always block a person who has been contacting you via chat or mail.
Cyber Safety from DrPhil.com’s “Do’s & Don’t of Online Dating“ :
- Verify information on a potential match as thoroughly as possible.
- Always create a separate e-mail account for your online dating activity.
- Get a post office box, rather than using your home address, to register for the dating site. (Do this for all sites where an address is required.)
- List your cell phone number, not your home number, if the site requires one.
- Change your cell phone billing address so it goes to your post office box. That way, if some nut has access to a backward phone book (one with phone numbers in numerical order and their corresponding addresses) he can’t look up your address.
- When chatting or e-mailing, never give more than a first name, and keep it that way until the first date.
- Install a privacy checker on your computer. This lets you set privacy standards and be alerted when a dating site doesn’t meet them. These checkers are often free and can be downloaded online.
If you lose money in an online dating scam, report it to:
* The Internet service provider and/or networking site the scammer used to contact you.
* IC3.gov – the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center, which refers complaints to state, federal and international law-enforcement agencies.
* Fraud.org – The National Consumer League’s Fraud Center, which collects complaints from Internet crime victims and makes them available to law enforcement agencies across the country.
* The U.S. Postal Inspection Service – If a scam artist asked you to distribute mail or postal money orders, file a complaint with this agency, the law enforcement arm of the post office
Just an FYI… I’m writing this now in my nighties with no makeup on, hair undone, eating my cereal with a cup of milk and a scoop of ice cream. I should be at the gym but I’m not though I need to burn all that sugar I eat that goes directly to my midsection and hips. Ugh! My home is a mess with all the Christmas gifts that still need to be wrapped and delivered. I have no interesting plans today besides to go shopping. I miss My Frenchie and I can just daydream all day about him on my day off. 😦 I don’t have a social life out of work and school but when I do, you bet I’ll post it on FB or instagram so it’s not so obvious that I’m such a hermit. lol Having said all these. I won’t waste my time trying to catfish anyone just to make an exciting identity or live a cyberlife that seems really colorful.
Goodluck to you guys… stay safe. Keep your eyes open ok.
Don’t be blinded by love or lust.
Happy New Year!!!