Protecting Yourself From Dating Sites
If you are thinking of joining an On Line Dating site, stop.
Stop and think.
Stop and think of what you are doing, and how dangerous it can be.
This isn't some Message Board where you will be using that Clever Avatar so people might think you resemble Tyr Anasazi or Deanna Troi and you can focus on ideas and keep yourself masked.
This is a site that requires you put out a lot of personal information.
After all, if you are a 45 year old woman looking for love it is not going to help you to lie about your age, your race, your desires, or where you live.
Dating Sites demand you open yourself to strangers. Force you to give some truth to be matched to another in some useful manner.
Realise Scammers consider these Dating sites Prime real estate.
The famous story of 'Scott Grant' was aired on Oprah; it is not an isolated incident, it is not an aberration.
What happened in this situation can happen to you.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story; a Nigerian scammer took the photo of a white male model called Scott Grant and joining a dating site, using that name, submitted it as his photo.
He claimed to be a Peace Corps volunteer, stationed in Africa.
Many women seeing the photo responded. He was glib, flattering, and a master of deception. He collected thousands of dollars from a number of women who thought they were his future bride.
His usual ploy was to arrange a meeting with his 'fiancé' then, shortly before his plane would leave, he would tell his fiance' that he'd spent all his money paying for little Ade's dialysis or had to cash his plane ticket to buy food for the starving.
Women, who thought they were engaged to be married to Scott Grant, sent thousands of dollars to a P.O. Box in Lagos, and/or purchased a plane ticket for him.
Then, they waited for hours at the airport for his arrival.
Of course 'Scott Grant' never showed up.
There was no person Scott Grant, just a Nigerian scammer who was cashing plane tickets and gathering money.
This is only one example of the dangers of dating sites.
Most Dating Sites give you screens and screens of preferences.
You get a long list of Questions to answer and personal information to enter.
You will think, considering all this information that they are matching you to your perfect other.
Outside of sex preference, age limitations, race/religion [if you select those options], no matching is taking place.
Attorneys have been matched to Toll Booth operators.
Secondly, the first 'free' weekend you get from these sites, where there seems dozens of wonderful people all available is bait.
Most of the most fantastic 'Possibles' no longer participate on the site or never
existed. The names and photos are used to make it seem there are forty fantastic matches, and if you join, and pay the fee, hundreds more.
People who join these Dating sites are desperate or looking for something.
For example, someone might wish an all expense paid vacation in your house, and will do or say anything to get you to believe in love and desire when all he or she wants is free lodging.
Don't be fooled by images of palaces and mansions. Don't be fooled by those beautiful photos.
If the person looked so good and had so much wealth, why is she or he on the dating site?
If you really want to try a dating site, this is the wisest way to go about it.
First; create a new user on your computer who participates in the dating site. In this way you physically have to log out as you and in as the other.
This allows you the freedom and privacy to be involved when you chose to.
Many 'Matches' will become extremely possessive. You will be unable to do anything except respond to their email or messages. Hence, if you set aside a specific time of day to log on to your dating site, you will prevent the all consuming Match from controlling your every keystroke.
Secondly, create a new email account for the dating site alone. This keeps the mail for your potentials away from your business, family, and other real email.
I can't emphasise this enough.
Many 'Matches' will email you five times a minute. Will load your mail box to overflowing. To have a totally different email account, one you only assess when you log in as the Dating You, prevents your life from being captured.
Thirdly, limit the amount of information you post. Do not be too open. You don't know who is out there. Stalkers are given a welcome mat when they know what you look like, where you live and other details.
Do not post photos of you with your car if the license plate is visible, do not give your real address. A town in Mississippi is good enough.
Yes, you want a lot of info about the Potentials, just as they want about you. But there is a difference between 1406 New York Avenue, and 'Brooklyn'. A difference between working at Merrill Lynch and working for 'a stockbroker'.
Fourthly, stay on email/texting for as long as you can. Email and Texting is not as intrusive as the instant messaging services. Email requires preparing a message, reading it, responding to it.
Email quickly exposes those who are too intense or too disinterested by their responses.
If you are writing about an news bulletin and they are 'so what' or don't reply to it, you might have uncovered that scammer early in your foray.
This should alert you to discuss affairs of the day not of the heart.
If this person can not carry on a simple conversation on a topical subject, then exactly where is this relationship going?
Fifthly, because you have control over when you log on as your "Dating user", you can keep track of those who send ten emails in ten minutes, those who correspond every other day, and those who seem to want to know too much.
If you become uncomfortable, log off..
Sixthly, if over a period of time you really are attracted to the person and want to meet, arrange something in another city. In this way, you are not at his or her mercy because you are on their turf, nor are you responsible for him or her being in your city.
This is easy to do.
Find something that is happening in a near by city, in public places. A football match or fair or museum... or anywhere there are people around.
If you live in New Jersey and your match is in Philadelphia, find a place to meet in New York City.
If you are afraid, carry someone with you. They can stay in the background and observe from a distance if you want.
The most important thing is your safety, never forget it.