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The Dangers of Dating Internet Sites
How do you prefer to date?
The Many Dangers of Dating Sites
Dating sites are lot like playing the lottery, you either come up a big winner and end up like those paid actors in the commercials promoting them. Or, more than likely you'll end up like the million of other people that often find that online dating is a lot more harder than it seems. Not that I'm discouraging anyone here to date someone online, as everyone here is free to date who they please. Plus, dating online can sometimes lead to a lot of great relationships along the way, as that's how my brother met his fiancé. They met through a dating site and once they met in real life, they've been happy ever since. However, for every successful relationship that happens like with my brother, there's like a million that never pan out. Indeed, it's like I always say if love were easy to attain, then it wouldn't be worth the effort. Often, we're forced to endure through a lot of bad relationships, before finding the right one. However, that's what makes love so special....is that when you finally do find that person....it makes it all worth the effort in the end. However, there are quite a bit of dangers you should be aware of if you do decide to find love through online dating.
Like all internet sites, not every profile you see is always going to be real. If anything, most of them are generally fake. People often pretending to be who they're not. Take in mind, many people will sometimes put up their old high school photos, in place of a recent one. This is often due to the fact that some users on these dating sites aren't always the most confident about their appearance, so they'll put up a more flattering photo to appease to the opposite/same sex. Another thing to watch out for is that sometimes the pictures used, in their profiles, won't always be their own. As dating sites don't often check for accuracy of photos, so they could put up a photo of a model to entice people, and you'd be none the wiser.
The point is that you have to be careful when scanning through profiles on these dating sites, as not everyone will be who they claim to be. Of course, if the user has a cam, then it does help establish some form of credibility that they are who they say they are. And even then, a person won't always act like themselves completely until they meet you in person. After all, who a person is in public is entirely different than when you get to know them behind closed doors.
Another way to tell if a profile is fake is to read carefully what the user is saying, as sometimes a person will contradict themselves if they turn out to be lying. For instance, if a profile reads that the woman you're interested in lives in Houston, Texas, but she claims to be stuck in Africa due to some legal troubles. Ask yourself this, why is she stuck in Africa? You don't have to come out, and tell her that you don't trust her directly. However, I'd be awfully suspicious about everything she says; which brings me to my next point.
Recently, countries like Nigeria and India have been operating under scams where people will often pretend to be girls stuck in foreign countries. Scamming the user by promising them false hopes of love, companionship, and possibly a large fortune. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it actually is, as a lot of these scams will start off with a lover promising you the world, but they'll immediately ask you for money. Some won't even bother to wait until you gotten to know them, as they'll immediately give you lines saying that if you love them, then you'll constantly give them money for food and whatever. Uncaring or sympathetic until you go completely bankrupt. And you want to know what's worse? The banks and police more than likely won't be able to get your money back, as they can't do anything if you voluntarily give away money; regardless if someone tricked you or not. Sure, you can file a police report if you like with the local authorities, but the odds of you getting your money back is slim at best.
Another thing to watch out for is if the user asks you to cash a check for her, and send the cash via Western Union. Granted, you might be thinking, what's the harm in that? Well, ask yourself this, why does she need you to cash a check from her account, so you can send it via Western Union. I mean why go through all the trouble of having an alleged friend mail you a check, so you can cash it, and send to your online lover. Why? Wouldn't it have been easier for same said friend to send the money via Western Union instead of you? Why do you need to cash it in the first place? Would you trust someone that you never met before in real life to cash a check for you, then send you the cash via Western Union? Does that sound logical to you? Of course, it doesn't.....unless the person asking you to cash said check has nothing to lose. That right there should signal a red flag. Believe it or not, this is part of the scams that have been going on with Nigeria and India. Where not only will they try to con a person out of their life savings, but they'll coerce them into cashing phony checks as well; without the victimized lover knowing it. And, the worst part of that situation is if you're caught cashing a fake check, then you'll be the one going to jail over it, and they won't. Tell me, is that fair?
And, the funny thing is that men aren't the only victims of this scam either, as women have also been swindled out of their life savings over travesties such as these. Where some would be "Prince Charming" would come along online with promises of woo, but they only need one thing...MONEY! Look, I know loneliness is hard, and we all yearn to find that special someone. However if you meet someone online that promises you the world, and you think it might be too good to be true, then it probably is. If a person asks you for money, or any personal information like your social security number, then don't give it to them. Trust me, you'll be better off. I know being lonely is hard, but you should never volunteer personal information like that, or give away money to a person that you've never met in real life. Sure, it's easy to be taken in by somebody's sob story, but if they're giving you a guilt trip to lend them money even though you've never met them in real life, then odds are that it probably is nothing more than a sob story.
Scammers are very good at conning people like this, as many will often tell you whatever you want to hear to make you feel something for them. And once they do, they'll swindle you for every penny you have. Many will use such tactics as shipping gifts like flowers and stuff, to lower you into a false sense of security, so you'll think they really love you. While some will call you on the phone to try to persuade you. This is another way to tell if you're being scammed. If the voice on the phone doesn't match up with the photo they show you (i.e. a picture of a caucasion British person with the deep Nigerian voice), then stop all contact immediately.
As I said before, we all want to find that special someone. However, if a person you meet on a dating service asks you for money, then stop talking to them immediately. Report them and if possible, block them from your e-mail account without even thinking about it. Trust me, you'll be much better off in the long run.
Can't Buy Me Love!
Another dating scam to be aware of is "Mail Order Brides." Many sites will offer lonely men a chance to buy women online from various countries like Thailand, Russia, and a few others; with promises of love and companionship to those tired of constantly being rejected by women in the United States. Believe it or not, men fall for these types of scams everyday, but you want to know something funny? Studies show that some of these women that post up profiles are often prostitutes, or scammers. Often conning the user into a false sense of security, as they take advantage of their heart by forcing them to constantly support them financially overseas.
Often making up various excuses to con a person on why they might need money. These things can be minor like needing a few extra bucks to get something to eat, to even ask for your entire life savings to allegedly pay for a hotel and/or hospital bill. Once, you do, most mail order brides will disappear with your money, and you'll never hear from them again. Or worse, you will hear from them again, but they'll need more money from you. Once you refuse, they'll immediately give you a guilt trip about how you don't love them, and they won't care about any of the reasons why you can't give them the money either. This goes back to what I said earlier. I know it's hard to find love out there. However, if a person tells you that the only way you can prove to them that you love them is through money, then chances are they never loved you to begin with.
Plus, if this person really loved you, then wouldn't they be more sympathetic to you when you tell them how you can't afford to give them money all the time? If this person really loved you, then why would they threaten to leave you at the first sign of trouble?
And even in rare cases where a person meets a mail order bride in person, there's no guarantee it works out. As studies have shown that most mail order brides are either scammers themselves, or they're prostitutes trying to swindle a person out of their money. Sure, the girl may say all the right things when you meet them, but after spending time with you for a few days, they'll quickly leave you once your unable to fulfill their financial needs. Or, they'll marry you, and divorce you a year later for half your money. Granted, this can be said of any relationship, but it does happen nonetheless.
Meeting People Online
Take in mind that one of the main disadvantages of meeting online is that you don't often know if the chemistry you share with a person will immediately translate into real life. Sure, people that meet online have the advantage of immediately finding out if their personalities and common interests click, without the subjective matter of appearances getting in the way, as some people will automatically shut out a person if they're not physically appealing to them. I do apologize if that sounds chauvinistic to say that, but I'm merely stating a sad reality in life. If there's no type of physical attraction in the beginning of a romance, then the best you can hope for is friendship, as most people won't date someone they're not physically attracted to.
Plus, as I said earlier, people won't always be completely honest about who they are when you meet them online. Telling you a lot of bull s*** stories that will paint a false image of themselves in your head, but when you meet them in real life, they may not be as charming as they claimed they were. Some people may turn out to be total creeps when you meet them in real life, as online makes it very easy to mask your true personality.
To be fair though, not all users will openly lie about themselves online, as some will be completely honest with who they are. However even then, there's still no guarantee that the romance will work out. Why? Because sometimes even when both parties are completely honest with each other, there's still a chance one or both parties will paint a false image in their heads of each other out of desperation of wanting to believe their love is true. Then when they meet in real life, and both or one of the people doesn't exactly measure up to expectations, then it's only a recipe for disaster. Sure, in some cases, it does work out, but it's a one in a million shot, at best.
That's why it's important to never raise your expectations too high when you meet someone online. Sure, it's okay to flirt with them, and perhaps tell intimate details about each other like your dislikes, likes and dreams. However, you should reserve judgment on whether or not this person could be the "one" until you met them in real life. Until then, you really don't know for sure.
Another helpful suggestion is to never meet the person in private for the first time. As I stated before, online makes it easy for people to mask their true personalities. Hell, the person you might've been talking to could've been a serial killer for all you know. Therefore, it's important to have your first real date with your online lover in public. Ask them to meet in a neutral public place like a coffee shop, restaurant or whatever. Once there, you can get to know each other all over again.
Granted, what happens from here is entirely up to you, but the best advice that I can give here is to try to be open minded about the situation. As I stated earlier, people aren't always as charming in real life as they are online. Therefore, if you're like me, then you might stutter quite a bit when meeting your online lover for the first time; which may come across as less charming than your online persona. This goes back to raising false expectations about your online lover, as the internet makes it easier for people to convey their thoughts more fluently than they do in real life. Hence, why I said you should keep an open mind when meeting your online lover for the first time.
Finding the Right Site For You
Now that we've covered all the basics, we just need to find the right dating site for yourself. Although most sites will promote themselves by saying it's free to sign up, and start browsing for singles in your area. However, what most of them don't tell you is that it costs money to send messages, and receive them through the site. Therefore, it's very important you scan the site carefully before determining if it's the site for you. First step before choosing a dating site is to decide what you're looking for first. This is important, as it'll help other users determine if they want to date you or not.
If you're just looking for a one night stand, or various sexual encounters to satisfy your carnal urges (you know who you are), then I should warn you that most dating sites that cater to those needs like "Adult Finder" and "Sex Search" will often require a monthly fee to reply and receive messages. Plus, it's a very popular site for scam artists, as I mentioned earlier. Therefore, if carnal pleasures is all you seek, then be warned joining adult dating sites like those can be dangerous, and will possess a lot of spam if your PC isn't fully protected.
However, if you're just looking for a friend to talk to, or a possible soul mate, then I'd probably google a list of free dating sites, as there are plenty online to choose from. Unfortunately, you have to be weary about which dating sites you sign up for, as many will change their policies without notifying many of their users. Most dating sites are deceiving, as some will claim to be free. However, it's when you try to contact a user is when you find out if that's truly the case; hence it's always important to read the TOS agreements to those sites. The best way to avoid paying anything for a dating site is to read the TOS agreement carefully, and never give away your credit/debit card number to the site. Hell, don't even volunteer your checking account number if it asks you for that too. As long as they don't have your account information, then the site can't legally charge you for anything.
In the end, I hope this article doesn't discourage anyone from trying dating sites, as it can be wonderful to meet people. Not only is it cost effective (assuming you can find a free site), but it's also a safe way to meet people if you're always busy with work, as it's easy to coordinate online dating with your hectic work schedule. However, like all good things, there are always drawbacks and dangers that we should always be aware of, as we don't live in a perfect world.
Anyway, I hope you all meet the woman/man/whatever of your dreams someday. And if you already have, then here's to many years of happiness to both of you. Cheers!