Tag Archives: Dating Sites

 Catfishing is pretending to be someone you're not

People using dating websites are familiar with the term “catfish.” Individuals who catfish people online are pretending to be someone else. They get people to believe that they are something they’re not to trick them. The scammer may trick a person for more than one reason. The catfisher could be a jealous partner, a stalker, someone playing a game, or worse. People who catfish often intend to steal your information for personal gain.

What is a Catfish?

Dating websites and social media apps are the most common places to uncover catfishing. Dating sites have the most instances of catfishing but it can happen on other sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

This is how it could happen. Suzy signs up on a popular dating website. She posts a flattering picture and basic information. Suzy gets messages from men interested in talking to her. Suzy is excited by the attention she receives. She looks at pictures and answers a few messages. It isn’t long before Suzy notices some strange things about some of the messages. Here are some red flags:

No Profile Picture

Several people contacting Suzy don’t have a profile picture. Some say they don’t have a picture because of their job, but often, the person is married or not who he claims to be. It could be a catfish situation.

Too Good to be True

The sender seems too good to be true. He just might be. If his photo is professionally done or looks familiar, chances are it’s not real. Use a reverse image search to look for like pictures. Common apps include TinEye and Google Reverse Image Search.

Bad English

Scammers may not be native English speakers. They try to convince victims that they are American, but the language gives them away. They often use the wrong words or confuse things such as their, there, and they’re.

Too Much Too Soon

Those who catfish want their targets to act quickly. They try to gain your trust and get your money as fast as possible, so they will to go to any length to win your trust and affection.

The Request

If the scammer feels you trust him (or her), he will ask for something. It usually starts with something small but escalates quickly.

Common requests

Money. The rent or insurance is past due. There has been an accident. The boss fired him. He only needs a small loan.

Gift Cards or Prepaid Cards. These cards are a common request since they cannot be traced.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Use an internet phone number or email set up for the dating site.

Download a phone app that will allow you to record, block and/or trace phone numbers.

Never send money to a stranger.

Insist on seeing a picture. Use an image search to verify identity.

Never share personal information about yourself, your job or your family.

Always meet in a neutral, public place.

Get to know the person in real life before giving your complete trust.

 

 

The Dangers of Sexting

How Sexting Can Ruin a Person's Life

Reporters talk about sexting on a regular basis, usually involving politicians and public figures. Regular people, including teens, also sext and may not understand the implications of their actions. People have ruined marriages and relationships all in the name of fun and games. Teenagers and daters are targets for identity thieves and scammers. Kids are targets for kidnappers and pedophiles. Parents want to protect their children, but that may not be enough. Children should be educated about the dangers of sexting and contacting strangers online.

What is Sexting?

Sexting involves two people exchanging intimate information through text messages. Predators ask their targets for nude pictures or sexually-themed messages. The predators convince the victims to send the messages to get or keep their attention. Statistics show that 1 in 7 teens routinely sends “sext” messages and 1 in 4 receives sext messages. Parents should discuss sexting with their children. The child should be encouraged to share if they are being pressured by anyone to send sexts. It’s common for a person to receive a message containing a nude photo or sexual suggestion. If that happens, the child should report it. The parent can use an iPhone app to find out who owns a phone number and then report it to the authorities.

Dating Sites

Adults might send sext messages to people they meet on dating sites. Many people using online dating sites tend to move very fast in forming relationships. Hackers engage targets who get caught up by the romance and ignore their instincts. Hackers can use the messages to gain valuable information or threaten to post the messages or pictures unless the victim pays. The scammer can sell the information to another who will use it for financial gain and cause the target grief and legal troubles for years to come.

 Sextortion

“Sextortion” is a form of extortion or blackmail. The victim exposes him or herself to another through sexually-related messages or photos. The recipient uses that information and posts – or threatens to post – the information online or send it to the victim’s contacts. As a result, people can be targets of “revenge porn,” a method wherein the victim has personal information or photos posted online by a former friend or lover who wants to get revenge. The act can cause fights, embarrassment, loss of a job or worse. School officials might punish teenagers, causing them to be expelled or denied access into colleges of their choice. People put themselves and their families at risk, including their careers and relationships. Photos posted on the Internet stay there forever. You can’t delete them or get them back.

Sexting carries legal issues since the person taking or sending the photo can receive fines or jail time for distributing pornography.

Protect Yourself

If someone asks you to start sexting, refuse. It will help you to avoid embarrassment, hacking, and possible legal problems. Avoid storing intimate photos and videos on your computer. A hacker will trick his victim and access the other person’s computer, posting private photos on social media sites.