Dating sites are the headquarters of scammers, stalkers, sickos, and other walking coprolite. There are also normal people who believe they might find someone to love.
You can’t know if this man is really a 44 year old widower with two young sons or a 19 year old Nigerian. Photos can be plucked from any corner of the Web, lies packed into documents, and proxy servers used.
You can protect yourself, but it takes a conscious effort.
The first thing; Create A New User on your computer. This is your Dating User. You log on as Dating User (D.U.) only when YOU want to enter Dating world.
By simply taking control of when you log on, you give yourself a psychological edge. YOU are in control. Although this may seem a little thing, it is extremely empowering.
The second thing; Create A New Email Account on a Generic site using a phrase, not a name.
Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. are sites where you can create a user just as ‘flyakite’ and lie or be as vague as you can when filling in the information.
Never use your real name, nor be too specific with your address.
The significance of using a phrase is two fold; firstly you don’t give your real name. Secondly, all stalkers and scammers know that you are on to them.
The only people who would use a phrase like ‘flyakite‘ as their nick are other stalkers/scammers or those who are alert to and prepared to defend themselves from stalkers/scammers.
Thirdly, Do Not Go to Instant Messaging for a Month
When you are emailing someone, you have to think about what you are writing, and try to put enough information into it to be interesting and requesting response.
This is one of the few times in existence you can deal with what is important to you; sans appearance, age, sounds, gestures, it is pure soul.
The person to whom you are writing will then betray interest or lack thereof.
If you are a rabid football fan and they don’t know who Ronaldo is, if you’ve won first prize in the Flower Show and they show no interest, clearly, this is not your ‘soulmate’ This is just some person who was matched with you because you were both alive at the time.
Many dating sites will give you a long story about their scientific dating methods, when in truth it’s general; a woman in her 50s is matched to men from late forties to early 70s, where a woman in her 30s is matched to men in their late twenties to early 50s.
By staying in email you explore your mutual interests. And you have plenty of time to sift real people from scammers.
Further, as you have to log out to relog in to D.U., you will find the crazies pretty easy.
If you were emailing Jack and he was responding to each email then you know you are dealing with a real person. If you find ten emails from Jack and you haven’t even answered one yet, you know something is wrong with him unless he’s forwarding every stupid joke and chain mail he gets…and even that is kind of crazy.
When you email about your interests you can quickly discern who is reading and who is following a ‘script’. Many scammers have standard emails they send to marks. Because they deal in ‘bulk’ like spammers, the ‘response’ is not to what you wrote.
As you are aware of what you wrote, and note that there is no mention of those very specific incidents you described, you can tell you’ve met a dating spammer.
If the responses are on point, and he tosses back a few of your remarks to you, you know he reads what you write. You might be tempted to jump to Instant Messaging, but take your time.
When you do go to I.M. this means you must be at the computer when he is at the computer. If you are virtually ‘trapped’ having to excuse yourself to go to bed/work/bathroom, you may have met a control freak.
As you avoided your real name, your real email address, and can only be on when you log on as D.U. you can log off, go to your ‘real’ user, and consider what is happening.
If you have allowed him to know your real email address, you will be disturbed by his mail and I.M. this is why it is necessary to create that other user, those false addresses. It is protection. It is keeping control. It is only being involved in the dating world when You want to.
Hence, this is why you create that dating user, that dating email, and hold off on Instant Messaging.