“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming?” –Peter Pan.
Now for Tinkerbell, that line and the one that followed, dealt with eternal love and waiting. But the line resonates with me because I find that exact place to be filled with a diamond mind of creative thoughts. If you lie very very still, not even opening your eyes or stirring a muscle, and just be aware you find yourself in a true wonderland of thought, experience, memory, and joy. Until of course the need for morning ablutions inserts itself and poof! Gone. And you can’t get it back by napping later. I’ve tried. It seems it only happens with any depth after a full night’s sleep.
So what does this have to do with buying anything and being aware you ask? Of course you ask. It is perfectly logical to do so.
Well this morning one of my gently floating thoughts was about on-line dating. I know, I know, – what does on-line dating have to do with buying or being aware?
Everything to do with social media in this day and age is all about buying. It’s no longer a case of walking to the store, choosing a product, paying money and thereby buying something.
In the old days, and I mean long, long, absolute decades before my time, but since the beginning of time, the world has had its dose of shysters; those who sold goods or tales to reap profits but were disreputable, unethical, unscrupulous, thieves of hearts and money, users of the frail. Back then, if you lived in a one horse town you may never have come across a true scoundrel, unless it was the fellow making the rounds selling coca cola, or snake oil for medicinal purposes. Most folk probably lived scoundrel free unless they set out for the big city to make a new life.
I had my time of on-line dating and met some nice fellas. I have a ridiculous sense of humor so it was amusing to me when I met a scoundrel and there were quite a few.
Well, social media has given birth not only to instant information but to the proliferation of scoundrels, otherwise known as snakes, dogs, (no insult to canines intended), scum etc etc. You get the idea.
Every day there are reports about people being taken. The primary targets are women who are alone, lonely (of any age), seniors (the true innocents of the information age), and any target of any age or gender. Therefore, EVERYONE. (don’t even get me started on sexual predators! AKA Beasts of Satan)
Remember when PHISHING became big news? It may not be front page news anymore because it is so common place.
So I decided to make a list of On-line dating scams we have all heard about but are not necessarily AWARE of. The word ‘aware’ is such an important one.
Scammers or more accurately SCUMmers know how to play the heart strings of even the most level headed business people. (and yes it happens to men too.) Catfishing is a term you will want to look up and get real familiar with.
- The profile on the dating site is false. In my own experience the picture is of someone who is just too good looking. You know the picture in the wallet that you buy in Walmart good looking. The information they give may not be consistent with their claims, either education mismatches with grammar etc.
- They often have impressive titles. I have been contacted by Generals (military – and General seems to be the fave designation, in my experience. Doctors, scientists, diamond agents stuck in Nairobi or Kenya, or Uganda.
- Scummers express real strong emotions real fast. Honey, darling, sweetheart, are frequent terms.
- Scummers often portray themselves as younger and target women in their fifties and sixties, whom they see as richer and more vulnerable.
- Scummers often want you to meet them on a more personal site, such as messenger, a private site, or email and sometimes phone.
- In my own experience they are always in another place such as Africa (Nigeria is especially popular), Australia, Asia etc. usually working there and setting up the scene for some tragedy to strike.
- They may even send you gifts, though that never happened to me.
- Christian sites are also especially vulnerable.
- Eventually they make ask to send money or articles to you and have you send said items on. THIS IS ILLEGAL AND NEVER DO IT.
- They may say they will send you money or other items of value but say they need your money to cover fees or taxes.
- A favorite is to tell you their tools of trade, or their credit cards were stolen and if you would please send some money for immediate relief they will repay you.
- THE VERY WORST OF THEM MAY TRY TO LURE YOU OVERSEAS OR AWAY FROM HOME.
- Once they ask for money, and you do not respond quickly their pleas will become more desperate and persistent.
- DO NOT EVER SHARE PHOTOS, ADDRESSES, OR PERSONAL INFORMATION. And remember if you have ‘location’ turned on your phone or computer they can find your exact location.
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY GIVEN INFORMATION OUT THAT PUTS YOU AT RISK, ESPECIALLY BANK INFORMATION, GET OVER ANY EMBARRASSMENT AND CONTACT YOUR BANK IMMEDIATELY.
The attempts to scam were amusing for me, and I once had two separate men I communicated with who both surprisingly were in the diamond industry, in Africa (I don’t remember where exactly now), who surprisingly suddenly were in difficult straits and needed my assistance in the form of money. I messaged both and said how horrible, and how amazing I knew 2 men in such a situation, and for both of them to send me their coordinates and I would send a helicopter to get them away.
In other situations when my loving suitor became distraught at his sudden financial situation I messaged to say I was certain he was the victim of thieves and scoundrels and that on his behalf I had already contacted the police with his information. So long sucker.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – IN SPITE OF MOMENTS OF LEVITY IN THIS ARTICLE – BE SAFE. KEEP YOUR HEART AND WALLET SAFE. DO NOT LET LONELINESS OR DESIRE OR PERCEPTION OF LOVE AND ADORATION MAKE YOU VULNERABLE.
AND DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED TO SPEAK UP.
ON-LINE DATING ABUSE IS JUST RAPE IN ANOTHER FORM.