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By | February 21, 2013 108 Comments

The FBI posts on-line dating warning

It should go without saying that there are inherent risks that accompany on-line dating.  However, in our electronic age, this practice has become quite acceptable and commonplace.  I know many people who have met their very decent significant others on dating sites.  Regardless, it is always a good idea to be cautious.

A few years ago, I decided to try a popular site.  I was busy juggling parenting, fighting court battles, attending graduate school, and working.  Dating was not a priority, but I thought I’d give it a whirl.  It wasn’t long before I was matched with the individual I just broke it off with!  Initially, I was confused, because while we were together, it did not seem he needed “help” in this area.  The nature of his work took him away from home and allowed him to meet a variety of women.  However, apparently, he was in between love interests, or simply trolling for a “better” one.  Thus, the profile.

After being matched with, and promptly blocking him, I thought about the futures of the women he might meet who were doing nothing more than searching for a “good guy” like the rest of us.  Then, I considered the types of people I was being matched with on the site.  Most were probably fine, but I couldn’t help but think about the less than stellar experiences I was having.  I couldn’t help but think about the super nice guy who claimed to be 5’11”, but was really 5’1″.  Now, I don’t care about a guy’s height, but did he really think I wouldn’t notice 10 “missing” inches?  All it caused me to do was wonder about what other lies he told.  On another occasion, I began “communicating” with someone who turned out to know one of my friends.  Her words of warning played over and over in my mind, and the red flags were, in fact, everywhere.  Further involvement with him would have probably yielded nothing more than a “repeat performance” of what I already lived through.  On another occasion, I was matched with a local person, who was actually married, in spite of his self proclaimed single status on the site.  What if I had not already known who he was and became involved?

After a few disastrous dates and then a few others that were simply just not matches, I decided that I needed to meet people the old fashioned way.  Nonetheless, on-line dating remains quite popular and a great option for many.  However, anyone who ventures out into this environment must be careful.  While it can be an excellent way to meet others, it can also be a smorgasbord for the ill intended.

The problems have become so common that the term catfish is now a noun with a new meaning.  Essentially, it is used to describe an individual who has created a fake on line profile with the intent of deceiving others.  MTV now has a reality show by that title, which chronicles the stories of many who have fallen in love on-line, only to learn the truth (or lies) about their other halves.  Entertainment aside, even the FBI acknowledges the potential hazards.  Cyber dating has created some unique challenges.

Below, I provide the link for the FBI warning.  The fact that they have chosen to address this issue is good indicator that the problem is more widespread than many might think, even if we are fairly more aware than most.  Their suggestions may seem like common sense suggestions, but we know how convincing these individuals can be.  Often, their strange stories are plausible enough for us to believe.  Therefore, it is critical that we move forward with caution.  Hopefully, these reminders help us all!

Looking for love? Beware of online dating scams, on FBI.gov.

 


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rochelle

The exact same thing happened to me. I decided to give a dating site a whirl, and lo and behold…they sent me my ex as my perfect match! After reading his profile, it made me think of all the other men out there searching for their next victim and I decided to deactivate my account. Online dating is not for me.

Truthspeak

Linda, THANK YOU for this article and link!

I haven’t yet met anyone who has found a successful and contented match using online dating. I’ve “heard” of them, but I haven’t met anyone, yet.

I agree that it’s finally being recognized as a serious problem when the FBI issues a “warning” against online dating. Both exspaths used the internet to troll for, and secure, targets. The first exspath went through 9 women (that I know of) in 13 years, and I became acquainted with the second exspath in an online chatroom.

The absolute cloak of anonymity that online life presents is the PERFECT environment for predatory people to invent any persona that they believe will fit the bill. The questionaires are relatively bland and cursory, and do not reflect moral character, character defects, personality disorders, or predatory intentions.

The LOVEBOMBING and PITY PLOYS can be accomplished with success by these predators because the “genuine” people who are using these “services” are actively looking for a partner and truly believe that what they are experiencing is a “real” relationship.

If someone paid for a membership for me, I wouldn’t complete a profile for an online dating service! First of all, I’m not recovered enough to even entertain the thought of dating. Next, I’ve made OxD’s suggestion into a personal mantra: Observe people in their natural environments.

Again, thank you SO much for this article and the link!

Brightest blessings

Tea Light

Thanks for this, Linda. If you can’t see the whites of their eyes, smell them, observe their body language, then you have no business entertaining thoughts of a future with them.
As my grandmother used to say ( many grandmothers probably..) you must see how he treats the lady behind the till, the man who fills up the car with petrol, the waiter or waitress. That’s how you learn if he likes and respects others or not.

Louise

Tea Light:

Yep, it’s how they treat others who can’t do anything for them that is a good indicator of how they will treat us. Hmmmm, makes me think of how Scousepath treated the wait staff when we were out. He wasn’t disrespectful, but he wasn’t overly nice either. It was more like they were there to serve him…they had their place, but he wasn’t mean to them. x

Tea Light

Lou, Master Bates LOVED to be waited on. He acted like Lord of the Manor. He sort of visibly puffed up, condescended to them. In shops, he’d made a song and dance about saying ”Bonjour Mademoiselle/ Madame” etc , in a very grandiose way. It was ….a performance. Not rudeness, but an obvious fake performance. To elicit a feeling in them that they should feel honoured to serve him. Interesting…I never thought of that before…thanks Lou! x

Louise

Tea Light:

You are welcome! Yeah, that’s how Scousepath was…he used his accent to charm people…even admitted it to me when I mentioned it. He’s hard to forget. I hate to admit it, but he is. I had never met anyone like him. OK, slap me now! On the other hand, I know he’s a bastard.

Yeah, it sounds like yours was totally performing…what a jerk. Or a wanker as you would say.

I hope you have a good counseling session today. Take care of yourself…thinking of you. x

Tea Light

Thanks love. The problem is that we need to start finding simple, straightforward, honest people more interesting than the complex freaks, I guess. 🙂 x

Louise

Tea Light:

Exactly! The complexity is what is intriguing. Sigh. Bye for now. x

behind_blue_eyes

“You are welcome! Yeah, that’s how Scousepath was”he used his accent to charm people”even admitted it to me when I mentioned it. He’s hard to forget. I hate to admit it, but he is. I had never met anyone like him. OK, slap me now! On the other hand, I know he’s a bastard.”

Louise;

Excuse me for laughing but your are of curse describing my x-Scousepath as well. Keep in mind that being a flight attendant, he is trained to be charming.

He is textbook online love fraud. He has an extensive online presence but none of his profiles are fully true — always a picture too young, height a bit off, other personal details “exaggerated” if you know what I mean…

His most active profile is the worst. Very flattering picture, claims to live in one of London’s poshest areas, age off a couple of years, height a couple of inches, as well as some other things off a couple of inches…

Yet at least one person left him a comment saying he was very sweet ad nice! I wonder if this person actually met him, or was this just form online banter?

The odd part is of course that he does not need to lie. He does not look bad for 39 (sorry 37) and with a little gym work, he would be in really good shape.

But I always wondered what people think when they meet him. He is a guy with a picture where he looks 32, says he is 37 but is 39…

He lies but says his is “looking for somebody good for me…”

Oh and “Narcissists need not apply.”

behind_blue_eyes

Meet-ups, clubs, church groups, even Starbucks is a better way to me genuine people other than online.

But do you see the ads on TV every night for Match.com?

Never during the day.

Tea Light

BBE, ”other personal details “exaggerated” if you know what I mean”” *innocent face*, why what can you mean BBE?:)

So true. Those ads are never on in the day time when you are busy with life.
They grab you while you’re in your pajamas, off guard! vulnerable!

Apparently on the dating sites women tend to lie about their age, men about their height, weight and marital / relationship status.

I read an interesting analysis of the biggest French / Euro dating site, which is called meetic.com. It had a lot of ads around Paris a while back, with slogans like ”Find Love Without Falling in Love!” ”Find Love Without Risk!”. It was selling the idea of the risk free love relationship. As if love is something that can be brokered like a business deal. The article was speculating that falling in love is seen as a scary and unwelcome loss of control by a lot of people, and dating normally with it’s risks is a waste of precious time. What a world.

behind_blue_eyes

Tea Light;

While he does try you use an “innocent” look and names to suggest such (i.e. XYZBoy), he exaggerates his “manhood” — covering up for the lack thereof…

Of course, by using a Red Ribbon badge for safe-sex awareness, he is also trying to mask that he is HIV+.

kmillercats

As far as dating sites…I think about 40% of the guys I emailed or emailed me quickly and mysteriously disappeared shortly after I interacted with them. Suspicious to say the least and I know some of its friends are on the site. The one is definitely disordered. Predatory stare both times I met him. I thought he was interested but, now I know different. He is 55 and trolls for women between 20 and 40. He also socializes with his daughters friends. They are in their late teens. He’s a real creep.

BBE I would be very wary of someone in a church group also. Spaths love trolling there. People think they are a “good” person because they go to church. Part of the persona. It loved going to church and acting like a “christian”.

MoonDancer

I have an account on a website for playing games, cards, boardgames etc, I love to play canasta. But you have to fill out a little profile about yourself and create a avatar or character ( no real photos )…
I have met lot’s of nice folks, mostly ladies from all over the world. They put me on their friends list and I do the same. Well, I put in my profile ( more than likely I am just a figment of your imagination ) because these ladies get attached to me and start asking all kinds of personal question’s etc..I just want to play canasta, chat and have a good time.
I dont think I should have to reveal my sexual preference just to play cards, but maybe I should, there’s lot’s of lonely women out there with wild imaginations ~!

MoonDancer

Same with age, most of those online queens have been 40 for the past 20 years ! I would like to know how they do that because I just keep gettin older…..

behind_blue_eyes

In the gay community, some “exaggeration” is almost expected I guess, lol!

One reason is their own shallowness. I did an experiment. Made profiles on two different sites, everything the same except location and age.

I needed to have two different locations as many have profiles on different sites. I used the exact same current picture, but gave my real age (39, then) and 29.

The difference in activity was startling. I was even accused of using a “old” picture when I gave my real age.

Out of curiosity, I actually met several people using the fake age — never once was I questioned. I felt bad for this one guy: nice but not my type. However, he became somewhat obsessed with me, even after my telling him that I did not think we had much in common.

I often feel weird when I go out. I meet more 20-something guys at 42 than I did at 22! My x-Scousepath would be jealous.

The other week I was out and this somewhat drunk 23 year old approached me. We started talking and h asked me how old I was. I said guess… He said 28 or 29. I laughed and said dryly “you are very good at telling somebody’s age…”

We talked for like an hour. He even bought me a drink. Then he tells me “wow, you must have a very interesting life as your knowledge and experiences seem like that of somebody much older…”

Then he says to me “are you a Vampire or something…” I laughed. “Maybe.”

I never told him the truth. I bought him a drink and then talked a bit more and simply said goodbye. He was beating around the bush but never put things together.

I guess I am lucky in one way but in another way frustrated. So many gay men either do not take care of themselves or the ones that do opt for a tanned and muscled stereotype look that is not my type.

I have said this before. The real hold the x-Scouspath had on me is that while he was very much starting to show his age, he had a look and exterior charm that was very attractive to me and I have not met a 35+ year old guy since him that did the same.

Ox Drover

The HORROR STORIES of people who have met their psychopath on line are terrible….talk about catfish! HUGE CATFISH! I have also met a couple of psychopaths, not romantic and not on a dating site, but other sites that seemed very nice, but it didn’t take long in “real life” to see that these people were psychopaths and out to use me if they could.

I’ve also met some disordered people in real life in mutual interest groups, some at work, and some in business relationships….and gave birth to one, and was sired by one…

Online dating? Long distance dating? Nah, I will pass, if I ever again find anyone to date it will be in their natural environment where I can observe them and see how they treat others.

Tea Light

Moon, making note to self “learn canasta” . How pleasingly retro a hobby is that!

behind_blue_eyes

This is funny. The x-Scousepath on several profiles uses this one photo in which he looks very young. He has his arm around somebody, but the picture is cropped so that the other person is not visible.

His best friend uses the other half as his FB profile picture — with the x-Scousepath cropped out…

Several of this guy’s friends noted that it is a very old picture!

Tea Light

Liverpool’s not that big. I think we need to consider the appalling possibility that the Scousepaths are distantly or even closely related. Second cousins is a definate maybe. Time for my medication.

behind_blue_eyes

Tea Light;

Based on descriptions, I actually thought that. I believe they both went to the same Uni, although maybe 5 years apart. While the x-Scousepath got out of Liverpool as soon as he graduated, his sister still lives there. Given that she is 4 years older than her brother, she might actually know Louise’s x-Scousepath.

She is a piece of work. I literally feel for her sons as their mother drinks like a fish and does not hide it. While on holiday she apparently was once sunning by a pool and decided to go topless. Then she went for a swim with the boys and forgot to put her top on…

I once saw a picture of her and her girl friends that would make the cast of Desperate Scousewives look upscale.

True-to-Self

Hi, I haven’t been on for a while, but have been reading. I haven’t been on a dating site for at least 3 years as my last boyfriend was definitely a spath. I quit dating two years ago to take some time to get over my divorce of a 25 year marriage. Having said that, I had a profile on Singlesnet which can be used for good or for bad. The best thing to do is to meet right away in a public place of course.

The mistake many people make including myself is to fall in love on email or phone. What I seemed to need and my ex spath sensed that was phone time. He would talk to me, mostly listen to me. When we finally met I felt like I knew him. Any of the red flags I would shsssssh in my head. I do realize now that he was telling me what I wanted to hear.

Another really scary story, the candidate before him had talked on the phone a lot with me. When we were getting ready to meet he told me he had to tell me something. He told me that he had been in prison for 20 years. I held my breath and asked why? FOR MOLESTING HIS OWN CHILDREN!!! I swear the room spun after he told me that. The reason he was honest is that I mentioned I liked parks and I had been a teacher. He was not allowed to be in a certain proximity of schools or parks. So, after him my soon to be ex spath seemed like Prince Charming.

TTS

Tea Light

TTS that’s horrible, you must have been very shaken. Good God what did he expect from you after that? A dinner date? Horrible.

behind_blue_eyes

OMG. My brother had a similar experience with a women he met online — sex had been convicted of having sex with a 13 year-old boy!

True-to-Self

Tea Light,

Yes, it was horrible. I had almost forgot as I was with the ex-spath for a year and a half. The pedophile wanted me to meet him at some community center where he went dancing once a week. The scary thing is he seemed like a nice guy on the phone. I later looked up his criminal record and sure enough he had one. Fortunately the only thing I wasted on him was some phone time, but just talking about it makes me feel like I need a shower or two.

TTS

Tea Light

BBE, it really is a possibility, a friend of mine is from The Wirral (sort of posh suburb of Liverpool) and when I stayed with his family his brother’s best friend turns out to be Paul McCartney’s cousin. They’re all related! Small city.

behind_blue_eyes

Louise;

Deleted…

Tea Light

TTS, so sorry, completely understandable that you would have that feeling of contamination . Did you report him to the site he has his profile on by any chance? If so were the site managers responsive? I don’t know what they would do in the case of a convicted sex offender. These sites are a hazard unless people are psychologically prepared to encounter and deal with individuals like you unfortunately encountered TTS. Peace and love to you x

bluemosaic

Hello to all,

OMG…I met my spath on line.

This may seem hard to believe… that he was the first and only man I ever dated from the only site I ever went on. He pounced on me the 2nd day I was on this site. I now see how predatorial it all was….at the time, i just thought he really dug me !!!lol

I did recieve alot of responses and sifted through them methodically , only speaking with a few…most just seemed to want s-x, to chat you to death or honestly admitted to nothing in common on phone. A few nice , but no contact happened b/c they went slow …..Imagine that !!!

Well..sadly , he was the second man I dated post divorce and the first and only from the date-site I joined. I will never on- line date again. I am sure some are normal…but I just could not do it again.

All seemed so wonderful in early days…and you already know “the rest of the story” or I would not be here….

I have wondered if I should report him? He really is a sick one …I do think he is dangerous, at the end, he threatened my life for having crying spells and emo-outbursts( never mind that he was cheating and very cruel, i left after the threat) …he even told me at end that he is more dangerous than I know (shiver)…and I know he will go after 18 n up, he likes them pretty and sweet!…..this man is filled with evil ….but I would be considered just a jilted lover….right?

And I am legitamately afraid of him. I have never known a crueler man in my life. When he “turned”, showed true colors and took off mask, it was not pretty.

I will addres this ? and more with my conselor b/c I also know of his aspirations that could put him on a college campus with 1000’s of young fair “game”….truly scary. And he works with young women…has anyone else ever felt a moral responsibility to tell someone?

But the fear I have is real…and I have children…I have to honor that first.

Bluemosaic

True-to-Self

Bluemosaic and Tea Light, No I didn’t report him.
It seems like such a long time ago now. I met my ex spath after that. He didn’t have a prison record or anything but he did seem to have a record of manipulating people, using people, just for some sort of game.
Looking back now, I would have never given the Ex-Spath as much time as I did had it not been for all of that phone time. I should have met him at Starbucks at least and see if he paid”.or for dinner and see how big a tip he left. He would give me gifts, but he was mostly a free-loader. He ended up on my phone plan. It was interesting as his previous girlfriend had him on her phone plan. Once I lost my phone battery under the refrigerator. He told me he could loan me his deactivated phone until I found it (same plan as mine). I found my phone but I had this brilliant idea. All I had to do was add a line to my plan and he could have his old phone”.ha ha ha. Wasn’t I brilliant. It is hard to believe he had me believing it was my idea. Guess who paid his phone bill every month. Not him!

True-to-Self

I started seeing spath in July and broke up with him in February. The problem is after that I kept getting back together with him. I had a hard time letting people go. Does anyone else have a problem with that? I don’t know if it was I was afraid to be alone or what. I also seemed to vent my emotions on the man I was with, hense all of the phone time. I have found that a journal works just as well or since then I have cultivated women friendships who also like to talk on phone.

The last time I saw him was right before a 4th of July weekend I had read the Sociopathic Checklist on line, and it flashed off the screen. I couldn’t believe it, but he was definitely one of them. I made up a very lame excuse and cancelled the weekend. I did talk to him a few times after than, until he hung up on me on Christmas Eve and called me the Bitch from Hell. I was hurt by that comment, but looking back now I think it was a complement as he had realized that I couldn’t be manipulated anymore.

True-to-Self

Time Frame. I met spath in person the day my divorce from final. spent off and on of a year and a half with him. I haven’t seen him or talked to him……or dated anyone else since December of 2010. I did date before him and with the acception of my old High School boy friend who found me on Classmates, I met the rest of the guys on line. Unfortunately most of them were married……like What part of SINGLES net didn’t they understand. When I met my spath I figured I finally have a guy of my own who I can see and talk to after 6 p.m. at night and on weekends. Bad decision.

Blue,
Ewww,I don’t know what others will say;but I would feel that my conscience would bother me if I didn’t report him!Just the fact that he told you he is more dangerous than you knew…No Good!There was a story on here yesterday about a sex killer in Belgium-IF ONLY people had paid attention to reports and made subsequent reports!!!

I ‘met’ my husband,not through online dating,but rather our addresses were exchanged through a mutual friend.It was more his idea than hers.She has apologized profusely!She was newly married,and new to the area.She was just as naive as I was.I will never again have a long distance relationship!

My husband loved the attention he got;as in North meets South.So many commented on his accent.He would tell me before we entered a building,to be sure an introduce him,”because he’s shy”.But before I could even get inside,he was introducing himself and ‘talking away’!He called every woman he met “Honey”,saying it was just a habit.He would tell me about pretty women he saw laying out in their yards in the neighborhood in their bikinis.And yet,he’d tell me that I didn’t need to wear makeup.Five yrs into our marriage,he withdrew affection,intimacy.He went from overweight to morbidly obese.Life went downhill.

bluemosaic

Blossom$th,

Thx for your thoughts…I will start seeing counselor this week and will share details, let them help me make decision. I do not want to alarm people needlessly, nor for revenge, i do not operate that way, and honestly…very afraid of him.

But the access he has to young women bothers me now that I understand what he really is.

BTW, my spath paid for every meal, did take me on a couple vacations and once in awhile gave me extra money for no reason. I know , sounds like a nice guy. Does this mean that he can’t be a spath? He also never bought me gifts, not even for x-mas(gave cold hard cash) and he completely ignored my b-day. Contradictory behavior, like every thing else he did..never added up.

Is it possible he was just a womanizing wolfe like meanie? He fit the mo so spot on though…every trait to a tee…….

I am second quessing myself…he taught me to doubt my instincts…oh yeah

Bluemosaic

MoonDancer

BBE,
In dog years I am 406, in gay years I am dead.
So…, pass the chocolate.

Louise

BBE:

I Googled the Montreal player and no, they do not have the same last name. Still doesn’t mean they couldn’t be distant cousins or something. I have always thought that. Yes, they both went to John Moores University.

Yeah, his sister is probably about the same age as my Scousepath. He is no doubt a damaged guy. I just know that something happened to him when he was a boy…I don’t know what, but something.

Good to talk to you today! I hope you enjoyed the hockey match!!

Louise

Tea Light:

Scousepath of course grew up in Liverpool, but then he lived in Manchester…Warrington…are you familiar with it?

I think there is a possiblity that BBE and my Scousepaths know each other or are distantly related. Scousepath told me that his Aunt babysat Paul McCartney at one time!!…yep, small world!! x

MoonDancer

aren’t all vampires related?

Louise

MD:

Yeah, I guess they are.

kim frederick

Moony, In dog beers I’ve had two. Pass the hot wings. 🙂

MoonDancer

🙂

Tea Light

Lou, I once had the ‘pleasure’ of visiting the IKEA in Warrington 🙁 x

Louise

Tea Light:

So that’s bad? IKEA is a cool store. x

Truthspeak

Bluemosaic, it’s the cog/diss trying to kick in – to rationalize the “bad” behaviors of someone else to fit into your system of beliefs. YOU wouldn’t deliberately target, use, and discard someone, so anyone that you would care about and love wouldn’t do it, either. It’s “normal” to try to rationalize this, but once we’re able to “accept” facts as they are, the cog/diss begins to evaporate, little-by-little.

So glad to hear that you’ll begin your counseling! Whatever you do during your sessions, PLEASE – from personal experience – do not allow the word, “sociopath,” escape your lips during sessions. I do not know why this is true, but professional therapists (even the ones that “get it”) have a negative and visceral reaction when their clients render an assessment. Ask many questions about your own reactions – learn techniques to process the experiences and to manage the aftermath.

Brightest blessings

Tea Light

Lou I like IKEA’s products and prices it’s the aircraft hanger stores packed with arguing couples I am not keen on. Plus I always come out with something silly that seemed a must have in the store. You know. Like a lamp in the shape of a banana or a big jar of swedish fish paste lol x

Truthspeak

TeaLight! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! arguing couples, banana lamp, and swedish fish paste……..(snort, cackle, guffaw)

Truthspeak

Moon & Kim – count me in on the years, beers, and dogs…..

Moon – you really crack me up, sometimes, and I mean some of your comments cause me to startle my cats from laughing aloud! LOL

Truthspeak

Oh, holy shitballs…….it’s Friday and I’m already off my rails……(still cackling)

Tea Light

Truthy 🙂 last time I came out with 5 multi packs of Dime bars and a set of screwdrivers. Only £2! Yeah. Like I know how to Do It Myself. lol. x

Louise

Tea Light:

I don’t have an IKEA in my area. I would have to travel about 1 1/2 hours to get to one, but I visited one a long, long time ago.

Well, I have one more single friend who has now found someone and is getting engaged. Two now in the past two months. It compounds the feeling of being alone forever. x

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