What Does a Catfish Have to do With Online Dating?

dastardly

Last week I gave you an introduction to online dating.  Hopefully you have had a chance to look around and check out a few sites you might want to join.  It is “free” to register, however, once you are “hooked” you are going to want to start communicating with some of these handsome men or gorgeous women.  Basically, most of the sites will let you send a “wink” or a “poke” or some indication to let the other party know you are interested.  After that you are going to have to give them your credit card information if you want to communicate any further.  The best “deal” is usually if you sign up for 6 months.  Why is that?  Well, because they want you to find a match, but just not right away.  Be forewarned, if you do find someone right off the bat that you hit it off with and you’ve signed up for six months, well, that is too bad.  No refunds.  Now, I haven’t checked lately, so perhaps you will find this to be different from your experience.  And, there is one completely free site: Craigslist.  Go ahead and look around.  I have met a few nice men from craigslist, and I have received emails from many who I would rather pass by.  But by all means you should consider this site.  Just be very careful.  You are going to have to decide which site you like the best and how much money you want to commit.  And if you don’t remember to cancel your credit card, they will just keep charging it.  Now that you have the information, hopefully it will be easier.  Here is an article about online dating that has really good information about the process of choosing a site, deciding how you want to date, etcetera. http://dating.about.com/od/onlinedating/ht/choosedating.htm

Now on to the topic of the week What Does a Catfish Have to Do With Online Dating?

catfished

“A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=catfish

Recently a friend of mine described how she had been subjected to the catfish scam.  She was contacted on Facebook and requested to be someone’s friend.  She normally does not “friend” a stranger but in this case she did.  It quickly developed into text messaging and phone calls.  Her very close girlfriend alerted her about catfishing or catphishing and told her how to go about checking the scammer out.  There are several sites that advertise their services for determining whether you have been scammed.  However, if you type “catfish,” or online dating scams into your search engine you will be flooded with sites.  Be careful because these sites could be a scam as well. http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/726 http://socialcatfish.com/what-is-catfishing-online-dating/

The scammers prey on lonely men and women.  Often they steal identities and post fake picture, fake lives, fake children, and fake jobs.  It isn’t too difficult to copy a picture off the internet.  If you are suspicious you can Google their phone number.  Next, you can go to whitepages.com and do a cross directory.  Or you can ask them to Skype.  When someone starts hesitating to offer verification, the red flag should go up.  Also, are they quite a distance from you?  Have some type of crisis going on in their life?  Can’t meet you in person?  Sometimes this is all legitimate; just know this can be a sign of being a scammer.  One other thing I really want to caution you about is to always meet the person at the place agreed upon and let someone know where you are going.  You might want to meet for coffee to begin with but always have your own vehicle so you can leave and don’t let them know where you live until you have gone on a few dates and feel safe.

Now that I’ve probably scared you into never going on an online dating site, I will share a success story.  A friend of mine has been online dating off and on for some years and she just got married.  I knew through her Facebook postings that she had met this guy and a year later to the day, they were married.  So I asked her to summarize her story because we all enjoy a good love story.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am one of the success stories of online dating.  I have been on dating websites off and on for years, putting myself out there hoping to be “plucked”.  My last attempt I figured would be short lived and if I was successful great, if not, well say la vie.  I found Match.com to be my most amicable website.  I have used that site before and just found it familiarly comfortable.  I diligently filled out the required information and started my search….or I sat back and let the gentlemen court me.  Shortly before July, 2012 I started conversing with a gentleman whom I myself shied away from for various personal reasons, but would re-visit his profile now and again to see how frequently, infrequently he was “last active.”  Finally he contacted me, and after our busy, full schedules parted the waves, we arranged a date.  On August 10, 2012 we met at 6 p.m. at Applebee’s restaurant in Windsor, him stating we would have beverage of choice, and if we liked each other we would get menus and go from there…………..I met up with him in the parking lot, we walked into the restaurant talking all the way, we were presented a booth where he shyly states “I am new at this, where do I sit” (great line) and with that I motioned RIGHT NEXT TO ME…..the waitress came up, we ordered our beverages and the menus……………and have been together ever since.  When you find your soulmate you know it in your heart! You know it by the looks and glances, the eyes, the gestures and body language…..We married exactly ONE year to the day of our first date, August 10, 2013.  And because of the blissful happiness, it feels like we have been together FOREVER………… This is my online dating SUCCESS story….:)

Leslie and Jay

I too have a success story.  I’m not engaged or married, however, I have been in a monogamous relationship with a great guy for 15 months.  I met him where I go West Coast/Country dancing.  I was tired of the online dating so decided I would pursue a passion of mine which is dancing.  I took lessons and met lots of nice men, but never really hit it off with anyone.  He and I never crossed paths for months and then one day there he was (although he had been going to this dance hall for 10 years – we just hadn’t “noticed” each other.)  It took him a few weeks to ask me out but when he did I said yes.  A few weeks later he told me he saw my profile on Match.com.  So we could have met online, but then again, maybe not.  A little advice to those who wonder where they are going to meet someone is to find your passion and follow it.  You just never know who you are going to meet.  And sharing a common interest is a good way to get started.

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So there you go!  There are success stories for us Baby Boomers.  We can still believe in love and happily ever after.  If you have a story to share or a comment please post it on this blog under comments.

Until next time…………

 

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