If you are going to play online and expose yourself to an unidentified stranger, shouldn't you protect your identity? No matter how much you think you can trust a person, you cannot, and it isn't very smart to think otherwise. The person you are chatting with is not your friend and not the person in the photo. Does it make sense to risk potential embarrassment and all the other lousy mojo if exposed?
Online play is nothing less than sexual roulette. You spin the sexual wheel, and you have no clue as to where the disaster will land. Maybe, in the hands of a blackmailer, uploaded to a porn website, who knows, you certainly do not. Think hard, while you are doing the deed in your birthday suit, there is a plot to blackmail you in action.
Romance scammers not only target victims on dating sites but also social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and many others. What I have noticed about most scam Facebook accounts is they are not detailed.
Scammers do the basics like filling in the About Page, and friend anyone and everyone. They will load up a bunch of photos, but since they have a limited amount, you will not see any more added after the initial post.
Watch for Facebook pages that are incomplete or rarely updated. Scam pages never appear organic; they are usually thrown together. It like the page is built to give an internet presence not to socialize. Also, they focus on friends and followers as opposed to content. I noticed the same on fake Pinterest and Instagram accounts.
If you stumble on a Facebook page with postings, ask yourself if the language appears native, or Google translated. Scammers also like the words darling, my beautiful sweetheart, and my queen. I know it doesn't sound very smart, but it is true. They flower up their dialogue as if they got a lesson on how to be an awkward teenage Don Juan. Copy and paste a posting in a search engine and see if it appears anywhere else online.
What I found most common on fake Facebook pages is the lack of or no family members. When I search the Friends Page, there is never a family member who shares the same last name. Another tell-tale is the widowers who post photos of them and their children, not a family member commenting or liking the picture. No mother, brother, sister, cousins, co-worker, or friend from high-school.
If you are dating online, it is essential to play Frank M. Ahearn and search out the person's information. Be logical, and not enamored by what you see; because it is all fantasy until proven otherwise. Anybody can build a Facebook page; all you need is a mobile phone number and an email address. That is nowhere close to confirming an identity. Ask yourself, what have you done to verify their identity? Sorry, but a passport is not a confirmation of identity since it is easy to fake online. A ten-minute clear video is a good start.
Frank M. Ahearn educates victims on romance scams.
He is the author of the New York Times Best Seller How to Disappear.
Email Addresss: ID@Scam.Guru