AVOIDING THE CATFISH NET…
This is the real world people – there are bad people out there, and most of them are not dressed in sheep’s clothing (or catfish’s for that matter). On the internet, you can’t even see what they are wearing (or not wearing), much less what they really look like, where they really live, if they are who they say they are. Granted, most people are good and somewhat genuine, but let’s not get caught in the Catfish net, shall we?
SOME RED FLAGS
- Military Pics – We love our military and everything they are doing for us. Most people do. This is what makes them a target for dating profile identity theft. Often fake profile people will ask you for money and/or favors. A good looking, distant (inaccessible) poor (needy) government employee who is fighting for your freedom may just play in tune on your vulnerable heart strings. Beware!
- Never go to the next location – The number one rule for kidnap victims. This applies to you as well. They may ask you to switch to MSN or Yahoo messenger, this increases your vulnerability. Keep things on your terms.
- Look for old school language or poor English – Often these scammers are foreigners and English is not their first language. They might even claim to be Americans living or travelling abroad. There are conversations you can have which will quickly identify this person’s nationality. Be smart!
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – Sad but true. I know, we’re all out there hoping to find that one person who completes us. They’re out there somewhere, and an internet dating site is a good a place as any to look, right? That’s exactly what the bad guy/girl knows about you. So they’ll play into that. You like tennis, they like tennis! You’re a Jets fan, they’re a Jets fan! You rescue cavalier king Charles spaniels, they rescue cavalier king Charles spaniels! Just be cautious.
BOTTOM LINE – DON’T EVER SEND MONEY! Don’t give away your bank account, credit card number, address, phone number, any personal information until you meet and feel you can trust this person. Always meet in a public place, let your friends or family know where you are going, be aware. If your internal radar starts ringing – believe it! Intuition is there for a reason. Bad energy is felt loud and clear.
If you feel you have been wronged or spotted one of these wolves – you can tell on them! Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center www.ic3.gov
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