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Protect Yourself Against Scammers Posted on Sep 11, 2010 at 08:15 AM

Dear Friends:

Thanks for reading my first blog attempt on LF. The topic is internet scammers and how to spot them on dating sites. I apologize in advance if there are other blogs on this topic, but in my newbi-ness on this site, I was unable to locate any. Since I don’t see the other side of things, this is aimed mostly toward other women on the site who receive emails that may hoodwink us. I would love to hear from men about how they are approached.

In my first few days, it was with great excitement and an open heart that I answered every wink and email. I continue to do so out of courtesy and to make sure I don’t get too jaded and throw out the baby with the bathwater. Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully. So deep apologies to those that fit any general descriptions who are not villains. Here are some noticeable trends:

Warning #1: Profile basics
- only 1 picture or no picture.
- high income.
- widowed
- pictures of military men seem to be quite popular (sorry to those genuine guys on all points!)

Warning #2: The initial approach is a wink or brief email to which you respond politely. The interesting thing I’ve noted is that a scammer will respond almost immediately (within minutes, hours at the most) as if he is monitoring - so communication can be fast and the upside of this is that you can determine very quickly if this person is sincere.

Warning #3: He immediately gives you a private email and IM address. He gives the excuse that he isn’t on SFF that often or that he is leaving SFF. My thoughts on that are that if he is truly interested he’ll stick around.

Warning #4: An initial or 2nd email from a scammer will always be general. They will talk about your profile and how it interests them and it may sound very nice. But when you closely read it there is nothing specific to your profile.

Warning #5: Toward women, a scammer tends to go right for an emotional connection to those that are vulnerable. A 2nd or 3rd email will suddenly profess that they think you are the one they’ve been looking for, their heart’s desire, the love of their life. From my internet research it seems the approach to a man will be visual – some stunning lady.

Warning #6: You go back and read his profile carefully. If you are alert you will note that the style of writing he uses in his profile and in his email are very different.

Warning #7: To build on the last point, it is a Caucasian male born and raised in North America and he sounds like everything you want. He probably is, and he actually really exists on another site but this is simply a phoney copy. He sounds intelligent and balanced. He has a high income doing some executive work of some kind, or very educated, and yet he makes basic grammatical errors. Don’t hurt me on this guys. A lot of men work out of the brain’s spacial centers while women work mostly from the communication centers, so things like spelling errors  etc are very common (and absolutely no indication of anything btw). What I’m talking about here are ways of speaking that men in the western world, or men who have English as a first language don’t speak. Here is an example – keeping in mind this was the 2nd email received! This is a Caucasian Texan  male with a $150,000 income:

“If you would give me the chance i will love to explore and see what this is all about, hopefully it will be my dream come true of finding my better half, what do you think? Well i am will love you to give this a spark of a go ahead and lets get to know better..and see what the future holds, i will love to hear from you soonest so i wont be away from my computer for long...keeping my fingers crossed awaiting that response , whatever the content of the mail i really dont care, all i want is the opportunity to read from the woman that pleases my heart.”

If this was from a man in any non English country, then I might be able to buy it (but not really), but a born and bred North American male profile? This is an example of the type of profile that I’ve seen women respond to publicly and positively and someone they’ve exchanged emails with! Please ladies protect your hearts!

Warning #8: Not only grammatical errors but PC ones as well (the ugly “politically correct”). When someone in their email addresses me as “dear” 3 times in 6 lines (or even once for that matter), there may be something amiss unless they are Australian However, again, North American men don’t usually speak like that.

Warning #9: Most males in the west do not profess their love the 2nd or 3rd email. …or 20th  for that matter, ..that usually signifies a disconnect from the profile. THAT is a clear sign to STOP and report the profile.  Even as they speak of love you will notice they still do not note anything specific about your profile.

Final Warning #10: This comes later in your communication. A person has convinced you to communicate outside SFF by giving you there IM and their personal email. You build up a communication. You are feeling very comfy with this relationship. The person has expressed some personal dilemma but they are handling it. Eventually they will reveal their true financial situation and some dire emergency and you are now so dedicated you want to help him. Even as an intelligent and loving person, you CAN fall prey to this. The scammer has done this over and over again. He is smooth and convincing.  If you do fall for it, there is no legal way to recoup the money, the self respect etc.

Bottom line is pay attention to your God-given intuition and heart. Simply report these people to LF and let them do an investigation.

Good luck out there.