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ONLINE DATING SAFETY
There are some people who use the Internet to prey on other people.
DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE YOU'VE MET ONLINE!
NO MATTER HOW BELIEVEABLE THEY MAY SEEM!
If someone has your last name and the city where you live, they may be able to search for you on Google, or Yahoo, or MSN (or others) and see a map of the location of your home.
If someone has your last name and the city where you live, they may be able to search for you, and find your phone number (if it is listed).
If you have a personal website, and you provide the URL to someone, they may be able to look up your personal information within the Internet's WHOIS directory. In many cases, your registration information is publically available, including your name, address & phone number.
A popular scam is to offer to send you a check for a certain amount. You would then be asked to pay someone else an amount less than the first check, and told that you can keep the difference for your trouble. The idea is that you deposit the 'scammers' check, and send your own check to the 'scammers' friend. Since the check sent to you by the 'scammer' is a check drawn on a foreign bank, it will seem to take longer to clear. What happens in this scam is that the 'scammers' friend will cash your check immediately, and then your bank will inform you that the 'scammers' check did not clear.
A relatively new scam is for someone to claim to be in the military and based overseas. They come up with some reason for why they need money wired to them. DO NOT fall for this. The scammers are attempting to play on the trust and integrity that most people associate with military personel. A video related to this scam can be seen below.
Another popular scam is to try and get people to cash money orders, that turn out to either be counterfeit, or 'already cashed'. There is NO REASON to be involved in ANY financial activity with or for someone you do not know!
(Also, do not join a website that you are not comfortable being associated with.)
A relatively new scam involves gathering someone's personal contact information, and then using it to try and blackmail them. This scam is especially effective if someone is doing something online that they might be ashamed of, or if they are a member of a site they wouldn't want people to know about. If you give out your personal contact information (email, cellphone, etc.), you are asking for trouble.
Do you know of another online dating scam? Let us know.
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