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Five Major Red Flags To Avoid When Searching For Love Online

“What do the lonely do… at Christmas…”  Well,  a lot of them jump in the sea of love online.  Online dating is now a popular way for individuals to meet, connect, and develop personal and romantic relationships via the internet. There are tons of online dating services to expedite these ventures and now with a plethora of social networking sites finding love online may just find you with one click.
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In 2012 the popular documentary, Catfish, unfolded by following the story of a young man developing a romantic relationship with a young woman via Facebook. After the year-long adventure the young man discovers that everything the young woman portrayed was false. After the release of the documentary the young man was contacted by other people with similar experiences who wanted to know the truth and get connected -in person- with their online matches.

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Now a television show on MTV, Catfish reveals an entire community of people who find themselves romantically involved with another person online without having met face to face, and are skeptical of the truth. Yet once the truth is revealed it is often times altered, false and devastating. Obviously there is nothing wrong with searching for love online, but there are some precautions you must take to avoid these “catfish experiences”.

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Here are five things to look out for when searching for love online:

False Image

With an increase of social network sites, easy is an understatement when it comes to false image use on profiles. One thing we learned from the TV show Catfish was to drag the profile image into a search engine and see where that image is located elsewhere. The image may be under ‘Teresa’s Facebook profile’ but also listed as ‘Kimberly’s LinkedIN profile’.

False IdentityPublic-Record1

Age, sex, and alias are the most important things to know FIRST. It may be awkward to ask, “hey why don’t you send me a sexy picture of your valid driver’s license?” especially since it seems NO ONE takes a good photo these days, but that is why we have the old school white pages and even online services like Peoplefinder.com. If you are really feeling weird you can even check someone’s criminal background on the public conviction database.

False Employement

“What model agency did you say you worked for again?” With today’s technology finding out someone’s employment is as simple as giving the office a call. Even if you have to pretend you are interested in hiring that person, its a great tactic in knowing what’s real and even finding out the reputation of the person’s business.

False Residence

“So you were born in North Carolina, grew up in Atlanta, lived in New Mexico, California, Madrid and Syracuse by age 22?” Sometimes things may not add up and with a little more research flaws in the person’s stories about their past can be revealed. The saying, “it’s a small world” is no joke and mutual friends on social networks are great connections to knowing the truth -even if you don’t have mutual friends, after a simple add now you do.

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False Reasons to Not Video Chat

Eventually trust is established and reasons to avoid video chats shouldn’t be accepted. With video applications like Google chat, Skype, iChat, Oovoo, and Tango just to name a few, there are really no reasons not to eventually video chat. Especially with establishments like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, plus your neighbor’s open Wi-Fi, or a friend’s apartment; Wi-Fi for video chat is easily accessible with phones, tablets and computers. No excuses.

 

 

Have you experienced a ‘catfish’ experience while looking for love online? Share, comment, or get to researching if you’re currently questioning your online love! 

 

 

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