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How to Spot a FAKE Dating Profile

Julie Spira Fox Los Angeles

Recently, I was a guest on FOX 11, Los Angeles, in a special feature about people grabbing photos from the Internet and creating a dating profiles on mobile apps and online dating sites.

While this happens, it’s really in the minority of profiles. Still, if you see a hunky model’s photo on a message to you, here’s how to tell if he or she is real.

After watching the video, scroll down to see a sample email that was sent (in bulk) on an online dating site to many users. If you find one like this, don’t reply. Report it as suspicious to the dating site, because they take dating safety seriously, and so do we!

RELATED: Here’s How to Tell Your Date You’re Not Interested Without Ghosting

Photo Swapping on Dating Profiles

In my interview with Susan Hirasuna, I explained the following:

“Julie Spira literally wrote the book on cyber-dating.”
               
“She says, the number one complaint is that people show up for the first date and they don’t look like their profile photos.  

“In the case of Emanuel, she theorizes he may be socially awkward or just needs an ego boost by matching with women on the dating apps.”

“Having the opportunity to chat with someone to boost your ego, if you’re looking like someone they might want to go out with. It’s a game and it’s really a sad game, because you’re really tugging at digital heart strings,” Spira told me.”

“She said, those with the photo swaps likely have no intention in meeting their dating app matches.”

RELATED: 10 Dating Safety Tips

The Suspicious Email

On a popular online dating site, this email has been floating around.

Note the following red flags:

  1. There’s it’s not personalized. “Hi there” doesn’t list your screen name or name.
  2. The writer claims to be in the military, which is a common sign.
  3. The writer claims he is financially stable, something that will attract a woman.
  4. He wants to communicate OFF the dating site and offers an email account and asks for yours.

Hi there,

My name is John and I think your profile looks amazing as It feels great to meet someone who has a positive outlook at life and still looking to find the right one. I am a loving, kind and successful man who is still looking to find the right match.  I’m a senior personnel working with the United States Military and would be retired in a couple months. I am secure, own my homes and financially stable. I have lived a great life with the exception of having that special someone to make memories with as life is full of beautiful memories. I believe life’s adventures are better when shared with someone special and would really love to get past the introduction part and get to know each other personally. I would prefer to communicate via email as I don’t come on here often. You can leave me an email on johnyoung23555@gmail.com  or leave yours as we seem to be on here at different times.  It would be refreshing to get to know each other and see how much we share in common and where it could possibly lead. Would look forward to read from you.

Warmly.
John

While John may indeed be a real person, he won’t brag about his money, be unavailable whenever you are logged on, and won’t immediately ask to communicate off the site.

If you receive an email like this, you can ignore it or report it, but be careful about falling in love from your computer screen with someone who has never appeared to have read your profile.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles dating services. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and was the recipient of the 2017 Best Dating Coach of the Year Award.

For dating advice, FOLLOW @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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10 Tips to Stay Safe while Dating Online

dating safetyOnline dating is a great way to meet new people and to actually fall in love.

A recent Match Singles in America Survey of over 5000 singles revealed that 53% of singles have created a dating profile. The survey also showed that 81% of singles are looking for romantic love and we want you to find it, safely.

At Cyber-Dating Expert, we love helping singles find love online. As a matter of face, I’ve been coaching singles for 23 years now, sine online dating was in its infancy. We also want YOU to feel safe while on a date, and know that dating sites take safety seriously and provide tips that you should know before you open your heart and potentially your wallet.

Here are some dating safety tips to remember before you head out to meet your digital crush.

  • Have a facetime or skype chat, or at least talk on the phone before you meet IRL. While someone may look great in a profile, until you hear the sound of their voice, you won’t know for sure if the person is a neighbor or a bot. I call this pre-dating and if you’re comfortable on the phone, chances are you’ll have a good experience on the date.
  • Find out if you have friends in common. These days it’s so easy to see if you have friends in common on Facebook or Instagram. If so, reach out to your pals to see if you can get the thumbs up or down on your potential date.
  • Watch out for suitors from out of the country or in the military. A popular romance scam is one where the person is writing to you from another country. Sure I know of people from the U.S. who fell in love with someone from Paris and they lived happily ever after, but if someone is stationed someone out of the country, they might ask you for money for a plane ride to visit you. While there’s a song, “I love a Man in a Uniform,” don’t fall prey to requests for money.
  • Be careful if someone says “I love you” too soon. Until you meet in person, you have nothing more than a digital pen pal. Those whose intentions aren’t sincere will want you to fall in love with them immediately. They may say, “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.” Before you change your relationship status, know this is a common ploy to potentially get yo to send them a wire transfer when they have a sudden emergency. After all, they love you, right?
  • Meet in a public place. Whether it’s a dog park, coffee bar, or a happy hour, NEVER meet your date at his or her house. Your first few dates should be in a public place, where there’s activity going on.
  • Don’t get into anyone’s car. If your date asks you for a nightcap elsewhere, you’re pretty much getting into a car with a stranger. Until you get to know them better, take your own car or public transportation, where you can leave if you feel the need to do so.
  • No late night dates (after 10p). This should go without saying, but it screams booty call. You have no idea what other dates he or she had that night, but 10p, means you’re dessert and it’s not a proper date. Just say no and suggest something in the daytime.
  • Don’t sext before ever meeting. The match survey showed that millennials are 48% more likely to have had sex, than other age groups before they ever met their date. I call it digital foreplay, but if you’re sexting big time with someone you haven’t met, the expectation of having sex on the first date will be very high. Go ahead and flirt on text messages and have fun, but leave your clothes on.
  • Let Google become your best friend.  Be careful of photos that look too good to be true. Do a Google search for your date’s email address, phone number, and upload their dating profile photos to Google image reverse search. If they seem sketchy, cancel your date. If things match up, go out and enjoy your date.
  • Limit the drinking on a first date. Alcohol can blur your judgment and having that second drink just might result in a late night booty call or put you in a dangerous situation. If you’re meeting for drinks, limit your alcohol intake to one drink only. If the conversation is going well and you’re not ready to end the date,  order a club soda for your second drink.

If you feel that someone’s profile is suspicious, report the profile to the online dating site, who has your safety as a top priority while looking for love online.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo

FOLLOW Online Dating Expert @JulieSpira on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online with her Irresistible Profiles programs for over 20 years. Julie’s the recent winner of the 2017 iDate Awards for Best Dating Coach and is the author of the bestseller The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and ranks as the most influential person in social media in “dating” and “online dating.”

Researching Dates Can Prevent a Romance Scam

Spokeo Valentine's Day

Romance scams have been in the news lately from singles who are members of online dating sites and social networking sites. Every time I hear one of these stories, it breaks my heart. With Valentine’s Day putting extra pressure on dating, it’s extremely important to make sure that singles are doing their research when looking for a date, whether online or offline.

Know that online dating safety is of the highest importance here at Cyber-Dating Expert.

As a result, I’ve become a Spokesperson for Spokeo, an online search service which provides publicly available data to help you research your dates.

New research provided by Spokeo and Harris Interactive was just released which shows that 71% of Americans are willing to conduct some kind of informational search about the person they are dating. This tells me that singles are taking dating safety very seriously.

Here are 7 tips to help avoid being a victim of a romance scam.

1. If your date’s photos are either blurry or look like they are from a stock photo gallery, or look model-like or too good to be true, it’s time to do some digging.

2. Those involved in perpetrating a romance scam want to take the conversation off the dating site quickly and onto a private chat or instant messenger service. This avoids having the conversations documented or traceable by the dating site?s software. Until you’re sure about your date, keep the conversations on the dating site.

3. If he or she says they’re in love with you very quickly, don’t jump for joy just yet. Romance scammers often will say they’ve never felt this way before about anyone before and they’ve waited their whole life to meet you. Their grammar often isn’t correct and they have an accent if you speak to them on the phone.

4. If he or she lives out of town or out of the country, find out where they really live. If their efforts to visit you get repeatedly canceled due to a work or family emergency, you should be raising a digital eyebrow.

5. If your potential date has a work or family emergency and asks you to wire them money, don’t fall for it. It’s likely they’ll say if you really love them, you’ll help them out and they’ll pay you back quickly. Often the excuse is their funds are temporarily tied up. Don’t fall for it.

6. Make sure to look up the data that you have on someone you’re dating. This can be easily done by plugging the information you have into an online search engine to see if what you find online matches up with what the other person is claiming. Sites like Google and Spokeo can be very informative to research your date.

7. If any of these things happen to you, never ever send money. Do not sent money via Western Union or a foreign bank. Report the profile in question to the dating site and understand that you’re one of many that this person is writing to try try to sweep you off your feet and promise you a life of love and happiness.

Know that you can do a simple search of your potential date’s email address, phone number, or even user name by going to Spokeo.com.

Happy safe dating this Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy the Infographic below and feel free to share this with all of your single friends.

Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Disclaimer: Cyber-Dating Expert is a paid Spokesperson for Spokeo

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35% of Americans Willing to Pay for Dating Research in Order to Feel Safer – An infographic by the team at Spokeo People Search