Top Tips of Keeping Yourself From Getting Catfished Online

As a single mother, I am not ashamed to admit that I have tried online dating. Online dating for me turned out to be more of a social experiment as oppose to a way to find love. There are many commercials and real life stories of people who have found their husband or wife through online dating. So, it is a good assumption to say that there are some people who do reap some benefits from online dating.

But if you watch just one episode of catfish you can see that their are many online dating horror stories. In fact it amazes me at how many people get tricked into dating people for years without ever really knowing what they look like. So here are my tips on how to prevent yourself from getting cat fished online.

Ask For Pictures

Obviously if you met the person online, then you are going to see pictures of them. But just because the pictures are on their profile does not mean that these are pictures of them. Once you start talking to someone, try to ask for random photos at random times of the day. Most importantly ask them to text it to you.

A red flag is if when asking for a picture of someone, and they constantly put you off or send you a picture days after you have asked them. This may be a sign that they got the picture from somewhere or someone else.

Skype or Video Chat.

This one should be a no brainier, if you want to make sure the person that you are talking to is really the person you are talking to, then of course you need to see them. It shocks me how people can go on for years and years with talking to someone online and not see their face. Then magically they are somehow shocked that when they really see the person it is not them.

After talking to someone for a while, video chatting with them is perfectly normal and expected. Once again if someone is actively avoiding you from seeing them, then they are not who they say they are. You should be concerned.

Talk To Them on The Phone

Talking on the phone is one of the easiest things you can do. Almost everyone has a cell phone and there are no long distant charges so there is no reason why someone cannot talk on the phone with you. Some red flags to look out for is not being able to talk on the phone, never talking on the phone while they are at home, or being rushed off the phone. This may not only signify that they are are not who they say they are, but that they may be hiding a spouse or a hidden life from you as to why they are not free to talk on the phone at various times of the day.

Background Check

I am not talking about running their social security number but rather researching the information they tell you. This includes running their image through image search to see if the pictures on their profile come up as someone else. Also do a reverse phone search, their phone number should come up registered to them and in the location they say they are in.

Progression of the Relationships

As with any relationships, their should be some type of progression. This means you should be talking on the phone, seeing each other, making plans to go on real life dates. Never under any circumstances should you be in a situations where you have been taking to someone for years and years and have never even seen their face. After of about two month (max) of talking to someone, you have not seen their face in person or on Skype then just let it go. Something is wrong here.

As a single women and mother I have tried all the dating tips and trick. And they are all in my book “Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.” Read the first two chapters free on Amazon. Click this link to purchase http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-After-Gods-Heart-Encouragement/dp/1493698303/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Is Your Cougar Net Empty? How to Write a Winning Online Profile

One of the problems of trying to connect with people online is getting their attention. There is a lot of competition out there and Cougars are selective. They know what they want, which also means they know what they don’t want. If older men are no longer inspiring, then don’t fall in their footsteps. Cougars are looking for fun, excitement and someone who reflects that in his profile will get responses.

When I read the profiles here and on other dating sites, I start feeling like I am watching repetitive scenes from the movie Ground Hog Day; you know…the one with Bill Murray where every morning when he wakes up the day is exactly like the day before.

Every profile starts to look and sound the same. They all blur into each other. I read. I click to the next. I read. I click to the next. If there is nothing in the very first line that grabs me, I click DELETE and go to the next.

Did you read what I just said? IF THERE IS NOTHING IN THE VERY FIRST LINE THAT GETS A WOMAN’S ATTENTION, SHE WILL CLICK DELETE.

People are busy. We only have so much time to do so many things in any given day. If you are not having any luck getting responses from your online profile, then take some helpful tips and do a profile makeover. What have you got to lose? Oh, yeah… another lonely Saturday night…

Here we go:

1) Read a ton of profiles for both men and women.
Notice which ones grab your attention and why. Make some notes. Take a close look at the very first line. That is your “signature” line that tells people why they should bother to read the rest of your profile. When you read women’s profiles, you start to understand what they are looking for and what kind of language they speak.

2) Do not put yourself down.
Don’t say,”Well, I’m just me,” or “Wow. I never know what to write on these things,” or “Ask me if you want to know more.” It makes you look wishy washy, lame and like you have a lot of insecurity issues. It also makes you look like you don’t know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, why should anyone be interested? If you are online, you are already in a public venue. So don’t hide who you are and then expect someone to “recognize” how special you are by some magical telepathy and hit you up to know more.

Instead, write something that plays to a personal strength you have. “Dashing young dude with a penchant for sweeping you off your feet and onto the dance floor seeks fun loving, leading lady to star in everlasting relationship.”

Get my drift? Sparkle! Shine! Excite us! Give us the ‘wow’ factor!

3) Don’t make cliche’ statements.
Don’t start your profile with “I am…” statements. “I am beautiful, sexy, compassionate, honest, intelligent…” yeah, yeah…everybody says that. Did you ever read a profile that said, “I’m a loser, drug addict, unemployed bum sleeping on my mother’s sofa?”

Tell us something about you that makes you different from everyone else. “One of my passions is animal rescue and this summer our group is hosting the Basset Hound Olympics to raise money for their veterinary care.” Gee, doesn’t that tell someone how compassionate you are and how you like doing charity work? Be specific. Actions speak louder than words.

Avoid “I like to work hard and play hard,” or “I am as comfortable in a dress as I am in jeans and a T-shirt.” How many times do you see those statements? “I enjoy fine dining.” (Who doesn’t?) “I am independent.” (And that means…?) and for God’s sake aren’t we all sick of “I like to take long walks on the beach” and that nauseating term,”with that special someone.” (Pardon me while I skeeve.)

4) Be compelling
Take a stand. State an opinion. This way you will look defined as a person to someone and will attract people who share your same views and interests. “My idea of a great first date is microwaving crayons into shapes of famous historical figures and then discussing socialism over a fine glass of port,” is more definitive than “I like to do silly things and discuss events of the day.”

People like to meet people who know who they are. It shows you have something to bring to the table and that you can hold up your end of the date or relationship.

5) Post a good, clear picture of yourself.
Smile. Don’t post a serious shot because you think it makes you look cool. It makes us wonder if you just got out of prison. Don’t wear sunglasses. Don’t try to look or act cool. Look friendly, happy, approachable and fun! Don’t flash gang signs or peace signs or flip the bird. Leave your penis in your pants. We’ve seen them before and they ain’t all that and a bag of chips.

Put up several photos, especially of you doing fun things that we might enjoy doing with you. Do not put up a pic with you and your ex. Do not put up a pic with you and half of your ex cut out of the pic. Ladies, believe it or not, not every man likes to see us with our dogs. *sigh* So include a pic of you and Bonster, but put some other pics in as well. If a guy is not a pet owner or loves his 23 cats, he will probably pass on you and fido.

6) Your screen name says a lot about who you are and what you are looking for.
If your screen name is “Young and Hung” or “Licking My Eyebrows” we know you are looking for booty calls and not a serious contender for anything beyond a one night stand and you probably expect us to drive to you and pick up a pizza on the way over. We also know you probably have a different girl every night, a few diseases brewing and an axe in the hall closet. DELETE.

7) Be sincere and be honest in who you are and what you are looking for.
Be honest about your age, weight, height. Don’t post pictures more than a year old or with brown hair if you have just dyed it tomato red. When people see your picture and arrange to meet you they are expecting to meet who they see in the picture. Anything else is deceptive and disappointing. Don’t post a group photo. We can’t tell who you are and we are not interested in meeting the group. We are interested in meeting you.

Don’t say you are looking for a long term relationship if you are really seeking friends with benefits. One reason I have so many options to choose on profiles is so people can really connect with people who are looking for the same things. If you are married, separated, divorced and a bit fragile and just want to test the waters then say so. “I just got out of a long term situation and just want to meet new people for fun and conversation and see how it goes for a while before I start to think about anything serious again.” People appreciate honesty and transparency. It shows that you respect them and it also shows you have a level of integrity about yourself.

8) Tell us who you are.
If you want to capture someone’s attention, you need to put something on the hook before you cast your line. No fish on earth will bite a clean hook. Few people will respond to a profile that has nothing or very little on it. Why should they when the next one they click on has lots of info on it that they can read and connect with?

Talk about your hobbies and interests and convey your enthusiasm: “I like to skydive” is informative, but, “There is nothing like nude skydiving to really get the adrenalin flowing. There is just something so thrilling about plummeting down to earth at 100 miles an hour while grandma is tracking me with her telescope that is spiritually transcending,” really gives us a clear picture of your passion about it.

9) Tell us what you do professionally.
Why is this important? Because it helps us visualize you on the job doing what you do during the day and it helps us to connect with that image and with you. It further defines who you are and helps us figure out if we want to connect with you. If you are a butcher and the woman reading your profile is a member of PETA and a staunch vegetarian then why waste time emailing and chatting and then meeting if she knows in her heart of hearts that this will never work?

You can say, “I am a student” or you can say,”I am in my third year of college studying marine biology. You haven’t seen anything in life until you watch two starfish mating. It is the most life affirming thing on earth. When I finish school, my goal is to have a catfish farm in a small southern Delta town and export catfish to Dubai.”

Wow. I am so there…

10) Be open. Be friendly. Be approachable. Be fun.
Be someone that someone else would like to get to know better. And express who you are through writing. Profiles are written. Not every one is a good writer, but this is the medium that you are selling yourself in. It is a visual medium. If you don’t write well but can express yourself through speaking, then upload a 60 second video on yourself telling everyone who you are and what you are looking for. Keep the video short. Famed Canadian award winning film director Mack Sennet said never have a gag over 90 seconds. The audience loses interest.

Be respectful. Think about what you write before you write it. “I like women with big asses,” is not in any way flattering to any woman, even if she has a big ass. Don’t be crude. Crude is gross. Crude skeeves women.

A well thought out and prepared profile with good photos will get you noticed. If it is obvious that you spent no time on your profile, then whoever sees it assumes you are just a player and not seriously looking to meet anyone and will click off. If you take no time to fill out your profile, then why should anyone take time to respond? No one wants to respond to a void or a profile that says,”I’ll tell you later.” That’s like saying,”I have a secret and if I think you are worthy enough I will share it with you.” (Skeeving again.) NEXT.

Write complete sentences. If your language skills are not so good, then ask someone to help you express yourself in writing. If you can’t communicate who you are and what you are looking for then you won’t interest anyone.

You have to remember that there are millions of profiles on many dating sites. You are in competition with all the other profiles online. You have to see yourself as a product and wage an advertising campaign in order to get results. If you had to make a commercial for yourself and had to produce a 60 second spot, what would you say? What would your lead line be? You need an attention grabbing beginning, a well thought out, informative and exciting middle and a “close” to end.

The goal is to get responses. When you get responses then you can decide who you want to continue communicating with.

The bottom line is: If you are NOT getting responses online, it’s because your profile sucks. Even a profile with no picture will get a response if it is well written and compels someone to want to know more. Your profile is your calling card. It is your advertisement. It is your presentation of yourself to the online community. If it says nothing, offers nothing, then it will get nothing. And nothing is exactly what you can expect.

How To Avoid Getting Catfished

Online dating has become increasingly popular within the last 10 years. There are all types of dating websites online for all types of people. Many people feel that the draw of going out and finding a good person with genuine intent of falling in love just isn’t the same anymore. It is said that online dating cuts having to make trips to the bar and club scene in half; making the losers out there easier to avoid. What’s even better is that you can do it right from the comfort of your own home in your PJ’s. There are thousands and thousands of people who sign up to do online dating every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or Match.com. Many feel that the chances of them meeting that special someone is going to be pretty high because everybody’s doing it. Now whether or not everyone gets the results that they’re looking for, remains to be seen in more ways than one. Enters Catfish. A “catfish” is a person who creates fake profiles online and pretends to be someone they are not by using someone else’s pictures and information. These “catfish” use dating and social media sites, usually with the intention of getting other people or a person to fall in love with them. It is one of the ugly sides of the online dating equation that is often leftout. MTV now has a docu-series dedicated to this unfortunate side of online dating.

By now, everyone in America knows about the heartbreaking and inspirational story of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o and his dead girlfriend was a hoax. People have become attached to the story because they want to know whether or not he was in on the hoax. They are also wondering how could a superstar college football player get duped into falling in love with someone who didn’t exist in the first place?

Now anyone who has read my articles in the past, knows by now that I am totally against online dating. I find it to be a form of escapist entertainment that encourages people to withdraw from the reality that surrounds them. It’s lazy, passive, and the fact that you have to be tied to a computer to do it makes it even more disturbing. For those that enjoy the idea of finding happiness and love online, there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of Catfish and the tips below should help.

  • Schedule A Meeting – Facetime is the number one rule in any form of dating. Scheduling a face-to-face meeting should always be the first rule of thumb with online dating. It helps you to establish a form of trust, and you are able to communicate a lot better. If your online partner makes up excuses as to why they can’t meet. It is likely due to reasons they are ashamed, or something they don’t want you to see and find out about them. Move on!
  • Never Reveal Personal Information – While it’s tempting to share every detail of your life with a person you think you could be in love with, do not ever give anyone you meet online personal information about yourself. This is at least until you have met them face-to-face and have established some form of an offline relationship.
  • Background Checks – You do not need to be a member of law enforcement to do a virtual background check on a potential suitor. The online search engines work very well so never be afraid to use it. Upload their photo on tineye.com. This will allow you to see where on the Internet the photo has appeared. People who catfish often tend to use a photo they’ve swiped from the Facebook or Instagram page of someone else.
  • Watch for Language – There are a lot of scammers out there using online dating websites to lure people into sending them money. Many of those who commit these crimes are from West Africa and the former Soviet republics. If their command of the English language is fuzzy, but they are claiming to be a native citizen of your country, it should raise a a red flag. The person is likely up to no good.
  • Never Send Anyone Money!
  • Never Agree to Purchase Anything Online For Someone and Send it to Them!
  • Know Your Personnel – It’s one of my favorite sports terms used most often in the NBA. You should always be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of those around you; be it a teammate, co-worker, colleague, friend, and especially someone claiming to be in love with you. If a person’s emails, messenger chats, phone calls, etc. don’t seem to be following earlier conversations or contradict things that were already said, it is likely that your online lover is following a certain seductive script.

No one wants to think they could be taken advantage by an internet dating scam, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are every single year. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find love and happiness with someone. There are many people who have formed successful relationships after meeting online, however, Catfish scams are real. It’s better to be prepared and recognize when someone is trying to take advantage of you.