Because the internet is such an easy medium to contact others, it is naive to think that you will never come in contact with evil people who's intentions are to steal and hurt.
We could include "online players" in this category, but we want to warn people of two other groups that can be potentially dangerous.
The first group are the worst. They are predators and their hearts are full of evil. They may seem to be the most sincere people in the world, but are in reality wolves in sheep's clothing. Fortunately, these individuals rarely carry out their sick fantasies. We only mention them because there is a very remote possibility that you may develop an online relationship with one of them.
As you may have noticed, wehave been advising offline relationships once you have gotten to know the person a little. However, we also strongly advise that if you decide to meet anyone in person, you should always meet them in a public place and with a group for the first few meetings. If a peson has nothing to hide, they will have no problems with this. Also, your friends or family may see something in the person that you miss.
Here are some clues in spotting these types of individuals. Although not always, they may insist on meeting you before you are ready. Yes, there is such a thing as meeting a person too quickly. If a person offers to pay for your bus or plane ticket when they hardly know you, don't accept the offer. Always meet in a neutral and public place after you have gotten to know each other somewhat online. If a person constantly wants to talk about you and not themselves, they have something to hide. A well-balanced individual will ask questions about you and be willing to share about themselves. If a person asks for your email address right off the bat, never give it to them. If you do give out any email addresses, give out a public internet email address such as yahoo or hotmail. It is very difficult to trace anything about you from one of these types of addresses.
The next group that you need to watch out for are the scam artists. You likely will receive at least one of these emails from them if you are involved with online personals for any amount of time. In fact, these morons are ruining it for a lot of people trying to meet their match online.
This group causes website administrators a lot of grief! The following is an example of a scam that we have received on our websites. This one is a classic:
BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP Tel:999-99-99-99-99 Email me email@example.com Dear Sir, I know my message will come to you as a surprise. I wish to write you this letter of assistance believing that you will not betray the trust I'm to impose on you. By brief introduction, I am SCAM ARTIST the only son of SCAM ARTIST III former chief of defense-staff of (Republic of Guinea Bissau). My late father was killed just last year following his role as a rebel leader against the past government of guinea Bissau. Following this political crisis, I and my mother were forced to live our country to Abidjan the capital city of Cote d'Ivoire for our dear life. It is here in Abidjan he deposited ONE METALLIC TRUNK BOX in a Security Company. He registered it as an African Artworks as belonging to his foreign business partner who will come with the keys for the claim of the consignment. He did not disclose to the Security Company the real content of the box. The box contain US$ 18,000.000.00 (Eighteen Million United States Dollars ). To be honest with you, this is the only legacy left for me by my father which I am with the certificate of deposit and other necessary documents regarding this deposit. I want to front you as the bonafide beneficiary of the consignment and claim the consignment for onward transfer of the Fund to your Bank Account abroad for onward investment in your Country. We have decided to offer you 5% of the total sum of the money mecellaneous expenses you may incur on the cause of this transaction. On the notice of your willingness to assist me, I will tell you the modalities we shall follow to ensure a smooth hitch-free transaction. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best regards SCAM ARTIST NB: please send me email firstname.lastname@example.org or you call me with this number 999-99-99-99-99 for more briefing and also I want to invest in your country.
Here is another similar one that is also amusing:
NB:FOR PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL CONTACT ME ON ABOVE E- EMAIL: email@example.com
FROM :SAMSON AND HER MOTHER FROM :SCAM ARTIST TELL: (999999) 9999-9999 DEAR, IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WRITE TO YOU AFTER OUR SEVEN DAYS FASTING AND PRAYERS, l AM SCAM ARTIST THE SON OF LATE MR SCAM ARTIST FROM KWATANATAL ZULU IN REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, I AM 27 YEARS OF AGE, MY FATHER OWNS A LIMITED OF COCOA AND GOLD BUSINESS IN JOHANESBURG SOUTH AFRICA MY COUNTRY. AFTER HIS TRIP TO ABIDJAN COTE D'IVIORE TO NEGOTIATE ON A COCOA AND GOLD BUSINESS HE WANTED TO INVEST IN ABIDJAN . ONE WEEK HE CAME BACK FROM HIS TRIP TO ABIDJAN HE HAD A MOTOR ACCIDENT WITH MY SISTER WHICH MY SISTER DIED INSTANTLY BUT MY FATHER DIED AFTER FIVE DAYS IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IN MY COUNTRY . IT WAS LIKE MY FATHER KNEW HE WAS GOING TO DIE MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PREFECT PEACE . HE DISCLOSED TO ME AND MY MOTHER THAT HE DEPOSITED THE SUM OF ($ 22,500,000) TWENTY TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS INTO ONE OF THE BANK IN COTE D'IVIORE THAT THE MONEY WAS MEANT FOR HIS COCOA AND GOLD BUSINESS HE WANTED TO ESTABLISH IN ABIDJAN. MY FATHER HANDED ME THE DOCUMENTS COVERING THE LODGMENT AND INSTRUCTED ME AND MY MOTHER TO SEEK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUST WORTHY BUSINESS PARTNER FOR OUR LIFE TIME INVESTMENT THAT IS WHY I DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU , NOW I HAVE SUCCEEDED IN LOCATING THE BANK HERE IN ABIDJAN AND I HAVE CONCLUDED WITH THE BANK MODALITIES OF TRANSFERRING THE FUND TO AN ACCOUNT ABROAD. NOW I AM SOLICITING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO HELP ME PROVIDE AN ACCOUNT FACILITY WHERE I CAN TRANSFER THE MONEY INTO SO THAT WE CAN INVEST IT IN ANY LUCRATIVE BUSINESS IN YOUR COUNTRY BECAUSE THIS IS MY ONLY HOPE IN LIFE ,I AND MY MOTHER HAVE PROMISED TO GRATIFY YOU WITH 15% OF THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE . I AM WAITING ANXIOUSLY TO HEAR FROM YOU SO THAT WE CAN DISCUSS THE MODALITIES OF THIS TRANSACTION YOU CAN CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY FOR MORE DISCUSSION . THANKS FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE NB:FOR PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL CONTACT ME ON ABOVE E-MAIL. YOURS SINCERELY SCAMMER AND HER MOTHER
WARNING! Even though these emails are so outrageous and an insult to your intelligence, DO NOT REPLY to these people!!
We have looked into these scams and found that some of the organizations behind them are very dangerous.
Most people can easily spot one of these emails, but if you have any doubts, please contact the website administrators of the website you are usingand let them check it out. Whenever someone pleads for money and asks for your credit card information or bank information, rest assured, they are trying to scam you out of your money.
Another type of scam that comes mostly from Russiais the"desperate Russion girl" scam. If you receive a very well worded email from a young-looking Russian woman that looks like a model (of course), be cautious. The first email is usually quite innocent and tells about the hardships of living in Russia. Subsequent emails will hint at the need to come to North America or some other affluent country to flee from the hardship. Depending on how you respond, you will soon be requested to send money for a plane trip. This is usually how this type of scam works. One thing we must point out is thatwe are not making light of the actual hardships that go on in Russia. We saw a really interesting program about parents who desperately want their children to escape the poverty in Russia. A lot of "mail-order bride" ads are placed by the parents themselves.
The good news is that you may not have to worry much about these scams as some websites have anti-scam features built-in. On the websites we operate, after being burned a couple of times, we quickly put in place anti-scam functionality. Since then only a handful of scam emails have gotten through to our members.
Again though, I must stress that you not reply to these individuals. Send your website administrators any suspicious emails and block these members if the website offers this type of feature.