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Online Dating Safety: Are You Falling In Love With a Thief?

May 18, 2008
For the online dating industry life is good right about now. According to Jupiter Research, revenue generated now stands at over 500 million. Currently one of our providers is logging an excess of 20,000 new subscribers a month. With the number of national and local media outlets promoting online dating you can pretty much figure they will easily surpass that mark for 2007-2008.

However the online dating industry is not the only one making a fortune. If there is one thing you can be sure, it is that there will always be people who try to game the system. Say hello to the new Sugar Daddy!

Today there is a new Sugar Daddy in town. Chances are you will never find him in the modern singles bar. Unlike the Mr. Goodbar singles bars of the seventies and eighties that offered sex, romance and always a touch of danger, the modern hook-up has been sanitized. It is unlikely the modern woman will be driven to the gates of hell by a khaki clad executive stopping by the local Bars after a hard day at the business park. Perhaps other than boredom and enduring the predictable mating habits of her office cronies, the modern woman faces a greater danger driving home in traffic than she does rejecting the guy hitting on her at the hors doeuvres stand.

No question online or off it is important to be on your guard but with internet dating being on your toes has never been as important as it is today. One of the major benefits to hooking up online is also one of its most glaring drawbacks. The enigma of being anonymous has many people running wild but it has become an incredible tool for online scammers.

This puts you in a delicate position. You meet someone online and everything feels so right. Time disapears when you are chatting and you feel it will not be long before the first meeting.

It will be a first meeting alright. It will be the meeting of your money and their bank account. The ploy with these scams is that Mr, Goodbar will play so heavily on your emotions that giving the fraud your money will almost seem like it was your idea...

Like anything in life there are no guarantees, but there are some things you can watch out for.

1. Direct Mail Account Contact
You two have been communicating pretty regularly with no problems thanks to the dating service you both have signed up for. Now however, they want to bypass that and start communicating with you directly via email; specifically your primary address. Why? Do not be afraid to ask that question. Tell them you want to keep things as they are and gauge their reaction? Do they get angry and impatient about it? If so watch out.

2. A Photo that is To Good to Be True?
Your online photo shows you at your best but their photo looks like the step out of a high caliber fashion magazine. Have struck gold... or are you being played for a fool.

Many scammers are experts are finding a photograph online and cropping it until it fits their profile. The game is to get your emotions in front of your reasoning capabilities, taking your natural instinct out of the game. When you see a studio quality photo, take a step back and do some more investigating.

3. They Tell You That They Love You... Really?
Is your new number one starting to lay it on a little to thick? Are they telling you that they love you and cannot live without you?

Where did this come from?

The conversations have been terrific to this point, but you still have not met this person. Whether they are a fraud or not, anyone professing their unrequited love should have your gut instinct ringing like an air raid siren.

4. The Hard Luck Story.
They would sure love to meet you but wouldn't you know it... their car broke down or they can't afford the air fair.

Your potental partner's belongings were stolen and his whole family was just killed in a car accident as they were on their way to the bank to deposit your partner's inheritance check.

Get the idea?

5. Final Act... Your new Sugar Daddy Makes His Move
The new Sugar Daddy may have no interest in taking a womans life. Instead he may take her money and steal her identity, leaving her to spend the next year cleaning up the credit mess. There are thousands of male predators seeking out professional women and women of means. To a predator it is no secret the glass ceiling has been cracked if not shattered. He has done his research. He likes successful women. The new Sugar Daddy finds his happy hunting ground in many women graduating law school, medical school, and the high paid executives at major corporations. His potential prey own houses, have bank accounts, and own stock portfolios. They are women who have money he can steal if he plays his cards right and persuades even the smartest women that with him they are fated for the mythical land of happily after ever??

It begins usually with a predator writing wonderful emails, indicating how sensitive and caring he is. He lies about his job, his wealth, his present state of mind. He loves your cats, your dogs, your kids; he adores your personality. He knows you better than anyone has known you before. Before long he may have a woman convinced they are soul mates. He is, after all, very good at what he does.

The all new and reconstituted Sugar Daddy will not just con a woman over the Internet. He will arrange to meet and to come to her house where he can avail himself of her financial records. If they sleep together, he may slip out of bed and check through her drawers, and through her wallet for drivers license, credit cards and her social security number. He may persuade her he needs money to start a business, or he may order credit cards in her name, delivered to a blind post office address. The female victim may not discover she has financial difficulties until as much as a year later.

There are many people who are genuine and really do want to meet you online; for that reason do not be afraid to give some of the online dating services a chance. But we live in a world where many others driven solely by greed are out to commit cyber pick pocketing. Just remember the five tips listed above, keep your emotions in check and your instincts on high alert.

There are several reputable companies offering background checks for singles and members of online dating site. For less than the price of a few lattes you can have peace of mind. Locate a services that cater to the professional woman with the kind of material assets that may very well attract the new Sugar Daddy.

You have one heart. Use it wisely.
About the Author
Chris Sullivan is the CEO of Asset Search Pros a professional Background Investigative firm that has been a leader in providing accurate, detailed and confidential client reports http://www.AssetSearchPros.com
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