Stay safe online series #4: it is not just the love fakes we have to watch out for

“Love is all around us … everywhere you go…”

It has been an interesting few days.  I have enjoyed a couple of dates – both were successful in as much as both expressed an interest in seeing me again (a confidence boost I can tell you).  I also got drawn back in to all things fake when approached by someone concerned about her friend who had updated her #Facebook status to say that she was “in a relationship” with a profile that we both know to be fake.  This because, the profile is using #CaptainThomas ‘s images.

After a lengthy discussion, I agreed to send a message to the lady in question with links to my website, blog and Facebook page.  I did not get a response, however, a quick check showed a status change, back from “in a relationship …..” to “widowed”.  I do hope that this lady is able to reach out to her friends to support her, as I am sure she is feeling rather lost and bewildered.

What is love and what does it mean to YOU?

 

After some harsh words (on my part) I asked the man in question what he wanted.  He replied with this – no words, no bullshit.  They say a picture can paint a thousands words… well this “sticker” image cut right through to the core of what we are both looking for.

 

 

After a few days of not being in contact, I was sent this image this morning.  This from a man who simply wants to be part of my life.  Again, no words, but a very simple message.

 

Who knows what the future holds for any of us – all I know is that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and just jump off that safe bridge, and trust that whatever you find at the bottom – you can handle it; good, bad or indifferent.

 

Not everyone in the world is a stand up person

On checking my email, this morning, I was reminded that the cheats, fakes and scammers aren’t just in the dating world.

This is what I received:

I am dying – please adopt my child and I will give you all my money!

 

I have a “business” deal for you!

It is a while since I have received emails like this – but I guess that is because the spam filter on my business email is not as well defined as my gmail accounts.  It is a salutary reminder that fakery is all around us – and we can’t take it personally.  We haven’t been targeted or singled out.  Many of these attempts are random – in the hopes that they will hook in one or two that will take the bait.

2018 – a year of new beginnings

Many of us start off a new year full of hope: that things will go our way, we will get slimmer, drink less, be more assertive, get richer, find a better job …..find love!

Let me share with you, dear reader, something I wholeheartedly believe.  That the exquisiteness that is life is in the journey.  The destination is never guaranteed – just enjoy the journey along the way!  If you do that – the destination becomes somewhat irrelevant.

Later,

Carol xOxO

 

Dear diary …

12th December 2017 14:00

Oh dear!  I think I might have just blown it with someone rather dishy:-(

My fakedar is so sensitive that I am no longer giving people a chance.  This profile, a really cute guy, messaged me.  I was about to make a joke about him being too cute to be a genuine profile when I saw the detail in his message.  I mean …. it was long.  Of course, my initial response to him confused him somewhat and he asked me to explain.  I tried to keep it light and briefly told him that I had recently been duped, and so I was ultra cautious online, and there were things about his profile that were red flags to me.

Firstly, he claims to be Scandinavian, living in Canada, and moving to the UK in the spring of 2018.  Ok, so that would take care of any grammatical issues.

Secondly, was the very long message he sent to me. Regular guys don’t do this – they say hi, or you’re gorgeous …. or maybe even something a little rude.  They do not send chapter and verse as an introduction.

But then I took a look at his profile – and boy, that was very long and detailed too.  As I read it though, it slowly dawned on me that maybe on this occasion I had got it wrong!  The things he wrote about were very specific and he talked about his siblings, about his job, and about his plans.

Maybe it is time to take a break from online

It seems, dear diary, that I can no longer discern between a real profile and a fake one.  Not surprising really that my fakedar is hypersensitive – I mean, I am coming across up to 5 fake profiles every day.

The realisation that I can no longer trust my own judgement brought me to tears.  Only for a few seconds but nonetheless, as hot tears prickled my cheeks, I resolved that I was just going to leave it alone.

I am not finding what I am looking for – and I have been full-on participating.  Checking out profiles, clicking and swiping – giving guys a second look when I don’t get that gut feeling that yeah, I would like to get to know them better at first glance.

Cancelled guy doesn’t seem to be speaking to me anymore, although he said he understood my reasons for cancelling.  (No, I didn’t tell him about my hangover, but gave a more acceptable – and actually truthful scenario as the reason for my backing out).  He hasn’t picked up my last two messages – and who can blame him?  I know he works through the day and maybe he just didn’t get to them – but hey – I’ve binned guys for being flaky too.

Is there ever any point to compromise?

Of course, there is nice guy – and we chat a lot.  I’m not sure though – that there is enough of a spark between us to take it any further. We had agreed to meet, although a date and time has not been set in stone.  He’s not the pushy type – but hey – it would be good to know he isn’t just going through the motions.

And then there is cute guy.  I actually quite like cute guy, and he is pushing to meet.  Everyday, he tries to persuade me to let him come over.  Trouble is, dear diary, we want different things.  At the outset of this period of online-dating-dalliance, I was very clear in my own mind what I did and didn’t want.  So why am I even considering changing the rules to suit a man that although cute, I don’t actually know?   Ok, so yes, he does message me every day.  Yes, he would travel the 35 or so miles at the drop of a hat if I agreed to see him.  As I have mentioned before, there is a 15 year age gap.  Had I met this guy in a bar, and he asked me out – I am sure I would give it a try.

I think though, that when you haven’t met, it is so much harder to know whether the spark is there or not. Photographs are all well and good, but you need to see the crinkle around their eyes, the upturned mouth as they smile – and more importantly, you need to be drawn to them in such a way that is simply just not possible unless you meet in the skin.

So, dear diary, why don’t I just meet him?  Well, I had agreed to meet him next week – but then he texted me yesterday asking if he could pop in.  I mean, pop in?  You do that when you are around the corner – not when you are 35+ miles away.  I suppose the answer to that is that I don’t want to have to deal with the disappointment if the spark is not there.

Crazy I know …. the truth is – that we have shared a little too much for it to just be an “oh let’s meet and see if we like each other” deal.  I like him. I actually like him.  He insists that he really likes me too.  I’m not so convinced.  I think he enjoys the banter and likes the fact that I am not easily phased if he tries to become a little risque.  After all, we are both adults – and I am more than capable of taking him down a peg or two if needed.  Which I have – and do!

Ok, so I was a bit naughty this morning and let him think that he could come over – and when he was all “wow” about it … I countered that I hadn’t finished my sentence.  He didn’t reply after that.  I don’t blame him really … I mean … he can’t make it any plainer.  But then, I can’t make it any plainer either what my deal is.  He agrees to it and then he tries to change the plan.

So, dear diary, I am not convinced that I will meet him.  Maybe then, I should let him off the hook that he seems to be dangling from.  I’m not one to be a spoilsport – but yes, I can be a bit of a tease if I have a mind to be.  Between the two of us, I rather think it is I who is playing games.

A second bite at the cherry?

Well, the rather dishy guy who I accused of being fake has messaged me again. I have decided to interact with him but just be cautious – as I always am.  I mean, nothing ventured nothing gained right?  And if he does turn out to be fake, it can only hurt me if I fall for it.  That, dear diary, is not something I will let happen again.

Oh, and Captain Lindegaard is back on Facebook.  Albeit he has shared that he is keeping his profile private.  I don’t blame him.  There is a gang of men misappropriating his identity and his images.  It incenses me that Facebook, where the majority of the fake profiles are – do nothing to tackle this issue.

I’m also getting a little weary of some of the more persistent messages that I receive on my Facebook page.  I mean, seriously, all contributions to the cause are to be applauded – but please, don’t give me a hard time about who I am – anyone who wants to know who I am can check me out by following the links to my websites or my blog!

That dear diary, is all I have to say for now …. as my fingers and toes are cold and I need to go switch the heating on!

Later

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

Image of Captain Thomas Lindegaard.

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

Dear diary …

4th December, 2017 13:47

This momma has turned into a cougar, albeit a budget one, as I ain’t wealthy by any means!  At least – I was for an hour or so.  Let me explain …

Oh wait … before I do – I just have to share this with you.

A woman reached out to me on Instagram and was sharing her experiences of an attempt to dupe her using Captain Lindegaard’s images.  (There’s a lot of it about!).  So we are chatting away, and then a thought suddenly occurs to me.  Here is the exchange that followed:

Erm ok, so maybe using Captain Lindegaard’s image as my profile pic on Instagram has backfired!

I am no longer a would-be-cougar … I am now a gay man!!  The mind boggles.  Hmmm.. let’s leave that one there shall we?

Ok, so back to my original blog topic.  Am I a cougar-in-the-making?  Well, dear diary – not really.  My newly acquired cougar status lasted all of a couple of hours.  Here’s what happened.

I had been contacted by a few young guys, ranging in age – the oldest being 31, the youngest 26.  Now, the 31 year old was quite cute – in fact, probably a little bit too cute and definitely of the pretty boy persuasion (as I have stated before, I am a visually-orientated-kinda-gal).

Having knocked back a fair few of them, the youngest (at least, the youngest that I actually engaged with) made a few rather mature comments.  Take a look:

Then this happened!

This was the parting shot!

1 of 6a

Brutal?  Maybe.  In my defence, the guy got me onto WhatsApp under false pretences.  He came across as mature and not having any expectations other than getting to know me – and, as I saidhe seemed so mature.  WRONG!

Not only that, when I went back to take a peek at his bio, I discovered that he lived at home with his parents!  Maybe that was the attraction of an older woman – more likely to have their own place to hang out in!!!

So, ok, I admit – I was tempted to meet up with him.  Afer all, age is but a number, right?  Ok – well maybe it is more complicated than that. The reason the initial chat with this guy made me decide that I would take a chance on him was that he did not seem to have a “thing” for older women as most younger guys that approach me do.  Instead, he expressed that he just didn’t really think it was an issue.  There are plenty of examples of age-gap couples out there – and I wondered whether I was missing a trick by being so narrow in my view about this.

After all, finding a long term love is only part of the equation – the other part is about spending time in the company of an interesting man, and having someone to have dates with other than my girlfriends.  Believe me, a night out with the girls is very different to a night out with a date.

All is not lost

Or so I thought.  I got to wondering why it was (apart from the age bias that I suspect happens with Match.com) that I was receiving next to no messages from guys on the site.  I mean, I scrub up ok when I make the effort, and I put my most recent decent pictures up – all from late September 2017 onwards.

So where was I going wrong?  Ok, so my habit of clicking yay or nay based on the picture alone wasn’t really getting me anywhere – so if I thought the guy was my age or a little younger, I checked out what age range he was looking for.  If I was only a year or so out I would still give an indicator that I had checked out and was interested in his profile.

I decided to investigate this a little further and I discovered, that for all the zillions of profiles on Match, only a small percentage of profiles are paid members.  This means, dear diary, that I most probably was winking or messaging men that could not reply.  This might also explain why a cute guy that winked at me did not respond to my message.

Now some sites do let you know who are paid members, but alas, not the sites I am signed up to.  There was only one thing for it.  I hesitated for a moment pondering on whether I really wanted to initiate a conversation with a guy who was too miserly to stump up the cash, then I thought – in for a penny in for a pound.  So I paid for an extra – so that men could message me for free.  Ok, at the very least, this would be a good experiment in determining whether it was me/my profile or lack of membership that was keeping me dateless.

So the experiment begins

Well, so far, I can’t say that my message traffic has gone up that much, but I did enjoy a couple of hours banter with a rather cute guy that I thought was just up the road.  Turns out that I had misread the location, and he was in fact a couple of hours away, not the 30 minutes I had thought.  This guy was pretty cute, and I was hopeful that my luck had changed.

Alas ….not so.  On requesting that I send him some “pictures”, my refusal elicited this response!

oh miss jones

Definitely not a hero then!

Is it time to give up with online?

So, today, it is quiet again in Match, safe for a few views from guys that I am not interested in, a wink from a guy who lives hours away, and oh – a message from not a bad looking guy who – ok, lived miles away – but for the right guy, that wouldn’t matter, right?  WRONG.

The first alarm bell was that the guy winked at me before looking at my profile.  Ok, so maybe he saw me in the “discover” shuffle that lets you swipe left or right for potential matches.  It is quite feasible that a guy might wink without looking at my profile as there is a smattering of detail shared on the “cards” that are presented.

The second alarm bell was that there was only one picture – although Google reverse image did not throw up any issues.

The third alarm bell was that his requirements for a match were very broad, almost as though he did not care.

range

The final straw that broke the match was that on sharing with him that I had recently been the subject of a dupe, he stopped messaging me.  Hmmm …  a genuine guy would most certainly have responded, if only to have a go for thinking they were a dupe.

I hesitated for all of half an hour before reporting my concern about the profile.  I did not want to jeopardise a potential match – but then, I am pretty certain I would have heard back from him within 5 minutes if he had been genuine.  Of course, he may have been called away to attend to something – or, more likely, he was simply yet another fake.

Ok, so that is all I have time for just now, dear diary.  It is my birthday tomorrow and Dillon’s best pal Spotty has invited me over for dinner tonight – or at least his hoomans have.

As ever, stay safe online, dear reader – and if you would like to share your experiences of online dating, comment, like or share this blog to spread the word.

Later,

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

Image of Captain Thomas Lindegaard.

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

 

 

 

Dear diary…

1st December, 2017 @ 00:57

Well, a little bit of insomnia tonight and so I have decided to enjoy a glass of red wine, in the hopes it will help me off to sleep.

Today has been a good day 

Firstly, a random message on an IM platform turned out to be the Simon I have been looking out for the last few months.  He has been trying to get me to agree to a date for the past three or four years, and each time I said no, because I was not looking to date at that time.  Unfortunately a change of phones had meant his number wasn’t carried over.  Serendipitously, he installed this app and my number popped up …I myself had only reinstalled this app a few days ago at the behest of a guy I found on Tinder.  (Not a fake one this time) …and hopefully we are meeting up next week too, along with Simon and the long awaited date – I mean, you have to give the guy props for persistence.

As you know, dear diary, I am pretty jaded with online.  Though, after today, I am hopeful my luck is changing.  I spotted a wink on one of my paid for sites from a couple of days ago …and I was quite simply blown away not only by the attraction to the pictures …but also the candid and thoughtfully written bio.

How could I have missed this?  So I quickly dashed off a message and I hope this guy gets back to me.  I’ll keep you posted on that one!

It never rains but it pours

Then blow me … along comes another one …and the ensuing exchange was honest and intelligent.  It seems men are like buses, there are none for ages and then they all come at once.

And then there is the captain

Yes, I know.  He is not my crush …but seriousness aside (the fightback campaign), he has a great sense of humour and I am beginning to think that he loves the attention he gets from his Fake-Thomas-Dupee-Followers.

Why do I think this?  This is what he posted on his #Instagram tonight ..and I really don’t think it was for his mariner-fans.  To be honest, I don’t blame him for having a bit of fun with it!

I swear – the man gets better looking every day.  Seriously …the pictures of him with fuller beard and tweaked tash …do not a heart-throb make.

Facebook no more

He shared with me tonight (via Twitter – we only interact on social media) that he may not return to #Facebook; and who could blame him?  It seems that this is the second time Mr Facebook has deactivated him.  Ludicrous given that out of the 20+ fake profiles I have reported I have only managed to get 2 or 3 closed down.  Make sense of that one, dear diary!

So, it seems Captain McDreamy of the cute Dane persuasion is no more in the Facebook arena.  But wait!  I was contacted by him and he liked a picture that I had posted as a public rather than private setting.  I was quick to change that, I can tell you, dear diary.  The cheek of it …it was in fact one of the fakes returned.  Joined Facebook November 2017 and lives in New York no less.  Harrumph.

He contacted me because I had alerted him to who I am by posting Fake all over his profile.  Maybe not such a smart move as one of the dupees in his friends list appeared to threaten me …I can’t be sure as I am not entirely convinced how accurately Google Translates Ukranian!

Getting back to Captain Lindegaard the 999th.  This is the message exchange:

My response was that I knew that he was not and that I knew him to be a liar and a fake.

His response?

I am ok

To which I reiterated that he was indeed a fake and a liar.  Funny …he stopped trying to convince me after that.

#Facebook failed to remove the profile though ..and he continues to purport to be Captain Lindegaard.

Do I regret or lament being duped?

Actually, and quite surprisingly, no.  Don’t get me wrong, if I was ever face to face with Fake-Thomas I would have no hesitation to cause him grief.  I have though, learned a lot about myself and what I want for my life.  You can’t be all things to all people, and life is too short for toxic friendships.  

Most of all though…I get to enjoy the playfulness that is Captain Thomas Lindegaard of the #Maersk Line and the very big ship.

When I saw what he posted I burst out laughing for real.  No virtual LOL …but a real hearty laugh.

To be fair, I don’t really like to think of myself as some kind of groupie.  I am careful not to post “ooh and ah” comments.  I simply share that I enjoyed seeing them.

If it were not for the Fake-Thomases of the world, I would not have made the virtual-acquaintance of such an interesting man.  For that I will be forever grateful.

Well, dear diary, it is now 01:50 and so I will bring this to a close, finish my wine, and try for sleep.

Goodnight, dear diary, you have been a blessing to me these last 11 days.

Later, 

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

 The only image of Captain Lindegaard that I remain attached to. I am working on that!

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

Dear diary …

29th November 2017 15:24

Today, a fellow Fake-Thomas-Dupee-Survivor has been interacting with my Facebook page; and is quite simply my kinda gal.  She clearly has the same sense of humour as I – and we both acknowledge that we still have ever such a slight crush on Captain Dreamy – or should I make that McDreamy??  You know – the cute Dane?

This is the message exchange that has got me chuckling:

….and this:

I am really  not sure Captain McDreamy will be up for coming along to our “Thomas Try Hards” get together (if one should indeed go ahead), but we can but dream …..

oh … ahem … yes .. well ……

Then there was this ….

I’m not the only one still hung up on this image then!   LOL

…and this:

Yet another fake profile found?

Well, dear diary, it looks as though I am not the only one of Captain McDreamy’s disciples who is missing his presence on Facebook.  Actually, if I were him – I’d stay clear.  I am sure the swell of forlorn women are seeking him here and seeking him there – I myself still interact with him on Twitter.  I know others do so on Instagram.  I am careful though, not to tag him in his Instagram profile, as for me – that is is personal space where he shares his love of all things maritime.

I am rather pleased to confess, that I am just about immune to McDreamy’s images – all except one.  Not sure I will ever sicken of that one ;-).  Well, I’m only human – and don’t all women love gay guys?  They are so much nicer to women than non-gay guys (IMO).

Later, diary

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

The only image of Captain Lindegaard that I remain attached to. I am working on that!

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

Dear diary …

28th November 2017 @ 16:15

Montenegro

My heart is heavy.  In fact, for a little while there I was bereft.  My gorgeous Captain has disappeared off Facebook.  Was it something I said?  Did my campaign get too much with all the sharing and Tweeting and posting of his image and his name?

But wait – maybe putting my ego aside, the disappearance of his Facebook profile and page is nothing to do with me.

I was surprised though .. at how crestfallen I was.  Perhaps, I pondered, he is simply sick of it all.  Sick of Mr Facebook and sick of all the wailing women berating him for duping them.  HE DIDN’T!!  Wise up guys! (or gals for that matter).

Puzzled by his disappearance, and not quite ready to let any tenuous connection go yet, I Tweeted him.  This is the response I got:

Deactivated, yes, as someone has reported me for identity theft and being fake!

Really?  I mean – REALLY!!!

At first I thought that one of the fakers had tried to get him off Facebook because too many profiles are getting shut down.  Then I slowly realised – it is most likely some dupee who believes it was him that suckered them.

How sad.  How very, very sad.  That there are hundreds of fake profiles on #Facebook that are so difficult to get shut down – and yet the REAL MCCOY, has felt it necessary to deactivate his own profile.

Over the course of this week, I have spent more than I ever have on promoting my posts on Facebook, so intent was I to spread the message as far as I could – within a reasonable budget.  It seemed a small price to pay given that some women have been duped out of thousands.  At least it was my choice – my own free will to spend this money.  It was a rational decision and not one based on a falsely elicited emotion.

But no more.  I will not spend a cent more (or a pound for that matter) with Mr Facebook and his fabulously rich cronies!  I am done with them.

I will continue to use social media as I have connection to friends and family including some overseas.  I will, however, be circumspect about what I share on there and I will definitely IGNORE all sponsored posts and adverts that appear in my feed.

Captain Lindegaard tried to fight back.  Not only to protect his own identity and images, but to warn others of the dangers.  How pitiful that he has been scapegoated in this way.

For the first time since this sorry saga began, I am more than a little exasperated with the dupees.  My patience and compassion has lessened.

Grow up.  Get over yourselves … and stop getting emotionally invested in someone you haven’t met!  Yes – I admit, I was somewhat emotionally invested in Fake-Thomas.  The difference being, I had a smattering of healthy scepticism, that allowed me to switch off that emotional investment as soon as I was over the initial shock.

That is all I have to say on the matter, dear diary.  I am not yet sure whether I will continue with this campaign.  Not for the sake of people who have reported Captain Lindegaard for being a fake!  Ye gods!  Wake up and smell the coffee!

Coffee

Maybe not later,

Carol xOxO

 

Dear diary …

28th November 2017 @ 06:37

Online dating woes

Elite

It has been quite a week.  I have been blogging, posting, and webmaking; not to forget Tweeting  and Twittering.  I have been using paid promotion on #Facebook to get my message far and wide (within a reasonable budget you understand).  For some strange reason Master Twitter does not want my money anymore, as I seem to have been banned from paid adverts.  Quite how I violated their policies, is anyone’s guess.  Of course, I did ask, in my inimitable style – of Tweeting along the lines of: Oi!  What’s going on??   The only response was that they would email me – which they haven’t.  So, I will keep my money thank you very much and spend it elsewhere.

A different kind of scam?

Oh, and guess what I received yesterday?  A letter on behalf of #EliteSingles demanding money.  The letter states that I failed to pay for a subscription in October!  WHAT???  Now given that these dating membership sites only let you use their premium services AFTER you have parted with your hard earned money, I fail to see how this is possible!  In any event, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been using that site for more than a year or so!

As you can imagine, I am well and truly p****d off with all things online dating right now!

So I hastily Tweeted #EliteSingles (guess what – I got no reply) and dashed off an email not to the company on the letter, but to their parent company.  I got the stock responder we will respond to your email within 48 hours!  So that’s me ever so slightly worried for the next 48 hours.  Oh, but wait!  Could this be another ruse?  Could this be a fake letter?

If it is, then what is really worrying is that they have my name and address.  Where did they get that from then?  I have seen nothing in the news about #EliteSingles being hacked.  Should this be the case, it wouldn’t surprise me – we only seem to get to hear about such happenings when the story is leaked.

So, getting back to my rather official letter demanding money.  I did a google search on fake debtor letters for dating sites and I came up with this:

Beware Fake Debt Collection Agencies

Bogus debt collection agencies, online dating chat robots, and an “Energy Department refund”: Internet ScamBusters.  Source

You can check out more posts about dating site debt letter scams on this forum.

Oh, while I’m at it – this article by the Independent popped up in the search list, and is worth a read.  WOW …a whopping £39 million has been reported (February 2017) to have been scammed out of online daters. WOW … big business then!

I have made a decision

No more online dating for me!  Yes, I would still love to have the odd date, spend time in the company of an interesting man, but I am done with paying for the privilege of regularly being disappointed.  In the couple of months or so that I have been avidly using the site, I have not had ONE date.  That’s right.  Not one.  Now lest you think I am butt ugly, let me assure you that when I make the effort, I scrub up ok.  Sniff.

Interaction that leads to nowhere

It’s not as though I don’t get a lot of “likes” and messages, and “so-and-so wants to meet you”.  Not one of these has led to a real world date.  Interestingly, it is from the sites where you can exchange messages unpaid (there are always paid for bells and whistles) that I have received offers of dates.  Two in particular: #POF and #Badoo.  Now, I have been on POF for years.  Badoo not so long.  Initially I was impressed that Badoo attempt to verify profiles – not so much when one such verified photo was confirmed as a fake!

Incidentally, the most expensive site that I am registered with, and from which I have received not even a modicum of interest from any guy that I would be comfortable to meet, is #Match.com!  (Buyer beware if you are over 40). 

Sure, following my not so new rule of meeting quickly rather than spending weeks or month endlessly conversing through the ether I have agreed to meet a number of men – you need to see if there is a spark, right?  This is what happened:

    • Guy that is more keen on me than I am on him, has blown me off twice.  Second time to see his solicitor about his divorce (erm .. ok, maybe too soon to be dating then!)
    • One guy within two seconds asked to meet – he was local (for a change) so I agreed.  This time I cancelled as my heart was not in it.  (I always said I would not meet a guy for the sake of it – but I was kinda wanting to bust my cherry on the first date from t’internet thing.  It’s been awhile since I dated at all, let alone from the net).
    • Yet another guy, local, but working away some distance asked me to meet the following Sunday when he was back home.  I agreed to this as, initially at least, I liked his no nonsense approach.  He then had to go and spoil himself by sending me a near-nude picture of himself!His retort to my protest was “well, you must find me attractive as you are chatting to me”.  Can someone please explain to me the logic of that one, and why chatting to him (or finding him attractive – as it happens I didn’t particularly) infers consent to receive dodgy pictures?  I mean, ok, so it was from the waist up – but I got the general idea and I am pretty sure the next one would have been the rest of the picture!
    • Another guy, again, local asked to meet.  He was reasonable looking if not a little tall for my petite stature.  We agreed to meet the next day, at a local bistro I know.  I had initially insisted that we meet for coffee at said venue, however, guy said that he rarely gets home from work before 7pm.So drinks it is.  The next day I eagerly awaited confirmation – and it didn’t come.  So I took it up on myself to send this message:

 haven’t heard from you so I am unsure whether we are actually meeting tonight or not. Could you let me know?

I decided that if I didn’t hear back in plenty of time for me to get ready at a leisurely pace then regardless of the answer I would cancel.  After all – I was NOT going to rush around like a demented loon trying to make a date that the guy did not have the decency to confirm the arrangements.

After some hours (and after the anticipated time of our meeting I might add), I received this response:

Hi Carol I am so sorry I was late back from London last night and it’s been absolutely manic today and a stressful day! Apologies that I didn’t get to respond earlier 😔x

Now ok.  That is fine.  But I am no longer playing nice online.  I have a new, no nonsense bad-ass attitude.  Had this gent simply messaged me to say that things were hectic and he may not be able to make this evening, I would have given him a second chance.  To not contact me, displayed a lack of respect.  I mean, the only reason I tried to confirm is that we hadn’t settled on an exact time.  Can you imagine how I would have felt if I had spent an hour or two getting ready?  You’ve heard the expression All dolled up with nowhere to go, right?

Keeping it real world

So, what is next for me and my seemingly impossible quest to have the odd date?  Well, a real life girlfriend of mine has invited me along to a social networking event in a nearby city.  I readily agreed to this and I am soooo looking forward to it.  A perfect opportunity to come across interesting people – and who knows – I  might score a date out of it.  At the very least, the see-before-you-date potential is so deliciously appealing.

Well, dear diary, that is all I have time for just now.  For anyone reading with me today, please do comment, like and share my blog.  It would be great to hear from you.

Later,

Carol xOxO

Thomas Pedersen

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

If you are approached by anyone using his images, please report this to Captain Lindegaard via Messenger on Facebook @CaptainThomasLindegaard.  You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.

Fightback: Dystopian utopia – has social media gone too far?

Dystopian utopia?

Has social media made automatons of us all?  Are we really supposed to blindly accept what Mr Facebook & co dish out to us?  They hooked us in so that we can’t go more than an hour or so without checking our online status – and sharing every minutiae of our life with those in our world and beyond.

This was a very clever tactic by Mr Facebook.  As he now knows exactly what we covet, and can target his paid for advertising clients accordingly.  There can’t be any organisation that knows as much about us as does Mr Facebook and his motley crew.  Heck, not even the tax man knows as much as Mr Facebook!

What we have now is decidedly Utopian-esk,  big brother if you like.  It is not such a leap of the imagination to consider that in the wrong hands, there is an awful lot of personal information out there on the web from which to exert control.

It has to be said that I am a prolific poster online.  Both with Mr Facebook and with Master Twitter.  That said, there are times when I go to ground for 3-6 months, and ne’re a peep, never mind a tweet, is heard from me.

The world is just a click away, at the behest of our fingertips

I do use online exposure in a number of ways:

  • pictures of my dog
  • stories of my dog taking over my bed
  • stories of my dog pooping in the park
  • little ditties of insights that I want to share with the world
  • the occasional rant at the social injustices in the world

I also use online to promote my business interests.  Rather unsuccessfully I have to say.  The lure of the “do it my way – I will charge you mega-bucks to learn how to grow your groups and earn …. peanuts!” has been something that I have had to learn to ignore.

It seems, you see, that you can’t just post about any old drivel.  It has to be drivel that the masses want to hear about.  Now, you and I may enjoy a little bit of high brow philosophising now and then – but for the popular masses, that is a huge turn off.

I will though, give Mr Facebook props for keeping me connected with peeps who have the same, or similar chronic long term health condition that I have.  The support I have gotten from one group in particular has pulled me through some dark days.

Now, one would assume that the real people in my real world would be the ones to support me with this; not so much!  Heck, most of my family couldn’t say a cursory “well done” when I achieved a First in my Psychology degree as a mature student!!  But hey, let’s not go there – the bitterness has left me.  Almost …ahem.  Sniff.

Indeed, Facebook connectedness, has also allowed me to keep in touch with family scattered around the UK, and with friends that live the other side of the globe.

Out of control monster or useful tool?

Ok, I digress.  Let me bring this back to the matter in hand.  What was that again?  Oh yes!  Mr Facebook & co – and whether they have too much influence on our lives.

Certainly, the online has been a revelation.  Indeed, I think my undergrad and post-grad studies were that much easier because I could research for pertinent articles online; not solely restricted to the dusty shelves of the university library.  (The library was one of my favourite places as it happens!).

We are customers, patrons, whatever you will – not automatons to do your bidding, Mr Facebook.  So when a patron has something to say, perhaps you might demonstrate some common courtesy and respond.

Has Mark Zuckerberg been replaced by a bot?

I am beginning to think that Mr Zuckerberg no longer exists.  That he has been replaced by bots and they are holding him prisoner on a remote desert island in the pacific along with Mrs Zuckerberg and the rest of their family.  Perhaps Captain Lindegaard can track him down in his very big ship, and ask him ever so politely to to something about the literally hundreds of profiles on #Facebook that are misappropriating his image and his identity.  You will know of Captain Lindegaard, if you have been reading me from the beginning (is it really only a week ago that I started this quest??).

The cute Dane effect

For those of you who have only just stumbled across this blog today, I beseech you to read the back catalogue of posts.  Captain Lindegaard, is, actually, the quite cute Dane who is the subject of amorous attentions of way too many women; who quite simply think that he has duped them.

I have seen posts on his page, lamenting about ‘why he would hurt them so bad when he was happily married’?  The answer is, dear reader, it was not him.  Even a good looking Dane with a ship’s company can’t be in 100s of places at once!  And why would he?  As stated – he is happily married, and not signed up to ANY dating sites.  Nor does he have multiple profiles on Facebook with multiple variations on his name.   (Personally, I think there should be a profile called Captain Dreamy ….. oh sorry, ahem … moving on ….

cropped-thomas-lindegaard
Captain Thomas Lindegaard does Duckface

So, what is it about this man that has created such a swell of online swooning?  Ok, so he is cute – at least, many of his pictures are.  Not all … but perhaps that is one of the reasons that the fakes who use his images are so successful.  The majority of them are notable for being – well, ordinary.  (Sorry Captain Lindegaard .. blush).

Certainly, there is a lot of information about his life – at least, his work life, which makes it extremely easy to assume his persona and create a very plausible dupe.  I did wonder myself what all the fuss was about – not because I don’t believe he is cute (because I do) but because he has a very small following on Facebook.  Eventually, I checked him out on Instagram.  On that platform, he has a very respectable following of 24.5k.  I think that it is this following that has made him a mark for the scammers.  With such a following, he clearly has kerb appeal.

Mea culpa?

So, a question that I ask you to consider: does Captain Lindegaard bare any responsibility for the duping and suckering in of innocent love-seekers?  In my opinion the answer to that question is a resounding no.

Captain Lindegaard, or “Real-Thomas” as he is affectionately referred to in my earlier blogs, is simply abiding by the rules and expectations created by Mr Facebook and his motley crew of pirates .. I mean, marketeers.  He is sharing information about his life and work that he is not only proud of, but that he believes (quite rightly it would seem), that other people would be interested to learn about.  In a podcast that is listed both on his Facebook page, and I believe Instagram (I’m not sure as I have banned myself from trawling through his personal (yet public) profiles – his life’s mission, mariner-focused at any rate – is to bring sea and shore closer together.

Well, he has certainly done that when you consider how many land-locked women are pining after him!  Just not in a way that he could have possibly conceived.  (I do hope that the majority of the 24.5k following are not virtually-cuckolded women…).

Indeed, I believe most strongly that the responsibility lies with Mr Facebook, and the other social media giants that would have us believe that they serve us – and that we can’t live without them.  Of course we can.  There are more platforms than Facebook for us to share and enjoy.

So, to close, why am I so het up at the moment about Mr Facebook?  Quite simply, because – they are a platform that will allow nudity, terrorism, sexualised images to be posted on Facebook and yet ban nursing mothers and breast-cancer survivors.

More than this, they have a responsibility to protect our data that they so avidly bid us to share on their platform.  It is not for Captain Lindegaard, nor I, or anyone else for that matter – to have to spend hours trying to make Facebook a safer place for its patrons.

That Mr Facebook, is your job.

Later, dear reader, I hope you read with me again.  If anything I have written here resonates with you, please, comment, like and share to spread the message far and wide.

Thank you!

Carol xOxO

Forde Thomas NiklasAs ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

If you are approached by anyone using his images, please report this to Captain Lindegaard via Messenger on Facebook @CaptainThomasLindegaard.  You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.