Dear Diary: Lost in cyberland!

Dear diary

31st May 2018

Ok, so I concede – I have ventured back into cyberland dating.  Match.com lured me back with 600 views and 50-odd winks and 10 or so messages.  I got curious so I paid my dues.  Seems I never learn, as my heart sank at more of the same old same old.  I was also seduced to try eHarmony again after reading a press article about a match to marriage within 9 months.  (I guess I should have checked whether it was a sponsored storyline).  This story caught my eye as he was in the UK and she was in the States.  So, distance romance does work then!  Of course, they were in the 30s age bracket and I’m not quite sure a 50-something is going to meet the man of her dreams in this way.  Heck, I can’t even seem to meet the man-not-of-my-dreams.  I am getting a lot of attention from youngsters though – and if they are canny enough, a bit of banter doesn’t go amiss.

Of course, as soon as distance-guy-fake-gate became the reality rather than a possibility, I tapped off a text to my nice looking sex addict.  That reminds me, my new favourite line in response to anyone trying to engage me in sexy chat is:

If I wanted that kind of chat I have a very nice sex addict on speed dial!

Seriously, I actually did use that line yesterday!

I updated my profiles to take out the spikiness in the hopes of sharing that I don’t really hate men, I don’t think they are all fakes, flakes or frogs – but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference so far.  Ok, so it is not quite 12 hours since I paid up – but a girl is ageing by the minute!  Did I just call myself girl?  Hmmm … my sarcastic retort to one guy calling me girl suggests to me that I have linguistic double standards.

So, I wonder what is in store for me?  Instead of feeling excited at the prospect of getting to know a few new people and the possibility of a date or two, or three, I feel decidedly dejected and depressed.  Am I really here again?  Glutton for punishment does not begin to describe it – I really am unsure as to why I am putting myself through this again.

I did check out what is going on locally to see if there was anything I could rock up to that I might come into contact with a few guys – but nada.  It also seems that I need to live in any other town in the UK to find a nice date.  Without exception, all the guys I like the look of are over 200 miles away!  The cynic in me wonders if the dating sites set their algorithms to only show good matches at a distance!

Oh, a lovely interruption there from my sex-addict-guy:

When can I see you?

I do think he is cute, and I do think that he is a much nicer guy than he pretends to be … and maybe one day I will meet up with him.  Certainly the banter does make me feel a little better and is a distraction from my recent disappointment.  I am not convinced though, that he is not already attached.  A nice looking man in his 40s, single?  It doesn’t make sense.  Dallying with another woman’s man is a step too far and not one I intend to breach.  I have challenged him on this a few times and he assures me he is single as:

I’m not very good at relationships.

Hmmm … that may be due to the sex addiction then.   I do believe that we are all, as  individuals, responsible for our own consciences, however, knowing, or even suspecting that a man is in a committed relationship with another woman is a non-negotiable boundary for me.  Dating on the other hand, I don’t have a problem with a guy seeing other women, as long as he has no problem with me seeing other men (I should be so lucky).  After all, initially, dating is about getting to know someone, trying them out, and seeing whether you want to take things further.

So, dear diary, it looks as though I have jumped back into the mire … ahem … ok, so that attitude is not going to attract many dates.  I will be on my best behaviour, and treat it as the tool it is.  No dear diary, I meant the dating sites, not the guys!

I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on.

Later

Carol xOxO

p.s. I will be soooo grateful when I stop seeing “Siggy” when I glance at Mr Dahl’s pictures – one day at a time, I guess.

 

Dear diary: outing the fakes

Dear diary

29th May 2018 20:15

These images were some of the photos that were used in a romance scam.  The man featured in these pictures is a real person, by the name of Per Gunnar Dahl.  There is no suggestion that he has any connection whatsoever to this scam, and is an innocent party.  From what I have been able to determine, Mr Dahl has a prominent profile in Norway and this is most likely how he has come to the attention of the scammers.

 

 

It is likely that email, Telegram and mobile numbers will be changed, but here is a reminder of those details:

Name used Sigvard Aloisio Torvald, Siggy, Sig
Email s.torvald@outlook.com
Telegram user name @Sigggy
Mobile number +16 0422 77 488
Dating site username Looking4vikingman

Unfortunately, real numbers can be disguised and so I do not know where this scammer is located.

I would ordinarily seek permission to use the images, however, I have been unable to make contact with the real Per Gunnar Dahl.  It is important, I believe, to share these pictures to warn other women.

The copyright for the images remains with Per Gunnar Dahl.

 

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 …

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.

 

 

Dear diary…

27th November, 2017 @ 06:38

Well, dear diary, it has been an exceptionally busy week.  My new project has taken up most of my time.  Certainly, my initial purpose in setting up my website, blog, Facebook page and groups was to focus my energy and attention away from the fact that I was duped.  I did not want to spend hours on end angst-ridden, raking over what had happened.  By and large, my goal has been achieved.  I have been able to distance myself from what happened, and I no longer feel bonded to the images of “Real-Thomas” as I previously had been.  Oh – well, maybe with the exception of one.  Perhaps I need to finally flip my mobile screen saver and upload this one – so that I become immune to this one too!

Thomas Lindegaards This (rather cute) image was not, you understand, on the profile that introduced me to “Fake-Thomas”, but it is an image that is burned into my memory from a video clip that “Fake-Thomas” sent me.

Indeed, it was the ever so slight difference between hair length in the first video clip, and the second, that had me wondering.  It seemed preposterous though, as the second was taken on the ship, and there was clearly a slight breeze.

What I know now, however, is that the slightest inconsistency needs checking out.  Unfortunately, by the time the modus-operandi of arranging to meet and then cancelling at the last minute (this should have rung alarm bells but didn’t as the story was so plausible) I was already emotionally invested!  I wouldn’t quite say that I would believe anything that “Fake-Thomas” said to me, but given the scenario of a busy captain of a very large ship – everything he talked about was realistic.  In fact, “Fake-Thomas” was using every aspect of “Real-Thomas” life, as played out on #Facebook and #Instagram – and of course, this gave the ruse an element of credibility.

 

Sound rules for online dating

This is why, dear diary, it is so important to follow some golden rules when dating online:

  • Be sceptical until you have met face to face at least three times (even real life people can have dishonourable intentions)
  • Keep it lighthearted and don’t reveal information about yourself until AFTER you have met (maybe the three time rule should still apply – your choice)
  • Do not become emotionally invested in someone that you only chat to through the ether
  • Resist attempts to lure you in with sweet words and unrealistic promises
  • NEVER send money to anyone – even if you have become emotionally invested

 

Why do we become so emotionally invested?

I think this is a tricky one to answer, as I think the reason for any of us may be different to the next.  Here are some of the reasons I believe that we become emotionally invested.

  • We want to find love
  • Life can be tough and stressy, a few kind and caring words trigger happy hormones
  • We might be lonely
  • Many women put other’s needs before there own, so to have someone’s full attention – whispering sweet nothings – is a panacea to the mundaness of our day-to-day life
  • Thoughtfulness is desired by women in romantic relationships
  • Those feel good hormones are less to do with the other person and more to do with how we respond
  • The happy hormones that are triggered when we are “falling” for someone is said to give a cocain-esk high:

Falling in love then goes like this. Unpredictability, mystery, and sexual attraction make the amygdala go into a hyper-activation mode. Via neurotransmitters, this signals to the adrenal glands that something exciting, scary, mysterious, and unpredictable is going on. This, in turn, results in the adrenal glands pumping a surge of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the bloodstream. Via the bloodstream, adrenaline increases heart and breathing rates; noradrenaline produces body heat, making you sweat; and cortisol provides extra energy for muscles to use.  Source

Who wouldn’t want to get their happy on?  Certainly the delicious feelings are heady and intoxicating.  Trust me, I know, because that is exactly what happened to me with the “Fake-Thomas” ruse.  Fortunately, these hormones are only activated for as long as the stimuli is present.  This means, that as soon as I knew for certain that “Fake-Thomas” was a scammer, they fizzled out like a firework on a rainy day.

 

Interesting fact about marriages that start off online

In a nationally representative sample of 19,131 respondents who married between 2005 and 2012, results indicate that more than one-third of marriages in America now begin on-line. In addition, marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.  Source

So it seems, dear diary, that all is not lost with online dating.  Done properly (read safely), it can lead to committed and enduring love. One which, it seems, has a higher success rate when it leads to marriage.

So, yesterday, I swore off online dating after a particularly inane message exchange with a guy that I was willing to meet.  We agreed to meet very quickly – and then he blew it by sending me a naked picture of himself.  Ok, so it was only waste up – but I can only imagine that the full version would be naked.  On this particular site, (as with some others), members can have “private” images.  Quite what this means is anyone’s guess(!).  I do know, though, that having realised that this site had pulled across profile pictures from Mr Facebook (I used FB to sign up), it had included some pictures of me with my sister.  Clearly, I did not want these on the site, and initially I couldn’t delete them, so I made them private.

This produced a scurry of activity from guys who wanted to “view” my private images.  So very quickly, I worked out how to delete them!

So dear diary, it seems that all is not lost with online dating.  I think I just need to continue with the bad-ass attitude that I have developed and call the shots.  For any reader, I would caution these three points:

  1. Don’t be rushed into meeting up until you feel comfortable to do so;
  2. That said, don’t exchange endless messages; meet fairly quickly to establish if there is a spark;
  3. ALWAYS be safe: meet in a public place, and let a trusted friend know where you will be and what time you will be home.  Arrange a text/call as a “get out” if you don’t feel comfortable with simply getting up and leaving if you are horrified/worried by your date.  (Just so you know … I’d get up and walk out 🙂 )

Well, dear diary, that is all I have time for just now.  As ever, for anyone reading with me today, if my blog resonates with you in any way, please comment, like and share.

Bye for now.

Carol xOxO

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.

 

 

Dear diary …

26th November 2017 @ 19:28

Are all men idiots or do they simply think with their dick??

One guy made an imbecilic comment about how stupid women are to fall for dupes and scammers:

Idiotic comment about women who are scammed

I am officially done with online dating after this imbecilic exchange:

He sends me a semi nude picture, and then thinks I’m being harsh???

#BahHumbug

Staysafe online series #3: How to spot a fake profile 101

  1.   If the profile shows this face – it is fake
  2. If the profile only has one picture – it is probably fake
  3. If the profile is thousands of miles from you – it is probably fake
  4. If the profile contacts you and professes “love” for you very quickly, and before actually meeting – it is most definitely fake!
  5. If the profile asks you for money; even very small amounts – it is fake.
  6. If the profile picture is extremely attractive – have a talk to yourself, are they really interested in you? Yes, personality is important – but most people go for people that are fairly evenly matched in the looks stakes.  Be honest with yourself.
  7. If the profile contacts you and uses the word “dear”, as in Hello dear … run a mile – in my experience they are ALWAYS fake.
  8. Read this on how to spot a fake profile from More
  9. Read this on how to spot a scammer from Match.com
  10. A note of caution regarding the More statement that the majority of dating sites that have fake profiles are the FREE sites.  I don’t agree with this – in my experience the fakes are on the paid for sites.  I think that scammers think that potential dupes will feel safer on a paid for site.
  11. If your crush has arranged to meet you a number of times, but something always comes up – beware, they are most probably a fake!
  12. If there isn’t a lot of information in the profile – it is probably fake.
  13. Beware though, in my own very recent case, although the profile (on Tinder) had next to no information, the information that was shared subsequently was extensive, and plausible, as they had misappropriated the identity of the guy featured in point 1 above.

This is what one of the leading dating websites has to say about scammers.  I’m not convinced about how effective they are at preventing re-registration, but I would love to have a conversation about them with this:

HOW TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST SCAMMERS

Match’s dedicated Customer Care team works hard to ensure that unwanted accounts are removed from the site. Our moderation team manually check photos and personal ads across the site and a built-in screening system helps identify suspicious accounts, remove them and prevent re-registration.

That’s all for now folks, I do hope that you read with me again soon.

#Staysafe #onlinedating #staysafeonine #socialmedia

Later,

Carol xOxO

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.

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.

Dear diary …

26th November, 2017

Becca Christmas Tree 2017

Woken up this morning tired but happy after spending a lovely afternoon/evening with good friends, celebrating Thanksgiving.  Not a traditional celebration in the UK; my friend’s family are from America and so they observe the tradition every year.

Spending time with close friends, or Framily, as I like to call those friends I am particularly close to, was an absolute tonic.  My pooch, Dillon, enjoyed it too – as he always does when he visits with them.  Although I did not allow him to run around like a maniac like he usually does. 

We had a lovely meal, generously prepared by my friend, and lots of G&Ts and Prosecco (hic!).  We forewent the Margarita’s as we are saving that for my cocktail & canapes evening over Christmas. 

This particular friend, is the kind of friend who treats you like family – so I didn’t mind sitting at her kitchen table, supping G&Ts (with a special twist – their very own Christmas Tree!) and peeling and preparing veg.  After all – it was soooo much easier than the last time I undertook such a task for her and she had me peeling over-ripe figs!!  Man, was that a job I hated, and VERY sticky!!

GnT

We spoke briefly about Fake-Thomas-gate (she was one of the few friends I let know what had happened), and she shared that she had been following my blog.  I had wondered as much, as I could see from my website that a particular “mobile” from our home town was a regular visitor – and I was able to confirm this was indeed her.

It also reiterated my view about what happened – I have NO intentions in getting into all the detail, or having conversations about it.  During the evening, I received a message from an acquaintance asking me about it, stating that they were “just concerned, and not being nosy”.  I’m always thankful for people who check up on me – however, if I’m not going to talk to a close friend about it, I am not going to talk to anyone about it.  I don’t need to.  It happened to me and I am over it.   

I’m am most definitely over it!

I am happy to report, dear diary, that I am well and truly over it.  I no longer look at images of “Real-Thomas” and see my “Fake-Thomas”.  That is gratifying.  I will continue to blog and post, as I have enjoyed it tremendously.  I love writing, but I only do so when I am compelled to and have something that I really want to say.  I will also share parts of my story but not all – I have decided not to share all of my “WhatsApp Romance”.  I will though, pick out key messages that I feel were instrumental in hooking me in.  Rather, I will blog and post about the fakery, and about how easy is to be hooked in and why.  I think this will be of more value to readers who stumble across my blog

There is always a silver lining if you look for it

My experience has turned into a bit of a project.  I now have a new website, a new Twitter account @FakeDatingRebel, a Facebook page and various Facebook groups. – oh, and a new account on #Instagram @FakeDatingRebel.   Anyone who wants to talk to me about my experience, or indeed theirs, can reach me on any of these platforms, or indeed by commenting on this blog or via email admin@fakedatingdotcom.net.

New directions…

As a success coach, focusing on mental health and wellbeing, workplace dynamics and becoming your best self  (Twitter @BeYourBestSelf2) – I have found a niche that I really did not expect would become my focus.  I will continue to work on the other areas, as they are so very important to me – I will also now focus on supporting women (and men if they feel drawn to working with me) to navigate finding love in the current age.  I anticipate that these women will be in their mature years, and struggling to find love online.  Let’s face it – online dating seems to dominate these days, and there does not appear to be much in the way of alternative options.  I may be wrong in that.  I’ve never been one for work based romances, so maybe this is still a popular way of finding a new relationship. 

For the majority of us, we are stuck with the online way of dating.  A lot of the major sites do not cater for the woman (or man) over 40.  I think this is fundamentally wrong.  Also, whilst writing about it: how the hell can major dating sites justify taking not insignificant amounts of money from people who have little chance of finding a date on their dating site let alone a relationship?  I’m thinking, in particular here, about Match.com.  I have been a member of this site on and off for years.  I don’t believe I have had even ONE date from the site.  This despite being a paid member a number of times.  

Time to make a stand and fightback

My next task after posting this blog, is to download and read the small print of the terms and conditions for all of the dating sites I am registered with.  I will be looking for the clause that I wrote about yesterday.  The one that says that not all profiles on the site will be legit.  Of course, they don’t put it in quite those terms.  If I find such a clause, I will be demanding my money back.  Heck, I think I will be demanding my money back anyway – as a simple Google search reveals the age range that each site is targeted at and therefore successful for – and the majority aint for my age range, that’s for sure! 

Dear diary, I may be youthful in outlook, and I may not quite look my age (thanks mum for your youthful genes) … but I am aware that I am well out of range of the target age for Match.com.  Is it not morally wrong, then, for the site to take my money and that of thousands of others?  It is at very least an infringement on – ok, maybe not trades description as they take care not to reveal an age bias; but I do think that, for people of a certain age, these sites are not fit for purpose.  If that is not a trading standards issue, well it damn well ought to be!

Ok, so I think I should leave this post at this point.  As ever, if anything I have shared here resonates with you, please comment, like, share.  I would LOVE to year your stories too.  If you don’t want to do so publicly, please email me or join one of my groups, where you will be able to chat with me personally (click the link to check out the groups).  You can also message me privately on my page.  

Later,

Carol x0x0

cropped-thomas-lindegaard

 

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.

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.