Living and Loving 8: Online Dating, Scammers and Staying Safe

Confused and want to go back to the beginning of this series?  Just click HERE to go to Part One.

Welcome back to our continuing series on life and love in the Philippines.  Let’s jump back into the water with further discussion on scammers and online dating tips.


SCAMS AND SCAMMERS
Put simply, a scam is a technique or story to fool you into giving your money away. A scammer is a person employing the scam. Given its very nature, the internet is rife with both versions of these aberrations.   And if you are trusting and even the slightest bit gullible, you could easily fall victim to a scammer. 

Scammers typically attempt to take advantage of your generosity, emotions, greed, stupidity or some combination of the above. There are many types of scams and many types of scammers.

Scam Example 1: You have been communicating with Jane, a seemingly beautiful and friendly Filipina. One day she suddenly tells you, “Joe, I have a big problem! My mother stepped on a rusty nail and she now has a serious blood infection. The doctor says she needs a very expensive antibiotic or she may die! Please Joe, I can’t afford the medicine. Please help me! I need just p15,000. Please can you send right away? I will be forever grateful, and I will pay you back next week when I get my salary.”

Scam Example 2: You have been communicating with Jane, a seemingly beautiful and friendly Filipina. One day she tells you: “Joe, I have great news! For three years I have been trying to get a travel visa to the USA. Yesterday it finally came through! Joe, I want to visit you! I am ready to come right away! Joe, just send me the money for the ticket and I can come next week!”

Scam Example 3: You have been communicating with Jane, a seemingly beautiful and friendly Filipina. One day she suddenly tells you: “Joe, I have a great opportunity for you! My rich uncle wants to send money to his son in the USA, but he has no bank account. Let me have the full name and number of your account and he will transfer $100,000 to your account. You will then transfer the money to my cousin. You can keep $5000 just for your trouble and assistance in this matter.”

The moral of these stories? NEVER communicate with a Filipina named Jane.  No – just kidding! The moral is simply this: Don’t be gullible!

There are hundreds of different scams on the internet, and they seem to increasing exponentially. Most scammers are looking for reasonably pay day at your expense, however, there is a subsection of scammers willing to settle for smaller amounts. There are numerous Filipinas whose only source of income is small donations from foreigners. They will maintain many online relationships, occasionally asking for a few hundred pesos here and there from each of their “clients” for such items as rice, load or housing costs. These girls know that if they only ask for small sums of money every once in a while, you will assume they are not scamming you. They assume your thinking will be: “Who would bother scamming someone out of just a few hundred pesos”.

It’s very easy to avoid getting scammed if you remember two very simple rules.

  • Never give out personal information such as your full name, your address or your bank account or credit card numbers.
  • Never, ever send someone you have never met money

It seems so simple, but yet people still get scammed all the time. They get fooled into trusting someone and then they get burned.

Does this mean you should never ever send money under any circumstances? I won’t go that far. I will discuss this subject in more detail later in the series.

 

 

SINGLE, NO KIDS(?)
In addition to money scams, there is also the possibility of getting involved with someone who has something to hide. In this instance, they are not trying to scam you out of money, but simply lying about something in their life in order to maintain your interest.  

Examples include:

  • An ugly or old woman trying to fool you by sending you fake pictures of a beautiful woman.
  • An underage girl pretending to be at least 18 years old
  • A woman who claims to be single but is (or still married!)
  • A woman who has children but does not tell you.
  • A woman that has a physical, mental or medical problem, but does not tell you.
  • A gay person or transvestite trying to get his (her) jollies by fooling you into on line sexual activity

 

SHOW ME DON’T TELL ME
One way to avoid some of these problems is to insist that your partner have a web cam. A cam is a very valuable tool in the process of not getting fooled or scammed. As a matter of fact, I would strongly recommend that you not get involved with anybody who refuses to show themselves on web cam, no matter what their excuse is.  

Other than that, simply keep on the lookout for inconsistencies and don’t ignore them when you see them. A person lying about an important issue will usually slips up at some point.

 

OTHER SAFETY TIPS 

  • Be skeptical! It is very easy to lie to someone on the internet. If you are not an experienced chatter, don’t fall into the trap of believing everything someone is telling you. Take everything with a grain of salt and keep your eyes and ears peeled for those inconsistencies. Look for women of good character who genuinely seem to be honest. If you are skeptical and alert, you will almost always catch the liars in the act of lying.
  • An emailed photo isn’t worth its weight in anything. Anyone can send you a picture of a beautiful woman. Pictures must be backed up with live web cam for verification.
  • Use a separate email address for your on line searching. When you start this process create a new free email address for the sole purpose of use during your on line search. Don’t use your normal email address or you are likely to be sorry as your level of spam is likely to shoot up dramatically. Also, don’t use your real, full name in the address. It’s easy to sign up for a free email accounts these days so take your pick.


HAVE OPTIONS!

Don’t make the mistake of “falling in love” with the first woman you chat with online. No matter how much you think you like a certain girl, or how great the conversation is, or how pretty or sexy she is, keep caution and your options open. Always remember that the internet is a bit of a selective fantasy zone – you can never really know someone until you have met them in person. And even when you so finally meet the person, it’s not always easy to make a full assessment of someone’s character and personality in a short amount of time (and it’s almost impossible to be sure about a person from the internet only!). People that have experienced this before know that feeling of thinking you have met someone great online, only to be disappointed when they finally meet in person.  Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t be optimistic or excited about the person you meet online! I’m just saying that it is easy to be bamboozled online by experienced hustlers, so just be careful.

Now if you meet a Filipina online, you meet up in person and it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, it’s really not a big deal.  These things happen. But the stakes are magnified when you are traveling thousands of miles to meet someone who doesn’t meet expectations. For this reason, I most strongly recommend that you don’t put all your hopes into a single online contact. You should strive to meet a number of potential Filipinas, so that when you finally do visit, if one does not work out, you have alternatives.  Not to sound trite, but like most things in life, it is good to have options.

As an aside, it’s better not to tell any of the on line girl friends that you have other girl friends on line. Filipinas are very jealous by nature, which is a whole separate topic unto itself!

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
If you think you are going to go online and quickly obtain a list of high quality women, you are in for a big disappointment. Finding quality women on dating sites is a very time consuming process. Unless you a VERY lucky, you will most likely have to invest a great deal of time and energy into finding women you can relate to. The good news is that some people enjoy this process and some even get addicted to the rigours of “The Hunt.” But if you are impatient and expect immediate results you are sure be discouraged.

 

DEALING WITH BOTS
The internet in general – and dating site chat rooms in particular – are a bit crazy. These social areas contain many entities that appear to be either crazy or fake. The fake people are called bots. These are automated programs that at first appear to be real people. If you say hello to a bot you might get a reply like “Hi there sexy, I’m feeling so horny now, how about you?”, or any other of a million insipid responses. If you are experienced, it usually doesn’t take long to figure out you are talking to a bot. Oftentimes, they are being used by businesses for marketing and sales purposes (porn is a biggie) but a good number of scammers also use them in order to generate leads on potential victims.  It’s hard to get a handle on the bot phenomenon or even how widespread it is. Sadly, it will be your job to patiently seek out real people amidst this miasma and find quality women to talk to.

OK, that’s enough for now.  I hope this ongoing guide has been of some use to you.

 

Until next time, stay thirsty my friends.

 

Corey X

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