Lifestyle

Warning Signs you may be dating a married man

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Warning Signs You May Be Dating a Married Man

Think you’ve found the perfect man but some things just aren’t adding up? Is he a bit of a mystery? Sarah Symonds is a former mistress and author of Having an Affair? A Handbook for the Other Woman. She gives her tips for recognizing the signs that a man you’re dating may be married:

  • You met in a bar. “If you are meeting for the first time in a bar, that doesn’t bode well. So many married men hang out in bars hoping to get lucky,” Sarah says.
  • He has an indentation or tan line on his ring finger. When you first meet him, look for an obvious sign of a wedding ring that was just removed.
  • He pays for dinners and drinks in cash. This could be because he doesn’t want a paper trail or credit card bust from his wife.
  • He has more than one cell phone and won’t give you both phone numbers. “One is for his wife, and one is for his secret life,” Sarah says. Also note if he always goes outside to take private calls when he’s with you.
  • He tends to call you while at the store, walking the dog, getting gas ” places he’s dashed out to in order to call. “These are places where he’s escaped the family home to go out and call you, his secret lover,” she says.
  • He doesn’t reply to your texts for hours and is not available to talk freely in the evenings. He may ask you not to call after certain times. “It’s because he’s at home with his family and can’t answer,” Sarah says.
  • He’s always busy on the weekends and doesn’t want to make plans for less than 10 days time. He can’t be spontaneous when he has a family to juggle.
  • He doesn’t introduce you to his friends.
  • He finds excuses for why he can’t invite you back to his place. “My main message to women out there who might fall for these things is to find a reason to go back to his place. If he won’t take you home, there’s a reason why,” Sarah says.

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Lifestyle

Online Dating Scams

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Online Dating Scams: How to Tell If You Are Being Baited by a Catfish

It’s easy for some of the smartest people to lose all sight of common sense when they’re being reeled in by a catfish: an online imposter who tries to win your sympathy — and your love — by creating an elaborate scheme. Award-winning technology reporter Kurt Knutsson, known around the country as Kurt the CyberGuy, shares his top ten reality checks to see if you’re being baited by a catfish.

If you identify with at least two of the below scenarios, Knutsson says you could be falling prey to a scam artist.

1. Dumb Date Data
Physical descriptions need to be proportional. For example, someone who is 6-feet tall usually does not weigh 90 lbs. Look for any other descriptions that don’t add up to the profile photo.

Tip: Ask them to take a photo holding a unique phrase or their own name on it and send it to you. Ask to have a live video talk using Skype or Facetime. Most of today’s smartphones, tablets and laptops come equipped with a built-in camera and/or video. Someone reluctant to speak on live video, claiming shyness or that they can’t find a camera, should be a red flag.

2. Profile Picture Test
Professional photos are a red flag. Look for amateur photos — and more than one. Tip: Use a Google Goggles search on your phone to see if the photo they’ve shared with you can be spotted elsewhere online. If you see it shown with a watermark or in other settings like modeling websites, it’s likely a fake.

3. Become a Photo Detective
“This just takes it to the next level,” Knutsson says. Look for detail in photos — wedding rings, locations, activities, time of day, how they are dressed — to see if it matches. Someone claiming that a photo is from a July 4th fireworks party, who is dressed in a fur coat, in daylight, might be a dead giveaway that someone is lying.

Tip: Using a free inspection service that shows the location and time that a photo was originally taken can shed light on a photo liar.

4. Cut and Paste Profile Alert
Introductory letters on dating websites are often copied by catfish scammers. See if the same information appears in other places or has been copied from someone else by searching for it online. Out-of-country scams often slip up here, revealing inconsistent information such as landmarks and cultural events that don’t add up. For example, someone claiming to be from St. Louis who isn’t familiar with the iconic Gateway Arch when questioned is likely a liar.

5. Spelling and Grammar Fail

Hear the words when you read their writing, and check their spelling and grammar. A line that sounds like it could be from someone in a far-off country but portraying themselves to be in your same city will usually have a local dialect misfire.

Real:
“I just love the Macy’s Day Parade in the city.”
Foreign Faker: “I just love the Masey’s Daytime Parades in the cities.”

6. Derailing You from the Dating Site
Red flags should be raised if, right off the bat, they want to get you to instant message or email, taking you off of the dating site where you originally met.

Tip: Always create and use a unique email address that is different than your personal and professional addresses when setting up a dating website profile.

7. Too Serious, Too Soon
Watch out for someone rushing things. A catfish usually makes the first move, often out of left field and sometimes creates a bogus, dreamy profile that sounds like the ideal mate you’ve described in your own dating desires. They play on your sympathy and strike when you are the most vulnerable — caught up in the romance and emotional.

8. Ask a Lot of Questions
Inquire about where they are from, and verify landmarks and spellings of cities online. Blatant errors could mean it’s a scam. Catfishers like to ask you a lot of questions, but seldom let you go deep into their lives, coming up with excuses about why they are reluctant to offer more personal information about themselves. For example, they might say, “I’ve been hurt before by telling too much too soon,” which actually turns the tables on you to prove that you can be trusted — Red flag!

9. You Are Not an ATM Machine
If they ask for money, lock them out of your life. Shut off communication immediately, and close all open doors if you have a hint that it is a sympathy scam. Although most catfishers are not after money, this one should be a wake-up call to a scam.

10. Facebook Fakers
At this point, if someone has no Facebook page, but they are sophisticated enough to create an online dating profile, be warned. Also look out for potential fake Facebook pages.

Signs of a fake Facebook profile can include the fact that the Facebook page was started near the same time that a dating profile elsewhere was established, if few photos are posted, or if there are no people tagged in their photos to show a connection in a relationship.

If they are on Twitter, read through historic tweets to see if the story they tell matches up to the same the person you are prospectively dating. Like Facebook, Twitter accounts created around the same time as dating profiles should be treated with caution.