Lincoln woman gets 'Catfished' just before Valentine's Day - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lincoln woman gets 'Catfished' just before Valentine's Day

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By: Jenn Schanz
jschanz@klkntv.com

From E–Harmony to Match.com, OkCupid or Plenty of Fish...

The online dating world is growing fast.

But how do you know the person you're talking to, is who they say they are?

"I'd never seen him, you know. I'd never spoke to him at all. So I just knew it was a scam," says a Lincoln woman who says she almost fell victim to a dating hoax. 

It's called being 'Catfished,' when online dating turns out to be a scam.

It's happened so much, it's now documented on a popular MTV show.

The woman says it happened to her too.

"I got on Plenty of Fish and met this man and he seemed very sincere, and we, we clicked."

But things got shady fast. The woman says shortly after they started talking, he asked her money; almost $400 dollars, to help his sick daughter in Africa.

Many online dating sites don't even require a photo. This man did have a photo, but the woman suspects it isn't him.

He told her he was in the military, stationed in Afghanistan, but wouldn't go into details about where he was from, and wouldn't talk on the phone or Skye.

Luckily, the woman suspected something was off, and ended communication within  a few weeks.

Now, she hopes her close call will be a cautionary tale.

"Even if there is a picture on the Internet, you don't know if it's their true face or not," she says. 

Match.com partners with the National Cyber Security Alliance and notes some red flags to be aware of while online dating. You should stop communication with someone if he/she:

  • Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
  • Claims to be from U.S. but currently travelling, living or working abroad
  • Asks you for money
  • Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
  • Talks about "destiny" or "fate"
  • Claims to be recently widowed
  • Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
  • Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
  • Sends you emails containing strange links to third-party websites
You should immediately report the user if they:
  • Ask you for money or donations
  • Have married people or minors using the service
  • Send harassing or offensive emails/IMs
  • Behave inappropriately after meeting in person
  • Ask you to call 1-800 numbers or attempt to sell products or services

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