Ethics & Religion
June 1, 2016
Dangers of Online
By Mike McManus
My wife and
I know a never-married woman about 50 who met a man online who seemed
spectacular. He sent a photo of himself as an airline pilot flying a
military plane, with a rugged, handsome face. Our friend, who is a bit
overweight, went on a crash diet, losing 10 pounds. She told us she was
Her friend said he wanted to put some of his savings into her bank
account, where she could keep whatever interest was earned. She told her
brother, who had served in the military and he warned her, "Be careful.
Do not give him any information about your account. He sounds phony to
me. If he got your account number, he might drain your savings account.
Ask him for details of his military service, and let me check him out."
Sure enough, the man did not check out. His alleged credentials were
phony. He was a scam artist.
On the other hand, last year alone, twice as many marriages occurred
between men and women who met online vs. couples who met in bars, clubs,
church or other social events combined, according to one source.
However, it's worth taking the time to protect yourself from online
scammers and sex offenders. Be aware of the risks which are involved,
70% of which are targeted at women, half of whom are over age 40.
DatingMetrics (www.datingmetrics.com/online-dating-safety-guide-for-women) reports that
a tenth of people you meet online are scams. Victims lose an average of
$5,000 in these scams. In Britain, rape reportings have soared 6-fold in
5 years from victims meeting online. A tenth of sex offenders use online
dating as their private hunting ground.
This website recommends three steps for web-wise dating safely:
Remain anonymous. Create a generic username to protect yourself. Hide
your contact details. Don't share your personal email. Don't share your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Use fresh selfies for your dating
profiles. Never upload photos from Facebook. Online fraudsters can track
down your personal details via Google.
Be a web-wise owl and play detective. If asked for money or financial
information, especially to help pay for "emergency" medical bills -
dodge such questions. Beware of job offers or get-rich quick schemes.
Avoid contacts from another country. Beware of instant expressions of
love for you. Avoid directions to other sites, live chatrooms or
pornographic sites. Beware of messages with bad spelling and grammar.
Trust your gut. Take your time to get to know someone before exchanging
contact details or meeting in person. Use well-known dating sites such
as eHarmony, Match.com which employ fraud prevention specialists. Never
send money. Suspect anything fishy? Google their name or Facebook page.
I am grateful to Joe Thomas, a British expert who created datingmetrics,
the email of which is above, who offered this advice. He responded
recently to a 2003 column of mine on eHarmony.com.
Fully 70% of Americans have experienced divorce in a failed marriage or
as a child. By contrast, in such nations as India, where parents
preselect potential mates for their son or daughter to consider -
divorce is rare. Clearly, Americans are doing a terrible job of mate
EHarmony was created by Neal Clark Warren, a psychologist who has
written eight books on marriage and counseled thousands over 35 years.
He created a matching system that has led to 600,000 marriages - 4% of
America's 2.2 million weddings a year!
No wonder 20 million people have signed up for eHarmony. However, a
similar number are registered with Match.com, a competitor.
What's the difference between them? You will get a date more quickly on
Match.com because eHarmony requires you to answer 400-500 questions that
take two to three hours to answer. However, the result is much better
matches on eHarmony.
Couples are compared on 29 Dimensions of Compatibility for lasting and
fulfilling relationships. It can be difficult to determine the level of
compatibility of a potential partner through methods of conventional
dating services - browsing classified ads, online personals or viewing
Match.com charges $35.99 for one month of standard service, followed by
$19.99 monthly. EHarmony is a bit more: $59.99 for an initial month and
$39.99 monthly afterwards.
If your goal is to narrow the field from thousands to people with an
excellent prospect for you to build a quality relationship, choose
On average, 438 couples get married every day who met on eHarmony. Most
important, only 5% of eHarmony couples have divorced.
Those are unbeatable statistics.
Copyright (c) 2016 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To see earlier columns go to
www.ethicsandreligion.com and hit
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