Will you be my Valentine?
Ariel (not her real name of course) sat expectantly for the phonecall from Allen telling her that her ride to their booked dinner venue was on the way. The phonecall never came. There was never a dinner reservation. In fact, there was no Allen when it came to that. Ariel had been scammed!
It had all started on a facebook chat. He seemed genuinely interested in her. He did not just like and comment on her cute picture posts, he also commented on those posts that meant more to her like her work anniversary, and when she would just write her feelings. Not many of her friends ever responded to those as she had quickly realised. But still there was Allen. More and more, she found herself looking forward to his comments and when he finally did dm, it was all she could do but give a hearty laugh of joy. And the conversations had started flowing from then on.
As Valentine’s approached, Allen asked her out on a date. He was going to fly in from South Africa to Zimbabwe just for her. They had planned everything to the very last minute detail, including the hotel they would have dinner from and where Allen would then spend the night. Ariel anticipated spending their first night there together and her heart played a mighty somersault. It mattered not that Allen was taking everything into his hands, including making dinner reservations in her own country. When she got a call to make their dinner and accommodation payments she paid without a qualm. Even when Allen asked her to give her her credit card details to use for his flight reservations, she all too gladly sent them through. After all, he was coming and they would start scouting for a business premise together which would enable him to release his funds. She would, after all, get all her money back – and some more!
Ariel’s story is much like that of many others when it comes to online dating. It is all too easy to get into the clouds and wrap yourself in there with all sorts of thoughts of a happy ending so that all caution is thrown to the wind. This Valentine’s there could be ways for you to enjoy your Romeo experience without losing your hard-earned savings. There are loads of internet security fads that may be out there and the most common ones are in the makings of;
1.Grab all caution from the wind
These say that, as you are engaging with your potential Romeo, ensure he is who he says he is. First port of call- check out his pictures using simple image reverse search tools. This is simply the search engine technology that you will find from Google, Reddit and TinEye, which can basically lead you right back to the origins of any uploaded picture. The reason? Well, if he really is genuine, he wouldn’t pull out an internet picture now would he?
2.Agree not to Isolated Dating
Based on one belief- one cue one is an abusive partner is when they isolate you from loved ones. The reason is just plain-they do not want you getting reason knocked into your head and so you depend wholly on them. Scammers are very much like that. They would not want you seeking advice from clear-headed people who are not in the throes of an emotional climax from all the lovey-dovey chats online. Your friends and family are very very likely able to read through any illogical requests and would likely flag out any inconsistencies. The scammer is said to always want to make you believe that for the relationship to succeed you must depend on each other -each other alone-and keep nosey people out.
Get Security Awareness Training
While this may be the last activity on the internet in your mind right now, it is the one sure way bloggers like KnowB4t will advise you to stay safe -not only now at Valentine’s but for all times!
The sad fact is that social media is broken. You should be able to know that the “Allens” are accountable for their actions. Accountability should be built into social media.Internet security should be less of what you put up as a hedge against all the known and would-be security threats-it should be about collective responsibility and accountability.
Now here’s the good news. There is a system called PKIDR that brings Accountable Anonymity to social media, making it practically impossible for scammers like Allen to get away with their nasty ways.
And here’s the even better news. If you have business experience and are looking for the Next Big Thing in the world of social media technology, you can participate in the Accountable Anonymity revolution. Watch the videos at https://pkidr.com to learn more.
“I am blogging as an Individual Member of The Authenticity Alliance, and I frequently blog on behalf of other Alliance members.”