Monday, October 20, 2014

People on the Net

So like, you hear all kinds of horror stories about people meeting the wrong person online. or cyber bullying. or whatever. well, this isn't a horror story,  listened well. But I did fall too fast for someone who really wasn't. Let me say, my friends told me about a reverse picture look up. So... I looked. if you have a picture on your hard drive, or if you have pictures on a website, you can find out if that picture has ever been used before to scam on people, like myself.

I joined a dating website because my friend and I made a deal, if she joined one, I would as well.  didn't think it was going to happen any time soon, but she surprised me and did. So I joined, not really thinking anyone would message me, and not really going on the site to look either. I started getting emails, I had received a message, someone had looked at my profile. over and over and over. I started reading some of the messages and since the majority of people were "geographically undesirable", they were not replied to. But then this one guy, in my area, messaged me. Very handsome. We started talking. and talking, and talking. He asked me for my email address. I gave it to him. He asked me for my yahoo messenger name, I gave it to him. what would be the harm? We emailed 2-3 times a day, and messaged each other for several hours at a time. Since I'm disabled, and not working, I had plenty of time to chat.

I woke up in the morning and ran to my laptop, sometimes even checking my mail on the phone before even getting out of bed. He was so romantic! He was understanding. I told him 100% of everything that guys out here are like, yeah, no thanks. my health conditions. my views on lots of things, these are usually deal breakers, I have found. Yet, he was ok with it. I told him I wanted things to go very very slowly. He said, he felt like women have the right to steer the relationship in any way they want.

I wanted to show my friends his profile on the dating site, but he had deleted it. When I asked him why, he said he didn't need it any longer. I asked if he had met someone, and he said yes, he met me. ok red flag. why would he think say that, if we had only been talking for a few weeks. Meanwhile, I continued to speak to other men who messaged me on the dating site.  One guy was military and he asked me who I banked with. I said, even if I felt comfortable enough to give it to him, I would never give out my banking information online. He said he was military and couldn't access his account because he was out of the country. He said none of his family had a way to send him money. too bad so sad. I was not going to give him any info. well, that was the last I heard from him. I patted myself on the back and continued chatting with men who messaged me.

Another guy basically asked me the same thing, in a roundabout way... and I shut him down immediately too. So I thought, I was doing well and I had my wits about me. I thought I could catch a jerk, a con, a mile away. But then I started talking to this guy. Man, he said everything right.

No, no way in hell was I in love, but I did care about him enough to say a prayer for him (or who I thought this person was, but really was not), every night.

I continued to see red flags throughout our conversations. The profile pic showed a man with a young girl, probably 8 yrs or so. I asked about her, how she was, what was she like, what grade was she in. He would change the subject. I thought, I will talk until I'm blue in the Frikin face, about my children and grandchildren, you know? so I thought, ok I'll ask again later.  And when I did, he said something to the effect that I doubted how much he cared for me. That made me feel so bad because here he was sharing his feelings and his whatever, and who was I to doubt?

According to him, he was in the UK on a business trip and he was about to make so much money that he would never have to work a day in his life again. RED FLAG. yeah right. He said he was an engineer, and he was going to lay pipes down in Africa and that tomorrow, the contract would be signed.
I asked about his job, and he said this one thing in such a way that, at least I felt like, he was saying I was too stupid to understand. However, keep in mind, I have very low self esteem, and he probably somehow knew that, no I wouldn't have ever told him that, but somehow he knew, so he played on that, I'm sure, and so I wasn't going to ask gain.

I saw on his profile on the dating site, that his religion was "Christian". I am Catholic, and even though I am not very good at my faith, I still treasure my beliefs and everything. you know? I love my God and Virgin Mary, my heavenly mother.  I love my angels and saints.

I asked him what denomination of Christianity to subscribed to and he said he was Catholic. Major Red Flag !!!!!  When people ask Catholics what religion they belong to, we always say Catholic. we never say Christian, even though we are. when someone hears the word "Christian" it is automatically implied that they are not Muslim, Hindu, OR Catholic (or any other non Christian religion). Yes I am Catholic and I am a follower of Christ, so I am Christian. However, I am Catholic. ask any Catholic out there, who is proud of their faith, who loves their faith, we say we are Catholics. So when he said he was Catholic, I pressed on. I told him who my favorite saints are, my patron saints, (St Therese, the Little Flower, St Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, and St Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. Also, my favorite apparition of the Blessed Virgin is Virgin De Guadalupe, since I am Mexican American (chicana, born in the states with Mexican born parents). I asked which were his favorites. no response. just like I didn't even ask. Ok. maybe he wasn't a huge big time Catholic, I reasoned with myself. Who am I to judge?  I let it go but didn't forget.

So I decided to tell my friends online. When I did, I posted the pics he had sent me via email. So many were concerned, they just knew he wasn't who he said he was. They told me about doing a reverse image look up on google.

However, I had no idea how to do it, so I had to do a little bit of reading before I could do so. I uploaded the first picture he had sent me, and nothing came up. The second picture came up right away, and I went to the first few websites that came up. The first two were in a different language, and when  I went to, it came back gibberish. So I continued to look and found more pages with the same picture. I checked a third and a fourth, and they all came back as being used fraudulently. 

So I did what I had to do, deleted all images off my hard drive, deleted all emails, blocked his email address, so that I would never receive another email full of lies, blocked him on messenger, and deactivated my account with the dating website. 

After all that, I sat for a moment and cried. 

Don't let this happen to you. Be vigilant. Listen to your brain more than to your emotions. Look for red flags, and don't try to make excuses when they come up. They are red flags for a reason, you know?   

Do I have to say that red flags are warning signs that very often come up when you are dealing with a fake person wanting to con you out of your personal information so they can rip you off? Do I have to say that they warning signs are there for a reason, and we have to look into them, so that we aren't taken advantage of, or end up with a fractured or worse, broken heart. However, I feel I must say that, even though, I want to give up and never try dating again, I have to be opened to whatever God sends my way, and trust in God and in myself, to see the warnings and act upon them accordingly. 

It's 1:30 in the morning now. my window is opened for some fresh air, and all I smell is someone smoking marijuana. so I think I'm going to close the window, turn off the lights and go to sleep. Sleep well everyone, and if you are looking for someone to hold you at night, keep the faith and pray that God will send you the real person you are meant to be with. If you have that special person in your life already, cherish them, love them, and treat them as you would want to be treated! 

Good night. 

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