being safe online, catfish, fake profiles, protect yourself, Public service announcement, romance scams, scam phone calls, scams, spotting a scammer
I think so!
I have been on dating sites on and off for a long time. By now I am a pro, or so I like to believe. I go out of my way to be safe and not take chances. I can normally spot a fake, phony or scam profile a mile away.
But as we are getting smarter online so are the scammers.
In the past I rarely gave my phone number out before meeting someone. Lately I am more lax about it. If I believe that the person is a real person and serious about meeting I will normally talk or text him before meeting.
I don’t go only by my instincts. I Google pictures, phone number, parts of the profile, etc. I play detective, something I enjoy. It is amazing what one can find online if one digs far enough.
Last week, after I did all my research and thought it was safe, I sent a text to a guy that I had been exchanging messages online. He never replied. I looked at his online profile and he was gone. It was very odd. That had never happened to me before.
I wondered what was the deal. Why would someone just want my phone number? What for?
This week I think I found out.
Yesterday I got 2 phone calls from 800-325-0778. A recording said it was from the Social Security Administration and that my social security number was going to be suspended. I was instructed to hit 1 to get more information. Of course I didn’t.
Today I got 2 phones calls from 800-538-9983. A recording said it was from Apple and that my iCloud account was compromised. Again I was told to press 1 for more information. Again I didn’t.
I don’t think it is a coincidence. I think those phone calls are related to the guy that wanted my number and once he got it he disappeared.
1. If you are online dating, do not give your number out unless you think you know who the person really is. That is what I always did and I will go back to being more strict.
2. If you receive a phone call regarding something sensitive such as social security, credit card, cell phone, etc, never press 1 or any other button. Just hang up as fast as you can.
3. Never engage in telephone conversation with anyone that calls with alarming news/information and requesting your personal information. Never ever give out personal information over the phone.
4. Don’t ever call the same number that called you even if seems legit. Phone numbers can be spoofed and appear legit. When in doubt it is always best to call the appropriate agency or company directly.
and on that note, I will share the link to a post I wrote years ago about spotting fake profiles: https://atomic-temporary-33385295.wpcomstaging.com/2016/10/27/how-to-spot-a-fake-dating-profile/
Living, learning and adapting ♥
“Be silent and safe — silence never betrays you;
Be true to your word and your work and your friend;
Put least trust in him who is foremost to praise you,
Nor judge of a road till it draw to the end.”