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We are all facing challenging times with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. This virus and it’s public effects pose even greater challenges with online dating. More and more people are moving to social media and digital means to connect with others. We are going to outline a few basic dangers/challenges and offer some guidance.
Scammer alert! Scammers will try to capitalize on any crisis available to them for their destructive deeds. They will be out in droves playing on people’s fears, kindness and generosity:
1. Do not respond to emails requesting money or goods regarding the Coronavirus, in any way. If you receive an email from a company that you do business with you should always hover your mouse over the sender name and take note of the actual email address. This includes any links in the body of the email. Government entities will end in “.gov” as they will never be sent from a private “.com”, etc. Do not click on any links in the body of the email. Again, you can hover over the link to see the actual destination of the link.
2. Do fall for the American Soldier oversees in need of money for a plane ticket or medical assistance, etc. Their needs are supplied by the American government.
3. Exercise great caution in ordering any products for protection from the Coronavirus. There are a lot of counterfeit products out there. Do your research.
The dangers, and challenges, of online dating:
1. Always meet in a public place. Never meet in a private setting, especially a private residence. Bad actors may use the fact that many public places are closed, or closing, due to the wide spread of the virus in some areas to get you to meet privately. DO NOT DO IT. We offer suggestions of open air public places like golf courses, parks, etc. We know that some folks may be getting “antsy” feeling confined and may let their guard down and we strongly advise against it.
2. Some bad actors may play with your mind and emotions by stating concern for your health as the reason to meet privately. DO NOT DO IT. If they are concerned for the health of either of you then they will be willing to meet in a public open air space and keep a safe distance. Or maybe wait to meet at all. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other more from a safe distance with a computer monitor, or phone, between you.
3. Keep at least six feet of distance. No hugging, hand shaking, etc. Please consider the health of yourself and your loved ones. I think we can all agree to take the simple steps, no matter how inconvenient, to stop the spread of this. Just because you are not at risk of the effects of the virus does not mean you cannot be a carrier and infect someone who is.
4. There are a lot of bad actors in online dating. Many, many fake profiles of people pretending to be in your area. Do not send money, or goods, in any way if they are requested. Look guys, and gals, anyone can be on the other side of that monitor or cell phone. We have said this many times… if you have never met in person then you are not dating. You have a Pen Pal. Dating has not changed, only the way we meet who we date has. Just think about dating someone prior to the online era. That is your guideline to knowing whether you have a pen pal or an actual date/mate. If you have been chatting and not met in person for several weeks does not change the fact that you really do not know them. Quite honestly if you have been chatting/phone calls for more than four weeks, and never met in person, then you should move on to the next. Seriously.
Bottom line is with what is going on around many of us you have new challenges to face. Use common sense and do not “knee-jerk” emotionally. Be smart with your heart, and your mental, physical and financial health!
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