Could #DatingApps do more to “vet” their users? #onlinedating #romancescam #catfish #identityverification

On the whole, online dating is a fun and exciting place to be where you’re able to meet someone new without having to leave the comfort and safety of your bed or your sofa.

However, as our lives become increasingly social media-dependent, there is a darker side of online dating that is growing rapidly. Hackers and fraudsters are getting cleverer and using technology to deceive a growing number of people.

Can online dating apps and sites do more to protect their users from catfish and dating scammers?

What responsibility do dating apps have to vet people?

Some apps do very little. The potential consequences of not doing anything can be catastophic, as has been seen in some news stories of late. This leads to an onus on the dater (user) to undertake their own vetting process.

I’ve come across quite a few scammers in my time and have spoken with many others who have encountered scammers.

Here are four of the most common romance scams:

1) Those who tell you they’re single but they’re lying to you because they’re secretly married. This is the ultimate lie and it’s usually because that person wants a bunk-up! It’s very hard to see through this lie at first but you can do your own Google search of someone once you know their full name. “Tin Eye” is also a good search engine to use where you can upload a photo of someone and it will tell you where the image appears on the web.

2) Those with only one or two photos posted which aren’t really of them. They’ll usually look like a model. They build up a relationship with someone before then hitting them with a sob story. Their aim is to try and swindle money out of a user’s bank account by asking them to pay for travel costs or medical costs. They will never meet you, as they are using someone else’s photos and/or pretending to be someone they’re not. Never send money to anyone no matter what!

3) Those with two or three photos posted but they’re not smiling in their photos, they’re wearing sunglasses, or they only have photos of their face. What are they hiding? If you come across someone like this, you need to either avoid this person completely or find out more about them and ask to see more photos of them as well.

4) Those who put up photos of themselves from 10 years ago – or even older than this! They do this to try and secure a face-to-face date, but the truth will always come out in the end, so what’s the point in lying? It will only end up disappointment anyway!

In the humble opinion of many and through experiences we have all had, finding genuine people can be very difficult. It can be hard to figure out if someone is telling you the truth or not.

Identity Verification

Identity Verification is one way of putting an end to Catfishing. Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have long offered profile authenticity of public figures and other celebrities. A checkmark is added next to their name to confirm the legitimacy of the account. However, identity verification is a feature that is still missing on many other social media services today, including online dating and on most mobile dating apps and I feel that all dating sites and apps should begin using this feature.

A couple of dating apps have recently launched a feature that lets users verify their identities. Badoo and Bumble show the user a gesture and asks them to upload a photo replicating it. This way they can’t use something already on their phones or computers. While Badoo and Bumble users can still use the app without taking such photos, users can change their settings to see only “verified profiles”, which means potential catfish won’t be seen as often.

Other ways dating apps can vet people better

Here are some ways I feel that the vetting process on online dating apps could be made more vigorous and therefore increase safety:

1) Before users can upload a profile to the app, their profile should be vetted. The dating app sends them a code. They then have to take a picture of themselves with the code, plus the current date and time written on a piece of paper. This will verify they are a real person and are the same person that’s in the profile pics that they wish to upload.

2) The dating app could have the use of designated bars/restaurants in specific areas, where their users can meet their date. It would be a safe environment for both people to be able to relax in and really get to know each other on their first couple of dates. The staff in the designated meeting place could also be seen as an added layer of security and be trained to do certain things should things go wrong on the date and when someone’s safety is compromised.

3) The dating app could also incorporate GPS tracking so if the user feels vulnerable at any time, they can press an SOS button and the dating app can call them and make sure they are safe. The dating app could also call the police.

4) The dating app could have a customer services department. If you’ve been on a date and you feel like the person was mentally unstable or aggressive or just had something about them that didn’t feel right, you could call someone and express your concerns. The dating site could then keep a record of any complaints. If there are more than two complaints of the same nature about the same person, then they could be removed from the dating app.

To find out more about catfishing, how you can spot a dating scammer and what you should put on your own dating profile, you can purchase my book, Love At First Swipe, which is available at Amazon. My book is a comprehensive guide to modern online dating for people of every age, gender, orientation, and ability.

One of the early reviews of my book

Whatever you’re after – from feet or fetish to love and romance – Gareth Fosberry’s new book gets to the heart of what works and what doesn’t in the world of online dating.

Whether you’re looking for a new Mr Right or just a flirty fling, Cupid now has an app to help. Unfortunately, however, Cupid’s new digital arrows don’t always hit the target.

Follow the link to read the rest of the review.

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Finding L❤ve at Christmas 🎄 #onlinedating #love #romance #datingadvice

Christmas is the most important time of year to spend with your loved ones. It’s also a romantic time of the year where people share gifts and enjoy a kiss under the mistletoe. The twinkling lights and cozy feelings of being near a log fire add to the magic in the air and often, people get engaged around this time of year. Movies, TV and Social Media have also heightened the idea that Christmas and love go hand in hand.

Christmas can be a lonely time for many

Christmas is also a lonely time of the year for many people. Not everyone is fortunate to have a network of family and friends with whom they can chat to, share Christmas dinner with, or meet up with for a drink. If you know of anyone who might be alone at Christmas, send them a message, post them a Christmas card, give them a present, pick up the phone and talk to them, or better still, invite them out for a drink.

Options to socialise become more limited with age

If you’re single and you’re ready to mingle, it can be difficult knowing where to start. This task is made even harder if you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, as quite often, most of your friends will have settled down by this age and will already have a partner and/or family. For singletons, the options of people to socialise with are reduced and this makes it harder to meet someone.

Added to this, we all lead busy lifestyles nowadays and people don’t socialise as much as they used to. Many people work long hours during the week, so they’re often too tired to go out in the evenings. Leading up to Christmas, many people have already made plans on how to spend their weekends, so it makes being single even harder.

Online Dating is a great option

This is exactly why more people have gone down the route of online dating, as it creates more options and opportunities to meet new people who are in the same boat. Of course, you have to vet people and get to know people as best you can before you arrange to meet them in person, but you can do this from the comfort of your own home and therefore don’t need to rely on friends being free to go out with you.

Christmas And the New Year period always sees an increase in the number of people using a dating app so your chances of finding Mr or Ms Right should be greater – in theory!

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-busiest-time-of-year-for-online-dating-2016-01-05

There are many traps out there and a large number of dating scammers who prey on people’s desperation to find love, so you need to tread carefully, put the right things in your profile, upload the right pictures, meet your date in a safe location and ask the right questions. To help you navigate your way through the minefield of online dating, my new book, Love At First Swipe, is on sale now from all leading stockists, including Amazon:

Merry Christmas, Stay Safe and Happy Dating! ❤

How has #socialmedia changed the dating scene? #relationships #onlinedating

Meeting the man or woman of your dreams has never been easier, or so you would think. In this modern age of online dating, we have more choice than ever before, thanks to the advance in technology over recent years. This includes the invention and rise of social media and the thousands of online dating apps out there now. However, more choice can cause confusion and it can also be overwhelming.

Some romantic traditions still remain popular today, but the dating landscape has changed significantly over the past two decades. One of the greatest reasons for this change has been the invention of social media. Social media provides singletons with access to thousands of other single people, with just a few clicks of a mouse or a few swipes of your index finger.

Are dating apps and sites considered social media?

From the most popular online dating apps, to online dating reviews, no matter which one you use or view, it’s all social media. Social media and online dating apps are basically the same thing. In fact, most online dating sites and apps are actually linked to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

But how has #socialmedia changed the dating scene? “Find out from author Gareth Fosberry in this awesome guest post.” #relationships #onlinedating

https://whenbusinessinspire.com/social-media-dating/

This post also looks at how Social Media has led to faster communication, but asks, “is it less personal?” Another section looks at “Declaring that you’re in a relationship on social media”. The “Swipe Culture” in general is also discussed.

At the end of the day, there’s no escaping the fact that most people are signed up to and regularly use at least one social media account, so meeting new people online is becoming more common, whether we like it or not. Social Media will enable many more people to find true love online in the future.

However, there are many obstacles to avoid when talking to people online. Dont forget, these are people whom you have never met before and safety and security should be uppermost in your thoughts. For more information about how to stay secure when dating online, you should read this great article in Female First magazine:

https://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/gareth-fosberry-exclusive-dating-tips-online-advice-relationships-1165200.html/

You can also read more in Gareth’s new book, Love At First Swipe, which is available on Amazon:

https://pin.it/z5mixuqd32zele

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves for Christmas – Love at First Swipe by Gareth Fosberry #OnlineDating

Online dating can be a minefield, from deciding what to write in your profile, and which photos to share, to how to read the warning signs that someone might not be who they say they are. There are plenty of traps, but Love at First Swipe will help you safely navigate your way to finding love online by providing candid tips and advice.

The Author

Gareth Fosberry is a writer, dating blogger and an online dating expert, with over 15 years experience of online dating. This book draws not only on his own thoughts and experiences, but also that of many others from every category of dater – all ages, genders, orientations, abilities, etc.

Love At First Swipe is also based on extensive research which Gareth carried out. Furthermore, there are many statistics in the book which are based on factual scientific data, plus, the book also looks at the psychology of love and dating. There are chapters devoted to online dating for single parents, disabled people, people over 50 years of age and young adults who are looking for love online.

So whether you are using online dating for the very first time, or you have been burned online before and are wondering why you are not attracting the right person, Love at First Swipe is your comprehensive guide to making sure you get it right when entering the fun, exciting,
yet sometimes painful world of online dating.

Where to read Sally Cronin’s Review:

To read Sally’s review in her Cafe and Bookstore, please click on the following link:

https://wp.me/p3ZnNr-mnv

69yo man in Holland wants to lie about his age on Tinder #onlinedating

A 69-year-old man from the Netherlands who identifies himself as a “45-year-old”, has taken legal action to try and lower his age by 20 years, so he can get dates on Tinder.

This is classic case of “catfishing”, yet Mr Emile Ratelband does not believe he is doing anything wrong.

A catfish is someone who pretends to be somebody that they’re not and basically, they lie to you. Catfish usually try to swindle money from your bank account and they make up false stories. They often don’t tell you if they’re married, or they post fake photos on their dating profile. They even lie about their age, which is what Mr Ratelband is looking to do.

Mr Ratelband is a 69-year-old motivational speaker and a single pensioner in the Netherlands. He has launched a legal battle to reduce his age by 20 years so he can attract more women and boost his dating prospects on dating app Tinder.

He argues that if transgender people are allowed to change their legal sex, he should be allowed to change his date of birth because doctors said he “has the body of a 45-year-old”.

Clearly this whole idea has gone to his head – he has even now described himself as a “young god”!

He sounds arrogant and seems to be seeking attention to boost his own profile and fame, as well as his company’s profile.

Mr Ratelband wants to shift his birthday from 11 March 1949 to 11 March 1969, comparing the change to identifying as being transgender.
“We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” he said.

Comparing the changing of your age to the changing of your sex are two completely different things. No-one can change the ageing process, yet it is possible to change your sex. It’s a very hurtful comparison to those who have been in the position of wanting to change their sex, as this is usually how that person has always felt throughout their life and is something they have always wanted to do. Wanting to change your age is not.

We can all go down the gym and keep fit to stay healthy and look good. Many people will be biologically younger than their real age, but that doesn’t mean you can just change your age on your birth certificate.

Mr Ratelband is well-known media personality in Holland and is suing his local authority after they refused his application to amend his age.

His case has now been referred to a court in the city of Arnhmen in the eastern Dutch province of Gelderland.

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house or drive a different car. I can also take up more work.”

“When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.

“Transgender people can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change.”

Mr Ratelband claims he is discriminated against because of his age and encounters problems in Dutch society on a daily basis.
He said employers are reluctant to hire someone as a consultant, who is of pensioner age. He added that a change to his age would also be good news for the Dutch government as he would be renouncing his pension until he reaches retirement age again.

The judge presiding over Mr Ratelband’s case said he had some sympathy for his plight, but found there would be practical problems in allowing people to change their DOB – as it would mean legally deleting a significant portion of their lives.
The court is due to deliver a written ruling within four weeks.

However, officials were sceptical about the case, believing there was no legal mechanism allowing a person to change their birth date, local reports said.

If Mr Ratelband wins his case, it will create a huge precedent and will open the floodgates to many more catfish and dating scammers who will pretend to be someone they are not. It will also make it harder for police authorities and dating apps to stop people from creating and using fake profiles. This means more people being tricked into believing someone who is really a catfish.

Update:

It was reported on 3rd December 2018 that Mr Ratelband unsurpsignly and thankfully LOST his case in court. To read more about Emile Ratelband, 69, being told he cannot legally change his age, click on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46425774

Book Review of “Love At First Swipe” by Loaded Magazine

A closer look at the new dating guidebook ‘Love at First Swipe’

“If some of Hollywood’s hottest male celebrities can’t find love, what hope do the rest of us have?

Love at First Swipe, a new guidebook by relationship guru Gareth Fosberry, promises to help everyone – including us fugglies – become eligible bachelors in the digital dating world.”

Jack Beresford of Loaded Magazine has reviewed “Love At First Swipe”, which aims to help everyone in the world of online dating.

My book is a comprehensive guide to modern online dating, aimed at people of all ages, genders, orrientations and abilities.

To read the full review of my new book by Loaded Magazine, please click on the following link:

http://loaded.co.uk/love-at-first-swipe/

Online Dating: What is “Ghosting”?

If you’ve searched for love online recently, you will have probably come across the term, “Ghosting”. This term means that you suddenly don’t hear from a person again and quite often, it comes out of the blue. The person you’ve been chatting to disappears forever like a ghost and they’ll cut off communication completely. You can end up driving yourself crazy wondering what you did wrong and questioning why you didn’t hear from them again.

When dating online in the past, I have ghosted myself, but I have also been ghosted too. In the majority of cases, ghosting is not very nice, but there are times when ghosting is necessary and can be justified. After you’ve been on a date, even if you got on well with that person, a common outcome is that you both say goodbye and you never message each other again. This is normally because there is no romantic connection and it’s an easy and straightforward outcome for both people.

Of course, ghosting can occur at any time, whether it’s before you’ve actually met someone face to face, after a first date, or after you’ve been on several dates with someone – or even longer.

Reasons why it can be hurtful to ghost someone:

Getting over a break-up can be really tough, regardless of whether it was a long-term or short-term relationship and anyone who’s been ghosted knows how painful it can be. It leaves no way for the person ghosted (the person being ignored) to make sense of what happened. There will be many unanswered questions: “What did I do wrong?”; “Did he/she ever really care about me?”; “What is wrong with me?”; and even, “Did something happen to him/her?” There are often lasting effects on the ghostee’s self-esteem, particularly if they already suffer from issues around self-confidence. It may be helpful if you can understand the possible reasons for being ghosted, although sometimes, this could actually be more hurtful.

Reasons that lead to people ghosting:

1. Avoidance of confrontation – they might not like the person they’ve just been on a date with so they don’t want to take things further. Worried the other person may have a bad reaction to this, they take the easy option of ghosting so as to avoid any bad reaction and confrontation. This person would rather walk away or change the subject than get into an argument.

2. Fear of emotional intimacy – they might fear the prospect of being in a relationship and fear getting close to someone. They get cold feet and think that ghosting is the best thing to do. They may have been hurt in the past. Fear of intimacy is a long-term problem and is not easily overcome. Usually it requires awareness followed by effort, in order to overcome this fear.

3. Narcissistic personality style – a narcissist is unlikely to be empathic about the emotional pain of the person they are dating. Lack of empathy is a hallmark sign of narcissistic personality and is likely the reason for at least some instances of ghosting.

4. Fear of a violent reaction: the person who suddenly disappears is afraid of an aggressive reaction to a breakup statement. This might not necessarily be classed as ghosting, but rather a self-protective measure. There are times when sudden disappearance is the only safe way out.

When is it OK to “Ghost” someone?

Situations do arise when it’s OK to ghost someone without any explanation whatsoever. There are plenty of situations where ghosting is not only OK, but actually your best option. If you’ve spent any time in the world of online dating, you’ll know that people don’t always behave correctly, so there might be times when you have to cut off communication with certain people instantly.

Ghosting is one technique that works and you might even need to block that person too. Situations where ghosting can be justified could be the following:

1) When someone doesn’t respect your boundaries

2) When someone won’t take “no” for an answer

3) When someone is emotionally manipulative

4) When someone makes you feel uneasy or unsafe

How many people have been ghosted?

The dating app, Plenty of Fish, conducted a survey in which they polled 800 daters from ages 18 to 33. Eighty percent of respondents reported being ghosted. This proves that ghosting has become a common way of behaving when dating online.

How many people have both ghosted and been ghosted?

According to an Elle.com survey of 120 women and 65 men, 25.83 percent of women have “both ghosted and been ghosted” and 33.33 percent of men have “both ghosted and been ghosted.” These statistics also prove that dating behaviour is changing and leads me to believe that people are becoming more impatient and clinical but also more wary as well.

To read more about modern dating terminology, you can purchase my new book, “Love At First Swipe”, from Amazon. The link to Amazon is: