Internet love boom in lockdown but beware - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Internet love boom in lockdown but beware

In today’s tough times, lots more of us are
In today’s tough times, lots more of us are looking for love on the Internet. After all, we’re always connected anyway, messaging and even video calls feel so natural these days, and so all the major dating sites and apps are reporting big increases in traffic.
And the move online is working for many people. Like the casual hook-up culture of the dating apps is being replaced by a kinder and more responsive approach.
Especially as couples progress to talking on video. Conversations have become deeper, and there’s a real willingness to invest in the connection.
But you should still be careful because online romance isn’t as easy as it seems, even at the best of times. Like there are some serious oddballs out there, so you always have to be on the alert for anything that sounds even slightly weird. A personality disorder, for instance.
And right now, if you do start getting close to someone online, it’s much more difficult to check out what they’re like in real life.
And that’s encouraged a whole new load of scammers to target people looking for love. They generally start on the usual social networks, dating sites and dating apps, with really enticing profiles and photos — all entirely fictitious of course.
And it’s easy to get drawn in, because when we’re online, we let our guard down. And so once you’ve struck up a friendship, the swindle begins.
And it’s quite a business! They use what amount to ‘call centres’ to work on many victims at once, and spend weeks gaining your trust before they make their play.
That generally starts with suggesting a move to a more ‘private’ communication channel, like an untraceable webmail or messaging account. And then the talk turns to money.
Like they’ll say they’d love to meet you but don’t have the money to travel. Or for a passport or visa. Or that they need urgent medical treatment. Or whatever.
It’s all a con, of course, and it can get far worse. Like they can use your chats or selfies to start blackmailing you.
They’re so skilful that it can be hard to spot them to begin with. So what are the giveaways? There’s the suggested move to messaging ‘somewhere more private’. They tend to avoid live video or chat, because they rarely choose victims in their own country.
So messages will also come at odd and antisocial hours. They usually declare their love far too early, ask lots of questions, somehow avoid answering yours, and of course the conversation soon turns towards money.
And no matter how convincing their stories sound, they’re just setting you up.
So if you’re looking for love online, be as alert as you’d be on the streets.
And instantly suspicious if the conversation turns financial. Don’t avoid the Internet altogether though, there’s every sign that video dating is really catching on. And will only get better in future.

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