Are you really sure who is on the other side of the computer screen?
A boom in social media (Facebook,Twitter, etc.) has birthed a pseudo-world in which individuals can connect quickly with very little effort, and from remote locations. While these newfound connections can spawn legitimate long-term relationships of both the platonic and romantic variety, it remains extremely important to approach the digital world with a cautious mentality.
The internet and specifically social media serves as an adult playground for individuals looking to cheat on their spouse. An individual can create a fake identity complete with a fictionalized background and images that have been re-purposed to fit their scheme.
After establishing this new-found identity, the person is let loose. Cheating on one’s spouse may be the tip of the iceberg for potential wrongdoing. Certain individuals may be looking solely for an affair, but there are plenty of others that are willing to exploit and scam you out of your well-earned income.
With the recent passing of Valentine’s day, a large influx of single and lonely individuals will undoubtedly flock to the internet, dating websites, social media, chat rooms etc., in search of a real romantic relationship. However, what can start as a simple “getting to know you” relationship can transform into a perfect storm of exploitation and theft.
After developing a relationship often marked by intimacy of an emotional nature (physical intimacy would require physical contact, i.e. meeting), criminals may seek/request financial support due to unexpected health or financial difficulties. While monetary requests may trigger a red-flag to some, others may justify the situation as helping a friend or loved one during a period of economic/financial crisis.
Another scenario that could play out is the request to cash checks if your relationship exists with an individual who frequents other countries. In truth, this may be an attempt to launder funds.
While the internet and social media has opened many new doors for interacting with more people over the entire globe, it is crucial now more than ever to approach any relationship with an experienced outlook.
It’s not about being cynical; it’s about remaining safe.