I would love to believe we may be able to prevent some people from getting all excited about meeting their new romantic interests for the holidays only to be left waiting alone at the airport for someone who is never going to arrive as they promised. To me, this seems like one of the worst parts of these scams. All that happy anticipation boiling down to deep disappointment in just a few minutes just makes me almost want to go set up a booth or room at the nearest airport just to be there for anyone who was waiting on a phantom that did not show up. But the best I can do is prepare myself for the holidays at SOTH. The busiest time of the year always seems to be that time between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day and sometimes on through to Easter as these fakes pretend they are going to be "home" for the holiday.
Consider this my little booth at the airport as I hope to send out the message to anyone who may be reading this right now...if you are using online dating sites to find love, please be very careful and please read everything you can find online about romance scams so that you can also be prepared for the holidays. If you are emailing someone, check the FULL email header (not the abbreviated one we all see on our emails) to find the IP address of the person you are emailing. Don't be concerned about invasion of privacy. It's out there for anyone to see and to be safe in this world, it's something we need to learn how to do to protect ourselves. If you have received photos, run them through Tineye and Google Images to see if those photos have been stolen or used on other profiles in the past. If these come up without any convincing information as to whether the person you are talking to is a scammer, then contact us so we can help you figure it out. It's so much better to be safe and know than to risk your heart being broken and your bank account cleaned out. And it's much better than waiting at the airport to find out the truth.
Okay a quick change in topic to announce that we have added a new moderator to our group. We now have four moderators who are ready, willing, and able to help you navigate your way through the internet jungle. We'd love to tell you all that it's a safe place out there. But we can't do that. What we can do is help you learn how to be safer online, especially when online dating or using social networks such as Facebook. So help me welcome our new moderator, Angel, to the fold. Along with Mair, Share, and myself, Angel will be there for you to reach out to if you need help dealing with romance scam issues.