Saturday, July 29, 2006


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Yes, there's a blog for THAT too!!


Makes you feel so secure in your relationships, doesn't it?

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Friday, July 28, 2006


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I'm really new to online dating. I'm wondering if you could let me know some of the online dating dangers that are out there. Thanks. ~ Trying to Avoid the Danger

What a great question! In general, online dating is a fun and effective means of meeting people compatible with you. Tens of thousands of people have met, dated, and eventually married as a result of their online dating experience. However, it is still vitally important when using online dating services, that you exercise caution because there are some dangers. Here are a few:

1) The person you are communicating with may be married!

2) Many overseas women run scams against men. They pretend to get to know and like you and once you fall for them they start asking you for money. Thousands of men have been sucked into this scam, wiring money to a girl they never met and never hearing from her again (or hearing from her asking more money). If the person you are communicating with asks you for money, watch out.

3) Some people will email you instantly asking for your email address and as soon as you give it, you are inundated with dating spam while never hearing from that person again.

4) There are a few bad apples in the online dating world. A lady who shared an experience expressed how one guy showed up on her doorstep even though she never gave him her address!
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Take precautions in your online dating experience. Here are a few tips:

1) Listen to your gut. If something doesn't seem right about the person you are communicating with then this may be an indication that you should move on. Trust what your instincts are telling you.

2) Never give out personal information too soon. A person armed with your home phone number can find your home address (without you knowing) in just a few clicks. (places like Zabasearch can do it in one or two clicks - just knowing your online nickname? Within 3 clicks you can surf for someone's real name, area of residence - then 1-2-3.... home address & phone number - Fighter)

3) Usually a person trying to take advantage of you is one who communicates first with you. Thus, even if you are a female you should take the initiative to contact people that look of interest to you. (This was true of Ed Hicks, Brad Dorsky, "J", Keith Clive and practically all our cyberpaths. THEY made the first moves!)

4) Set up an anonymous email account. When you're ready to communicate with someone outside of the security of the online dating service you are using, you may want to consider using an anonymous email account from a service like Yahoo, Hotmail, or Go.com. Be sure to change your account information to not give out your full name. Doing this helps protect your privacy more as it's fairly easy to get information on a person based on their actual email address that they've used for years.

5) When going on a first date, make sure you meet in a public place and that your friends know where you are. Consider arranging a time to check in with one of your friends.

6) If you have enough information on the person you are dating, then consider running a background check. I was surprised to learn that a person I once dated had done this on me. It was a smart thing for the person to do. The only reason a person should be upset at you running a background check is if that person has something to hide. (This shouldn't be a consideration as far as EOPC is concerned - its a must. And if the other person asks you NOT to check? RUN LIKE HE** - THEY ARE HIDING SOMETHING! - Fighter)

7) Learn self defense. On rare occasions, a female who has met up with a male via online dating has been assaulted. Know how to defend yourself. There are a ton of good reasons, even outside of online dating, to take a self-defense course.

8) Drive yourself to the date destination. Until you really know a person, it's a good idea to provide your own transportation. There's no reason the person you are dating needs to know where you live in the initial stages.

Keep in mind that a person can say whatever he/she wants in a profile and several tell outright or little white lies in the things they say. Some lie about appearance, some lie about marital status, and some lie about intentions. Always be smart, alert, and listen to your instincts. It's very much a possibility that the person you are destined to be with is just an email away. But never let your guard down when searching for that destiny.


(While EOPC tends to recommend AGAINST Online Dating or meeting via Social Networking - we realize there are people who will do it anyway and urge extreme caution. - Fighter)

Saturday, July 22, 2006


DALLAS -- Fighting to put an end to the growing list of online tragedies, today TRUE issued a call to action, urging lawmakers and consumers alike to support its nationwide legislation campaign aimed at better protecting online daters from interacting with criminals. This call to action comes on the heels of yet another online dating-related crime, reported late last week in upstate New York. The victim, a 43 year-old woman from Memphis, Tenn., was reportedly murdered by her husband of just one month, who had previously been arrested for harassment in the late 1980s.

Initiated this past July, TRUE's proposed safety legislation requires that all online dating providers prominently disclose on their Web sites whether they perform criminal background searches on their members. Currently, TRUE is the only online relationship service that actively promotes the safety of its users by performing extensive criminal screening on all of its communicating members.

In less than six months, TRUE has secured the support of legislators across the country, including Sen. John Carona and Rep. Will Hartnett of Texas, Representatives William J. Seitz and Scott Oelslager of Ohio, Delegate David Albo of Virginia, Rep. Kevin C. Ambler of Florida, and Representatives Jim Howell and Rick Johnson of Michigan. Furthermore, Michigan became the first state to pass the bill in its House in October, with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 75 to 14. The Michigan Senate is expected to vote on the bill soon.
"According to Jupiter Research, the number of singles subscribing to Internet dating sites is expected to double over the next two years, which unfortunately means that even more people could fall victim to online predators," said Edgar Rains of Rapsheets, America's largest source of criminal records on the Internet. "While background screening is not entirely foolproof, it does offer an increased level of comfort that does not exist with other online dating sites right now."
In addition to support from lawmakers, organizations including Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA) have also joined TRUE’s cause. Founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through the education of the general public as well as law enforcement personnel, WHOA will work in partnership with TRUE to generate even more support by writing letters to legislators, testifying at hearings and urging consumers to support this safer dating effort and make their voices heard at THIS SITE
"We see up to 50 victims of online harassment/stalking each week," Jayne Hitchcock, president of WHOA states. "Some of these have had the unfortunate experience of meeting someone online, whether via an online dating service, chat room or personal ad, and have had a negative experience. So far, these victims (both men and women) have not had their lives taken as a result, or been physically abused, and we were able to stop the online harassment before it escalated to such a point. Putting a disclaimer on a Web site stating whether or not they provide a marital (see comment below) and/or criminal background check is a very simple solution and much easier than requiring every online dating service to do these checks. This then leaves a man or woman the option of joining that service, knowing what they can expect. And it could save their life."

"Since August, our background searches have prevented 218 individuals from communicating on our site. It's impossible to estimate how many victims were saved by this extremely simple procedure," said Herb Vest, founder and CEO of TRUE. "As an industry, I feel it's our obligation to provide members with the most extensive, accurate and trustworthy information available regarding potential suitors so they can make successful and, most importantly, safer relationship decisions."
(Ms. Hitchcock is misguided. Currently there is NO WAY to check if someone is legally married or not!! That is why EOPC is supporting a NATIONAL MARRIAGE DATABASE - and we urge out reader to please CLICK HERE and sign the Petition to Congress)

as always - our thanks to OneOfSeven for her eagle eye in sending this to us! - Fighter

Monday, July 17, 2006


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Our Statement of Purpose

The Safer Online Dating Alliance is a grassroots initiative to raise public awareness, garner community support, and implement legislation to better protect those who participate in online dating services by assuring full disclosure of whether or not these dating services conduct criminal background checks on their communicating members.

Currently, many online dating users erroneously assume that since they are a member of an online dating service and often pay a membership fee, some type of protective screening measure is in place to ward against online applicants who are convicted felons or sexual predators.

The harrowing reality is that many online dating companies do very little to protect their consumers in the case where no less is at stake than their heart and ultimately their life.

We believe that consumers must have proper and adequate resources to make an informed decision when purchasing any product. As a consumer of the online dating industry, these individuals must be properly informed as to whether or not criminal background checks are conducted on its users.

Through embracing the positive potential of online dating while raising awareness of the very real dangers of meeting someone online, the Safer Online Dating Alliance seeks to partner with community groups, law enforcement officials, and the general public in implementing legislation which supports a safer online dating environment for its users.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

'My wife left me for a cyber love-rat'

By Matthew Chapman

As internet dating booms, both men and particularly women can leave themselves open to exploitation. Here, the tale of an online Romeo who managed to make six women fall in love with him at once.

Musician David Bagg is still in shock six months after his wife walked out on him for a man she had never set eyes on or even spoken to. "This was like a bolt from the blue," the 41-year-old said.

His wife Judy logged on to a website offering online healing last September. She e-mailed Joe Grice, the man who ran the website, asking for help with her arthritis.

Judy's e-mailing began innocently enough. She communicated regularly with Mr Grice for a few minutes every night with her husband's full knowledge.

Her husband said: "She had some concerns about her health and I thought if that helped her then fine. Quite quickly it became more secretive and she would be up in the computer room for hours in the evening."

Chatrooms have become increasingly popular
It was only from looking at his wife's e-mails after she disappeared that Mr Bagg realised what had been happening.

His wife had been meeting Mr Grice in a chatroom and their conversations sometimes lasted hours.

The messages became more explicit over time and Mr Grice eventually suggested he come over from the US to meet Judy. Events came to a head last December when Judy took off.

Not the only one
Five of Judy's friends had also been in e-mail contact with Mr Grice. Amazingly, all six women, two PhD students among them, had fallen in love with this stranger over the course of two months.

One of them, Cheryl, an attractive postgraduate student aged 27 said: "I just can't explain it now. It became so intense it took over my whole life - and yes, I think I did love him in the end."

It was like love bombardment

Her friend and fellow victim Nicola, 26, puts Mr Grice's prowess down to his ability to tell them what they wanted to hear.

She said: "It was like love bombardment. He kept saying how wonderful I was and I fell for it."

Mr Grice encouraged the developing bonds with a simple ruse.

First he instructed all the women not to talk to each other. Then he encouraged each one to tell him secrets about the others. He would then confront the women with these secrets which he said he had gained through his mystical powers.

At one stage the six women - who all lived in Oxford - were online, sometimes simultaneously, as Mr Grice persuaded them to perform sex acts on themselves and urged them to leave their partners. It was only when Judy Bagg disappeared that the other five women came to their senses.

A 'guru' unmasked
Mr Grice is now living in Oxford. The BBC's 5 Live Report has established he is a 49-year-old ex-US Air Force Gulf War veteran who, at the time of his online seductions, was living in a tent in a friend's garden.

There is a tendency to give away a lot about yourself
Jenny Madden

He has left behind two children and an angry ex-wife who says she has spent several years trying to track him down to recoup a large number of child support payments.

Mr Grice has gone onto newsgroups to claim he is running clinical trials on ME in conjunction with Oxford Brooks University. Yet the university authorities have never heard of him. Neither Mr Grice or Mrs Bagg have commented on the affair.

Click here for love
Experts say the story serves as a cautionary tale of the potential power of the internet - and chat rooms in particular - to warp human relationships.

An online community may feel safer than real life
The boom in internet dating is one area where the vulnerable can be manipulated.

Match.com, one of the largest dating websites, had 1.6 million people posting advertisements in 2001 and the figure is expected to double this year.

While the majority of dates may be successful, it still leaves a lot of lonely-hearts open to being exploited, particularly women, says Jenny Madden, the founder of Women in Cyberspace.

"Women find cyberspace comforting because they are not being judged by their looks," she says. "But they also leave themselves very open to manipulation because there is a tendency, in chat rooms particularly, to give away a lot about yourself very quickly."

David Bagg is hopeful he can someday be reunited with his wife. "I still love her, despite what the Internet did to our relationship," he said.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Tangled in the Web: Understanding Cybersex from Fantasy to Addiction

Tangled in the Web offers a critical look at cybersex fantasy and its potential for addiction and provides a comprehensive plan for recovery to help individuals hooked on adult chat rooms, online pornography, web cam sex, or a cyberaffair.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Truth, Lies, and Online Dating: Secrets to Finding Romance on the Internet

by Terry Ulick, Alyssa Wodtke

Online dating represents an amazing new way to meet people, but it requires technology skills in addition to social skills. "Truth, Lies, and Online Dating" shows you how you can effectively use your PC, digital camera, word processor and other PC-based tools to effectively market yourself and communicate who you are -- and who you are looking for. It teaches the mechanics of online dating services and shows you how to put each service's search engines to work to find the best dates. Learn how you can try services first without having to subscribe, and how to find dating sources that match your lifestyle. Finally, you'll explores the darker side of online dating, learning how to spot people who may not be telling the truth about themselves and even using background check services to verify the identity of the person you are interested in.

Monday, July 10, 2006


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This snake isn't getting his diamond back.

A jilted fiance can't retrieve the $40,000, 3.4-carat ring he gave to his intended because he was already married when he proposed, a judge has ruled.

Brian Callahan, of Manhattan, who works in the financial industry, met his erstwhile bride, Dana Clyburn Parker, on Match.com in 2001, and she eventually moved to New York to be with him. He proposed to her in July 2002 and gave her the ring, according to court papers.

But Parker dumped Callahan in June 2003 after finding e-mails on his computer indicating he was still pursuing online relationships with other women, the court documents show.

Callahan's lawyer, Daniel Clement, denied his client was cheating on Parker.

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He also said he believes that Callahan was legally free to propose and should get back the ring because Parker broke off the engagement. Typically, courts have ruled that if the bride breaks off the engagement, the groom should get the ring back.

Clement said Callahan was essentially granted a divorce in Massachusetts in June 2002, but in accordance with that state's laws, it was not entered into the public record until September 2002.

But in a decision made public yesterday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Rolando Acosta said New York law is clear that Callahan was legally off base when he asked Parker to marry him because he was not officially divorced.

"We're very pleased with the court's decision," said Parker's lawyer, Kevin Conway. "You are not permitted to enter into a contract to become married while you are still legally married."

Clement said he has not decided whether to appeal the decision.

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Neither Parker, a former schoolteacher who is now caring for her sickly mother, nor Callahan could be reached for comment.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Are negative personal ads refreshingly frank or just angry?

Open Hostility

By Amy Sohn

Any Internet dater is familiar with the personal-ad format: You toot your own horn to the point of ridiculousness and then, just so the reader doesn’t think you’re completely egotistical, throw in a mildly self-deprecating comment for good measure. If the ads are to be believed, everyone who dates online is intelligent, fit, caring, sensitive, and, of course, unmarried. But the truth is, anyone posting a personal ad is acknowledging their own singlehood, so when we read those self-aggrandizing adjectives, we know they mask someone more vulnerable than the ad might have us believe.

Aware of this, some posters choose to undersell, mocking themselves and potential respondents at the same time. They see their dark worldview as something to be proud of, not to hide, and post ads like “In search of bird with broken wing,” “Total jerk seeks total bitch,” or “Damaged Goods.” The philosophy is that honest, if negative, ads will reach the right people. And if these ads attract more psychos than the positive ones, at least the psychos make for more interesting dates, these posters say.

My friend Tim, 43, a storeowner who looks like John Lurie, calls himself the “king of negative personal ads.” He’s posted negative ads for three of the four years he’s been Internet dating, with headlines like “Seeking pre-operative Jewish girl,” and “Ex-girlfriend look-alike contest,” and says he feels he’s found the G-spot. “I finally reached the demographic I was seeking,” he says. “I realized I was less interested in trying to impress them with a well-selected restaurant than in finding the right wavelength.” That wavelength, he says, is “a kindred spirit I can have sex with, a chick who likes Bukowski.”

When he posted an ad on Craigslist recently that said “I hate you already,” he got dates with two women. One was on crutches and the other had just had knee surgery. I told him that with an ad like that, he’d gotten what he asked for. “I’m not trying to woo innocence,” he says. “I’m not looking for someone to take home to Mama.” Then why not place an overt casual-sex ad? “Because I don’t want to have sex with someone I’m not interested in. I want to watch a Fassbinder film with a woman, pause, have sex, and then watch the third act with her.”

But a negative ad, no matter how clever, isn’t just a way of telling people who you are. It’s also a way to draw extra responses, like those flyers that scream, “Don’t read this!” When I first ventured into Internet dating, my confidence was so low that I chose as my headline “I’m still here,” from the Sondheim song. Unfortunately, instead of drawing Jewish guys, I got closeted gay musical-theater fans.

Tim’s posting worked better. He says he had sex with the knee-injured woman, a dark, edgy 19-year-old named Jeannette, on their first date. He met the woman on crutches, too, and though he wasn’t interested in sleeping with her, she liked him. “She had been on eHarmony for two years and met 100 people and said she liked me better than any of them,” he says.

My friend Kate, a financial reporter in her early thirties, has posted several negative ads, like “Help - you’re smothering me!” Though she hasn’t met any boyfriends that way, she’s been enjoying the dates more.

“Ads like that help weed out people who aren’t my type,” she says. “I saw an ad recently that said, ‘Seeking someone who likes to smile.’ That doesn’t tell me anything, so why would I meet that guy?”

By the same token, she prefers to answer ads that are negative, because she thinks it will yield more connections. She went on a few good dates with a guy who had posted “Let’s meet and then get off this thing forever” and was glad she met him, even though it didn’t turn into a romance.

When I point out that it has now become cliché to complain about Internet dating on an Internet ad, Kate insists it’s a cliché that appeals to her. “Someone who complains about it is much more fun to hang out with than someone really gung-ho. My way, even if we don’t connect, we can complain about our bad JDate ads.”

Still, there’s a fine line between negative cute and negative sexist. Browse through any personals site and you’ll find men railing against their past dates in ads they hope will woo other women. Their money would be better spent getting some therapy than a gold membership on FriendFinder. “There are a lot of guys,” says Kate, “who go on and on about how they don’t want to meet superficial women who only care about money, and then at the end they say, ‘And by the way, don’t be fat.’”

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Safer Dating on the Internet???

"State legislatures introduce bills requiring
online dating sites to do background checks"

Reno: The newest buzz phrase in online dating centers around “Background checks”… But there are many questions surrounding the issue: Who does the background checks? What do they cover? Who is liable? What is included? With so many deficiencies surrounding the issue, it seems impossible to know what the best solution is.

This is what prompted the creation of an internet verified identity service, PersonaCheck.com. “If you can prove who you are through a 3rd party who verifies your identity and background –it makes others more confident in your honesty and sincerity when chatting or answering personal ads” states President, Jeff Arndt. PersonaCheck.com. PersonaCheck.com is not a background check company, but it is one component of an overall verified identity profile. “The difference,” says Arndt “is that every other background service online is promoting their use for an individual to do as a check on someone else on a one-time basis.”

So the consumer has to try to get the other parties pertinent private data to do the check and verify whom they are dealing with. This can lead to identity theft. With PersonaCheck, an individual is in control of his or her own data. By members having a check done on themselves, they can prove who they are to others and don’t have to give out any information that they don’t wish to.

Plus it can be used on any dating/personals site, chat rooms and anywhere the member has the need. There are options for a variety of membership terms, with each providing for unlimited use. This provides credibility when meeting others through personals/dating sites, chat rooms and instant messaging. Since deception is so much part of the “game” with online interaction, PersonaCheck provides honest individuals an advantage in finding others who are equally as sincere.

It also provides a solution to many of the disadvantages of having each individual dating site be required to do background checks on their members.

PersonaCheck.com does not maintain or store any of the member’s private data (SSN, DOB, etc.). Once the member’s profile is verified and completed, all information is destroyed to prevent any chance of ID theft or release. Members can then send out their private PersonaCheck to individuals they choose- but without revealing any private data. The invitee can view only what information the PersonaCheck member chooses to share.


(Think it will work? - Fighter)