Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When Victims Talk: Love Cheat Fails at Scamming Big Women

(U.K.) Two 20-stone women targeted by a philanderer with a fetish for overweight lovers have joined forces and dumped him from their lives.

Angry Amanda Hart, who at 20-stone is two stones lighter than her one-time love rival Michelle Flack, says her ex used her weight as a way of controlling her when she was at her lowest.

The 25-year-old says that after years of being alone and bingeing on junk food he promised her that she was the woman for him. She says she even feared that he would leave her for a slimmer woman, unaware he was already dating a much heavier woman behind her back.

Both women met fireman Matt Kemp after they logged on to find love on dating website Smooch.

After a whirlwind romance with the 27-year-old Amanda swiftly moved her new love into her home. The 25-year-old had turned to the online dating agency after she struggled to find a boyfriend who would accept her.

Amanda, of St Leonards-On-Sea, Sussex, said: 'Matt was totally charming, he was quite a talker. He genuinely didn't seem to mind my weight. If anything he made me feel good about my size.'

Within months the couple were planning their wedding and a future together even though he was already seeing Michelle, 33, from Chelmsford in Essex.

Michelle, who turned to the dating site after her marriage failed, added: 'He picks on women that are vulnerable and controls them. I've moved on and am engaged to someone else. Amanda is a good friend now.'

The women came face to face when Amanda decided to pick up her then fiance from his work in Chelmsford, the same town where Michelle lived.

With only three months to go until their wedding she was horrified to see him with another woman outside the firestation where he worked.

Amanda said: 'At the end of June, Matt said he was working away as a fireman in Chelmsford. I agreed to pick him up from the station where he was based.

'He liked big girls - at 22st Michelle was even larger than me. I obviously wasn't big enough for my fat fetish fiance. But sat in the car waiting for him I saw him with this other woman. A big woman - at least my size. My stomach churned. Something about the scene didn't look right to me.

'Matt quickly got in the car but the mystery woman followed him and opened my driver's door. She said "I don't mean to be rude but who are you?" I told her I was Matt's fiance and she said she was his girlfriend.'

Matt denied he was having an affair but Amanda kicked him out and cancelled their dream wedding after discovering him chatting to Michelle on Facebook.

'Matt promised that I was perfect for him, whatever size I was, and when I sent out the wedding invites I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have a fiance who would walk up the aisle with a bride my size. At the back of my mind I always had a lingering fear that he would dump me for a slimmer girl but I knew that Matt loved me - and my curves.

'He liked big girls - at 22st Michelle was even larger than me. I obviously wasn't big enough for my fat fetish fiance. 'I felt like I had let myself down and also my family because we all welcomed him in. He moved in and we would cuddle in front of the TV with a pizza I thought I'd found the one.'

Michelle, of Chelmsford, Essex, admits she met Matt on the dating site after her husband divorced her for getting too fat - but says she was unaware he was cheating.

Michelle said: 'I was insecure about my size after my husband left me but Matt reassured me he wasn't interested in thinner girls. He helped me through my divorce and I trusted him. Matt told me that he liked big women. The bigger, the better, he said.'

Matt said: 'I was engaged to Amanda and we even went and saw the wedding venue. We were going to be married in September. Michelle was lust and not love. I know I hurt Amanda but I never loved Michelle. I wish I hadn't done what I did.'

Monday, November 28, 2011

Man Rapes Girl, then Sets Up Facebook with Her Name

(U.S.A.) Travis Davis is facing stalking charges after he allegedly set up a Facebook account using the name of an ex-girlfriend he raped in Ohio to contact a more recent ex in Pennsylvania. He tried to force the woman he contacted to come back to him by threatening to distribute a secretly filmed sex tape.

The 23-year-old Indiana man was arrested Aug. 15 outside the second ex-girlfriend's home in Delmont, about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh, after someone called 911 to report a man sleeping in a suspicious vehicle outside, police said.

He had a .45-caliber pistol, three magazines of bullets and a box cutter, and the car had a stolen Pennsylvania license plate taped over the Indiana plate on his car, police said.

Davis had created a Facebook profile in the name of another ex-girlfriend, a woman he had raped in Preble County, Ohio, and used it to contact the Pennsylvania woman and her current boyfriend's family, police said.

A week before his arrest, police contend Davis sent the Pennsylvania woman a video of him having sex with her when both still lived in Indiana. The woman "never knew that this video was filmed in the first place and obviously never gave consent to send the video to anyone," a criminal complaint said.

Davis threatened in an e-mail to "send the video to everyone if she did not return to Indiana for him," a criminal complaint said.

A few days later, the Pennsylvania woman received a friend request from the Facebook page Davis created using the identity of his Ohio rape victim. Davis - pretending to be the Ohio woman - threatened to send the video to the Pennsylvania woman's current boyfriend if she did not move to Indiana, the complaint said.

Davis, still posing as the woman he raped, then messaged the Pennsylvania woman and told her he would keep the video a secret if she agreed to a "sexy video chat" with her ex-boyfriend over the Internet. Police say the Pennsylvania woman consented to the chat Aug. 12.

The next day, Davis called the woman claiming that his Facebook alter ego had sent him the video and "advised her, in sum and substance, that it may be in her best interest to return to Indiana," the complaint said.

On Aug. 14, nude images of the Pennsylvania woman were sent from the Facebook page to the woman and her boyfriend's mother, police said. Authorities said they have contacted Davis' accuser in Ohio, who confirmed the Facebook page wasn't hers.

Davis pleaded not guilty and faces charges of violating a protection from abuse order and stalking.

Davis remains in jail on $75,000 bail and his lawyer says he intends to prove his innocence.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Three Woman Plagued by Misogynistic Cyberbullies

by Jojo Moyes

(U.K.) Only the most observant would have noticed the faint shift in classical singer Katherine Jenkins’s expression as she answered a viewer’s question on the television show Something for the Weekend last Sunday; the sudden rictus quality of her smile.

But a furious statement she posted online just after the programme ended revealed a greater drama backstage. Addressed to an unnamed online “bully”, the statement read: “You’ve set up a false account in my name where u slate & destroy my character (sic). After blocking you, you still tried 2 find a way 2 get to me & this morning was 1 step too far. Sending in a question to be read on live TV… to 'make me look clueless’ is utterly pathetic,” she wrote. Jenkins, it emerged, has been the target of this cyberstalker for over a year. “I’ve tried to ignore you but after this it’s time to stand up to you.”

Yesterday, Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat Home Office minister, unveiled proposals to introduce a specific offence of stalking, potentially also covering cyberstalking. A three-month consultation will also look at the use of restraining orders and police attitudes to stalking cases. It is a complicated issue; but it is timely. For it has been a depressing week to be female and have any kind of online presence.

On Saturday, cookery writer and presenter Lorraine Pascale posted a jaw-dropping message she had just received. It ended with the phrase: “Get off the TV c**n and know your place”. (It is now in the hands of the police).

Both she and Jenkins received a groundswell of online support. But the cyberbullying of women is becoming a matter of public concern.

Two newspaper columnists went on record last week about the online sexist abuse they suffer for the apparent sin of being female and having an opinion, while American writer Sady Doyle, weary of the level of online sexist abuse she received, has begun to document it, using the twitter hashtag: #mencallmethings. In a roundup of her unsolicited messages, reproduced on various websites yesterday, she lists, alphabetically, the abusive names she has been called in lieu of actual argument. Scanning the seemingly relentless list ('bitch’ is one of the few I can repeat), the overall effect is, frankly, numbing.

One of the great joys of Twitter when it began was that it was a place where women could have an opinion, and be funny, using a public platform. Talk to many high-profile tweeters today, and you will hear stories of extraordinary abuse directed against them.

Just last week, bestselling children’s author Emma Kennedy suffered her “most depressing day” on Twitter when she took issue with someone who believed he had a right to create and enjoy the image of another female celebrity with a knife through her head. Infuriated when she blocked him on Twitter, he bombarded her with aggressive emails instead.

Kennedy believes that anyone in the public eye can expect to find themselves cyberbullied now. “Quite why this is, is baffling to me. My main beef, however, is that women are treated very differently to men. Men’s abuse is about their words or actions. For women, it’s about their appearance and sexuality.”

The urge to provoke seems to be behind much of it. You do not have to go far online to find oddballs whose sole raison d’être seems to be to get a rise out of those more successful.

But, in an age where women are increasingly judged by how they look, there seems to be increasing anger directed at those who choose to use their voice. And the downside of online access is that those who possess that anger have no filter in place to cause them to stop and think. When I interviewed a US sports writer on this topic last year, he regretted the loss of the “lick the envelope” moment of sanity that stopped many people from saying vile things.

Some women have chosen not to address such abuse head-on, fearful that it will inflame any cyberbullying. Indeed, Jennifer Perry, spokeswoman for the charity Network for Surviving Stalking, does not think Katherine Jenkins’s decision to address her stalker online would be helpful. Ms Perry, who has advised X Factor contestants who received abuse online, said: “It’s more likely to empower him that he’s got her attention. She’s now talking directly to him, which is what he wants.”

However, the reaction of Jenkins and Pascale suggests this mood may be changing. When Tory MP Louise Mensch recently received threats to her children via email, she responded publicly: “To those who sent it; get stuffed, losers … I don’t bully easily. Or, in fact, at all.” (A man was subsequently arrested in connection with the threats). Regardless of your political persuasion, it felt like an admirably punchy response.

Mensch points out that the outspoken woman has been a trope of public fascination since Dr Johnson. “But I do think it is really important for women to stand up to any perceived threat of violence, like Lorraine Pascale has done.”

Mensch says that such abusive comments are now part of her working life, as they are for many female MPs. “If I spent all my time responding to every sexist comment which referred to rape and violence, I would lose my whole day, so I take a 'don’t feed the trolls attitude’. You have to distinguish between a genuine cyberstalker and common or garden abuse.”

Featherstone’s task will be to try and make that difficult distinction. But, in the meantime, dealing with such abuse seems to have become an inevitable side effect of having any kind of profile.

Mensch is struck by the fact that many of those who commit the abuse are often “men with respectable jobs. If you confronted them, they would be deeply embarrassed. But I’d like to ask them: would your mother be happy to hear you talking to a woman like that, using gross threats of sexual violence? If you don’t like her, you know what? Don’t follow her. Don’t read her blog. And grow up.”

original article found here

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ricki Lake Almost Married Internet Con Man

Ricki Lake came close to marrying a man she met online only to find out he was a “user and liar.”

The TV host entered the world of Internet dating two years ago and became “infatuated” with a Brit she met on the web.

She tells Newsweek magazine, “When I was single two years ago, I decided I wanted a boyfriend for my birthday. My friends thought I was crazy for online dating.” Lake admits the relationship progressed very quickly and she even met with immigration lawyers so she could marry her lover.

She explains, “I found this narcissist online and started a whirlwind relationship where I was delusional. I was with a guy who was a total user and liar. He was English and considered himself a poet. He was more charismatic than physically beautiful but I became infatuated with him very quickly. I was out of my mind in some ways. I wanted it so badly I lost all clarity… I was going to marry him so he could get a green card. I even went to England with him and met his mother. He was such a bad guy. I was the only one who didn’t see the signs… I found out from my housekeeper that he would be nice to my children in front of my face but would cringe about them behind my back.”

Lake soon realized the romance was doomed and ended the relationship: “After six weeks, I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I had lost all sense of who I was. I realized it was not working. As soon as I saw the light, it was over. I didn’t cry a tear about this guy. I dumped him.”

Lake, who has two children with ex-husband Rob Sussman, is now engaged to Christian Evans and admits it was her disastrous romance that helped her find her perfect man.

She adds, “I learned my own value. It’s not about having someone. It’s about having the right someone… Two years later, I’m with the most amazing man who is absolutely right for me. He’s selfless and kind, and he’s not looking to further his career through his lover. I’m with the right person. I had to go through a couple of dirt bags to get to him.”

original article found here


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Civil Servant is a CyberHarasser

By Nick Fagge and Christian Gysin

When Katherine Jenkins hit out this week at the ‘pathetic’ cyber bully who had harassed her for more than a year, she stopped short of naming names.

But an online trail followed by the Daily Mail leads inexorably to a 43-year-old former civil servant called Geraldine Curtis. From her run-down home in South London, Miss Curtis has repeatedly attacked and denigrated the Welsh classical singer on a personal blog.

She has now been blocked from the star’s personal Twitter page.

Miss Jenkins, 31, had kept quiet about the seemingly endless tirade of abuse to which she has been subjected – including attacks on her Twitter site.

But she broke her silence on Sunday after appearing on the BBC’s Something For The Weekend show, where presenters asked her questions supplied by the public. To viewers, the question: ‘What is the difference between a mezzo soprano and a bel canto?’ appeared inoffensive enough. However for Miss Jenkins the identity of its supplier - named as ‘KJMezzo’ - was the last straw.

Within half an hour, she issued a withering statement describing her anonymous attacker as ‘sad’ and a ‘bully’. Shortly afterwards KJMezzo’s Twitter account was shut down, apparently in response to a request by the singer, and a blog written in the same name also disappeared.

Miss Curtis, an accountant, who lives alone, is also suspected of having posted anonymously on the We Love Katherine Jenkins website. One recent observation read: ‘KJ is an over-hyped talentless slut with no discernible talent … she is despised by opera buffs.’ Moments later, another contributor asked: ‘Is it you, Geraldine Curtis?’

Interviewed by the Mail at her semi-detached cottage in Brixton, Miss Curtis insisted she is not the person behind the KJMezzo Twitter account and did not send in the question to the BBC show on Sunday which so enraged the Welsh star. ‘I did not watch it - I did not know it was on,’ she said. ‘I had a stinking hangover. Too much red wine on Saturday.’ She later admitted, however, that she had watched the show online on the BBC iPlayer.

And, with little prompting, she launched into a bitter tirade against Miss Jenkins.

‘She can’t sing,’ said Miss Curtis. ‘She is not an opera singer. She criticises opera singers. For years her website has said that opera singers are histrionic, overweight and frumpy. ‘She claims that she has “brought opera to ordinary people” who are too stupid to like opera, that’s her attitude. She is very critical of other people but she cannot take criticism. My comments about Katherine Jenkins are critical but she is in the public eye.’

In recent days, Miss Curtis has clashed on her Twitter account with Samantha Cox, a representative of Miss Jenkins’s management company. Claiming that if you criticise Miss Jenkins ‘her heavy mob turns nasty’, Miss Curtis tweeted: ‘If my Twitter account suddenly disappears, blame Katherine Jenkins … and check my blog for details!’

Earlier Miss Cox had tweeted to Miss Curtis: ‘The vile things that come out of your mouth! ... calling someone else horrible and nasty is like the pot calling the kettle black!’

The style of attacks by KJMezzo is similar to postings placed by Miss Curtis on her own blog in the past two years. Examples include an entry in which she says: ‘Dress is too tight … she’s a Barbie doll … she looks cheap/needs her roots doing.’ She claims Miss Jenkins exploits her appearance at the Remembrance Sunday service and the death of her father when she was 15 to sell records, adding: ‘She says, “Feel sorry for me my daddy died. Buy my album”.’

And she accuses Miss Jenkins of ‘jumping on the bandwagon of the abuse of female bloggers’ with her own claims that she is being bullied.

On her personal Twitter page less than 24 hours after Miss Jenkins’s outburst, Miss Curtis wrote: ‘I expect KJ & her entourage will now accuse me of cyberbullying. They’re on a roll, with traction. Criticism is not bullying.’

On her Facebook page, Miss Curtis has posted an album of 46 photographs showing her with opera stars including Placido Domingo, Erwin Schrott, Jonas Kauffman and Rolando Villazon. Its title is ‘Stalking’.

A spokesman for Miss Jenkins said she was glad the online hate campaign against her appeared to be over and added: ‘Katherine is pleased that the Twitter account that was sending the abusive messages has now been deleted. ‘She loves using Twitter and it’s great that she can continue using it without the constant hurtful and damaging comments made by that individual.’

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Husband stole $200,000 from Women met Online Dating

(Boston, U.S.) A married man met four other women online, romanced them over several years and then stole more than $200,000 from them by feigning financial and medical problems
, authorities said.

Albert Lovering, of Waltham, Massachusetts, was indicted Tuesday on 23 counts of larceny, pleading not guilty on Wednesday.

Lovering, 54, met the women through various dating websites and deceived them into believing he was romantically attached to them, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.

The women loaned Lovering money – including one who gave him more than $100,000 after meeting him just once – with the expectation he would repay them, but he never did, Mr Leone said.

'These allegations are extremely troubling and the defendant's lies spanned several years, targeting numerous victims who were conned into believing the defendant cared for them,' Leone said in a statement.

Lovering's lawyer, Daniel Flaherty, revealed his marital status as he asked a judge to release his client on personal recognizance as he awaits trial. He said Lovering has lived with his wife in Waltham since 1999.

The judge rejected the request and set bail at $10,000 cash.

Mr Flaherty did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the accusations, the Associated Press reports.

Lovering allegedly met the first woman in 2006 after they both placed dating ads on Yahoo.com.

The woman agreed to loan him $1,000 after he told her he had placed a bid on eBay on an item he had to purchase immediately, prosecutors said. He allegedly then told the woman he needed more money for several purchases and that he needed her to co-sign a loan.

When the loan was approved, he used the money for himself and did not repay the woman, Mr Leone said.

Lovering met the second woman in 2008 through a personal ad on Craigslist and courted her with 'romantic dinners and professions of warmth, affection and physical attraction,' Mr Leone said.

He also convinced her that he needed $28,000 to complete an eBay purchase, authorities said.

The woman never saw Lovering again, but he continued to communicate with her electronically, telling her he had to stay in hospital in New Hampshire for a serious medical condition, Leone said.

He allegedly told her that his health insurer would not pay several of his medical bills and that the hospital would not release him until those bills were paid.

'Based on his need, her affection for him and his promises of repayment, she sent a series of checks payable to him to a post office box,' Leone said. In total, the woman loaned him more than $70,000, he said.

Prosecutors said Lovering met a third woman in 2009 through Craigslist.

When they met for the first time, Lovering allegedly told the woman he owed the Internal Revenue Service back taxes and asked for a loan.

The woman loaned Lovering $7,200 and never saw him again, Mr Leone said. Lovering met the fourth woman through Plentyoffish.com, authorities said.

They met only once, but Mr Leone said Lovering led the woman to believe he was romantically interested in her and told her he needed a loan to pay back taxes. The woman gave him two checks totalling $1,500 on the promise that he would repay her, authorities said.

Mr Leone said Lovering told the woman in January 2009 that he was hospitalized in New Hampshire and unable to get discharged until all his medical bills were paid.

The woman repeatedly sent money to him through a post office box, investigators said. All told, she loaned him more than $100,000, they said.

original article found here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stranded in Ukraine After Online Dating Scam

The former write-in candidate for Arizona governor traveled to Ukraine looking for love. He ended up hungry and sick in a homeless shelter — the victim of an Internet dating scam.

Social workers were stunned to find Cary Dolego, 53, sitting on a city street last Wednesday, behaving strangely and suffering from pneumonia.

Dolego, who ran for Arizona governor just last year, had traveled to Ukraine this spring to do research for an engineering project and look for a wife. He says he met a woman named Yulia online and, hoping to marry her, went to her hometown of Chernivtsi.

She never showed up.

With nowhere to go and no money left, Dolego spent days roaming the streets of Chernivtsi along with other homeless men until he was picked up by social workers and taken to a shelter. He spoke by phone Wednesday from a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.

"I was looking for a Ukrainian mate, a partner, somebody who would stay with me, be my wife," Dolego said. "All the Slavic ladies in this part of the world are absolutely delightful."

Social workers were shocked.

"He looked bad — his clothes were dirty, he was dirty, he looked like a typical homeless man," said Anastasia Beridze of the Narodna Dopomoha (People's Help) charity.

A woman who acknowledges being Yulia says she had been unaware of Dolego's existence during the Internet fling.

The woman, who declined to give her last name out of fear of attracting publicity, said in an interview that someone had hacked into her account on an Internet dating site and had been communicating with Dolego on her behalf, charging Dolego for those e-mails.

The woman, who was contacted through a mobile phone number provided by Dolego, acknowledged that the account he'd been interacting with on the site was hers. She denied being part of any scam. "What happened is ugly," she said.

Yulia, a 29-year-old doctor by training, said that after she found out what happened to Dolego, she paid him a visit to express her sympathy.

"I went to the hospital and he started hugging me: 'Oh Yulia, oh Yulia!' I was shocked," she said. "He thought we were getting married."

Dolego confirmed that she visited him and he believes they could still be together.

"We seemed to hit it off," Dolego said. "She wants to continue with the relationship."

Yulia has a different take. "He is not really my type," she said.

Before his Ukrainian adventure, Dolego, of Queen Creek, Arizona, says he was pursuing a bachelor's degree in organizational studies at the University of Arizona.

Passionate about engineering, he claims to have designed a "lifesaving" method to keep ships from sinking and aircraft from disintegrating during a crash. He says he sold his house, truck and motorbike and left for Ukraine to further study the method here.

But Dolego, a twice divorced father of three, also had another goal — finding love with a beautiful East European woman.

After finding no support for his project in various Ukrainian cities and being evicted from a room he was renting, he said he boarded a train to Chernivtsi, hoping finally to meet his Yulia and settle down.

After he arrived, Yulia stopped answering his e-mails. With his U.S. bank account frozen and no means of supporting himself, he said, he became a homeless man. He was reduced to sleeping on the streets and seeking shelter at a local railway station, according to social workers.

"Things befall people that they cannot predict," Dolego said. "I will work through it."

Beridze said that besides being understandably worn out and ill after days of living on the streets, Dolego was exhibiting abnormal behavior. "He talks a lot and gestures a lot. He is acting strangely."

Beridze's group has contacted the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and is planning to buy Dolego a train ticket to Kiev, the capital, from where he could fly back to the United States. The U.S. Embassy declined to comment, citing the Privacy Act.

original article found here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Fine Line Between Stalking and Searching

by Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich

This week, we pulled the cotton from our ears and emerged from our dark caves of seclusion to open this column up to user-submitted questions.

Some submissions were inanely obvious (no, don't tweet that picture of your boss, I don't care if he told you about his chinchilla fetish at happy hour the other week), some were boring beyond belief, and, many, oddly, were just plain stalkerish. But not in the way you might think.

In the past, we've covered the topic of how to deal with online stalkers when the attention is unwanted. But more and more, as gaining access to anyone on this rapidly rotting Earth of ours is easier than ever, we Web denizens are wondering: Does using the Internet to check someone out make me a stalker?

Chances are, probably not. Read on for a couple of queries on this issue:

"When I was waiting for the bus the other day, I evaluated the attractiveness of all the people at the stop; there was one obvious winner. Then the seat next to him was the only seat open. Upon sitting down, he immediately engaged me in very adorable and flirty conversation. We exchanged names and we both talked about what we were studying at school, but I didn't have an opportunity to give him my number.

"Anyway, with his name and major, I was able to find him after only 30 seconds of Googling. I want to contact him but I'm not sure how. Especially because it would be like, 'Hey, I stalked you a tiny bit to find your full name.' My question is: What's the appropriate (read as LEAST CREEPY) way to contact this person and what should I say in a message?" - Creepy Crushing in Chicago

I'm going ahead and assume (for the sake of brevity) that you are not an insane stalkery-type person who collects the hair and toenails of her crushes, which she then uses to construct elaborate shrines to their beautiful (soon-to-be-departed) souls. If you are such a person, please cease reading, and, uh, please don't hurt me.

Moving on: It seems like in your case, you don't have that many degrees of separation between you and your bus boy. You attend the same school, take public transportation (i.e. you're poor) and are not, in fact, Luddites. In this case, I say: Be bold. You found him on Google, you say? If you found his Facebook profile (and not some old swim-meet records from middle school), go ahead and send him a brief message ("Hope your meeting on the downtown campus went off without a hitch!") and a friend request.

Such a method is nice and private -- tweeting "Hey! You're freaking hot" might be a little embarrassing -- and if he doesn't respond, you can always chalk it up to the fact that Facebook is cutting down on notification e-mails. Our lives are public nowadays, and if homeboy didn't want to be found, well, then he could always limit his visibility on the site.

(If his profile is indeed hidden but you tracked down his e-mail address, follow a similar tack. Unless, that is, his e-mail address was hidden on page 38 of Google results at the end of an article he wrote freshman year about the campus parade-and-circus club. In that case, give up.)

Furthermore, it's not like the phenomenon of searching out star-crossed potential lovers is anything new (that's what Missed Connections et al are for), so we're guessing your dude will be flattered at the very least that you sought him out. And hey, maybe now you can meet up and compare hair-and-toenail shrines.

"Through some Facebook stalking, I recently discovered my ex had gotten married. (We're no longer FB friends). Although that was a shock for sure, the real heartbreaker was that all my friends (who are still FB friends with her) didn't disclose any of this information to me. ... Not even the engagement! How do I tell them they're backstabbers without admitting I'm a stalker?" - Backstabbed in BK

First of all, Backstabbed, it doesn't really seem like you have been, in fact, backstabbed. You're not Facebook friends with your ex anymore, you say? If you refer to our column on how to deal with breakups online, we recommend unfriending exes after particularly painful breakups, which is exactly what you have done (congrats on your reading-comprehension skills). The fact that you unfriended this girl indicates you don't want her in your life -- and don't want your life in hers -- so we can see why your friends didn't call you immediately after she decided to tie the knot. Still, we get that this is information you would rather get from a friendly face than from a half-sloshed night of Facebook stalking, sandwiched between, "Oh, Laurie has a new baby. ... It's hideous!" and "Joel went to prison again." If you want to call up your pals and -- rationally -- explain that you would rather they not hide your ex's huge life moments from your sensitive (yet manly) gaze, go ahead and do it. Just explain that you were idly clicking through Facebook after a few too many mojitos and decided to check up on a few of your exes. Your friends will understand, because they are likely stalking their exes as we speak. Stalking exes on Facebook is basically akin to a distasteful bodily function: We all do it, but no one goes around bragging about it in mixed company.

original article found here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

$500,000 Lost in Internet Dating Scam

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(Colorado, U.S.A.) Widow loses $500,000 after falling for fake 'military lover' in internet dating scam

A grieving widow has lost $500,000 of her life savings and her home after being taken in by an Internet dating scam.

Esther Ortiz-Rodeghero, 55, decided to look for love online after she lost her husband and thought she had hit the jackpot with a suave military man on the website, seniorpeoplemeet.com.

Instead it was a fraudster who convinced her to continually fork out money which Mrs Ortiz-Rodeghero wired all over the world from her home in Castle Rock, Colorado.

She had started to look for love online last October after her husband David Rodeghero died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 52.

She told ABCNews.com: 'After seeing a therapist I was advised maybe I should go on a dating website and meet new people ... because I was depressed.'

The 55-year-old came across a site called seniorpeoplemeet.com.

It was there that she met a man called Wayne Jackson, a handsome, dark-haired man wearing fatigues who said he was an Army general. He claimed he was based in Iraq but wanted to retire and come home to America.

She said: 'I was so blinded by it, because if you were to read some of the emails he would send me, this man was romancing me.' "Together. We're going to be happy together. You're the woman of my dreams." Things that a woman who is hurting for attention and love would want to hear.'

A month into the romance, he began to ask for money.

Esther Ortiz-Rodeghero received hundreds of emails from 'Army general Wayne Jackson' with subject lines that began casually - 'Hi Honey' - but became more and more intense - 'You Will Always be In My Heart', 'We Can Do Anything' and 'Until The End Of Time'.

One gushing email reads: 'Dear Esther, We are meant to be together for the rest of our lives, this we know. Each night is spent dreaming of your face and wishing you were next to me. I love you with my entire being. Meeting you was fate. Forever Yours, Wayne Jackson.'

At first she sent $500 after he explained that his American bank account had been frozen and he couldn't sort it out in person because he was in Iraq.

He then told her of his plans to start a shipping business when he came back from service and asked her to help him with the start-up fees so they could run it together.

Mrs Ortiz-Rodeghero sent him $100,000.

She said: 'All the time he kept telling me, "I'll pay you back, I'll pay you back. I'll take care of you, don't worry."

During the entire relationship, they didn't once speak on the phone 'because of security reasons'.

She continued to send more and more money, using up her savings, her husband's life insurance and her 401k. The scam has left Mrs Ortiz-Rodeghero with nothing and to add to her worries, she recently lost her job as a financial analyst after working 17 years for the same firm.

Her house is in foreclosure and she has declared bankruptcy.

The 55-year-old went to her local police department in Castle Rock who has since filed a report to the FBI.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has been set up by the government to try to stamp out this kind of web crime. (Backlogged 8+ years as of this writing)

The agency said the most vulnerable to the scams are those over 40, divorced, widowed, disabled or just lonely.

In April, it posted specific advice for those who become involved in online dating. It includes warnings to be careful of suitors who declare their 'undying love', tell harrowing stories of family tragedy or ask for money too quickly.

In more serious cases, victims who have agreed to meet in person with an online love interest have been reported missing, injured, or in one instance, dead.

The site seniorpeoplemeet.com, also warned against taking potential dates at face value.

It tells users not to wire money and be wary of those who talk about 'destiny' or 'fate' and claim to be from the U.S. but working or travelling abroad.

Mrs Ortiz-Rodeghero now says she will stick to dating the more traditional way.

original article found here


Friday, November 11, 2011

Met Them Online - Then Subjected to a Ritual Stabbing

Two women were arrested in Milwaukee this week after a man told police they had bound and stabbed him hundreds of times in a sexual encounter that "got quickly out of hand."

The 18-year-old man told police he had met one of the women on the Internet and had traveled to Milwaukee from Phoenix, Ariz., to see her. She and her roommate then held him in an apartment for two days and cut him more than 300 times, he said, according to a search warrant affidavit signed by Milwaukee County police detective Michael Walisiciwicz.

The two women, Rebecca Chandler and Raven Larrabee, were being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $150,000 bail, Milwaukee's 12 News station reported. Charges are expected to be filed in the next few days, 12 News said.

When police arrived at the apartment, Chandler, 22, approached them and said, "I think you are here looking for me," according to the affidavit, which was published by thesmokinggun.com.

Chandler said she and the man were having sexual relations which involved cutting and that the act was consensual but got out of hand.

Chandler told police that her roommate, whom she called "Scarlett," did most of the cutting and that she was possibly "involved in satanic or occult activities," the affidavit said. The roommate was identified as Larrabee, 20.

The man suffered wounds to his back, face, arms, legs and neck and was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

In a search of Chandler and Larrabee's apartment, police found knives, duct tape, bloody rope and "books or literature relating to Satanism or the occult," including a copy of a necromantic ritual book titled "Werewolf's Guide to Life," the affidavit said.

original article here

Monday, November 07, 2011

Posing as Soldiers Online, Stealing Women’s Hearts & Money

Think twice before falling for that hot soldier stationed in Iraq, says the U.S. Army - especially if you met him on a dating website.

It’s rather easy to spot and avoid those Nigerian-prince email scams, but hundreds of women have been falling prey to this more sophisticated “romance scam,” reports Jezebel.

In this type of plot, thieves take on the identities of actual servicemen based in Iraq or Afghanistan, grab a couple photos off the Internet of said soldier, and go to work scamming on social media based dating sites. The scammers start building relationships with women online, eventually asking them for money after wooing them and gaining their sympathy and trust. One woman fell so hard she sent $127,000 to her supposed military love.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) has issued several memos about the situation, including one last month, warning citizens to be “extra vigilant” and not fall for these impersonation frauds, “especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.”

Victims tend to be unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old and the scammers are usually based in African countries and go to great lengths to make their email addresses untraceable and route accounts around the world. After manipulating their victim’s emotions, the scammer will ask for money in some rather creative ways: money to buy “leave papers,” to cover medical expenses, for a flight home to see their fake lover in person.

So, things to keep in mind when online dating?

One, it’s not real until you’ve met the person.
Two, “Don’t ever send money!” Remember, love don’t cost a thing.

read more here

original article found here

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Cyberstalking by Exes - It's Illegal

by Jann Blackstone-Ford & Sharyl Jupe

(Florida, U.S.A.) Question: I'm going through a divorce. Yesterday I found out my soon-to-be ex hacked my email account and changed all my passwords so he could read my private business. Then he changed them back, thinking I wouldn't know — but they send an alert and my email comes through my phone, so I knew what he was doing. He thinks I had an affair because he still can't believe I would leave him just because he's a jerk, so he's looking for some justification I was fooling around. I know you are going to say it's bad ex-etiquette, but what can I do about it?

Answer: It's not only bad ex-etiquette, but it also could be regarded as cyberstalking, and that's illegal. Hacking an ex's email is not new, but unless the victim feels he or she is danger, rarely does that person press charges. It really depends if this is an obsessed ex and your life is in danger or merely someone feeling particularly desperate one day and making bad choices. Hopefully, from your history with this guy, you know which it is. If it's an act of desperation, talking to him will probably do the trick, but make your boundaries clear.

After a breakup, people often continue to sleep together for various reasons and this sends mixed messages — especially if one of the parties wants to stay together. If you are doing this, or anything else like it, you may be contributing to the confusion. Make sure you're not doing anything that will keep your ex hanging on. That said, if your ex has acted irrationally in the past and you are frightened, consider going to the police. The police take cyberstalking very seriously and many have departments devoted specifically to problems with Internet and social-media interaction.

Unfortunately, it's common practice to share passwords — even PIN numbers — with your partner, but this can present a problem after a breakup. It gives them easy access to your personal life and even your money, so best practice is to change all passwords and PIN numbers as soon as you realize the breakup is final. You may even want to change the email accounts linked to your Facebook or other social-media accounts, so there is no way he can hack into your private business.

It goes without saying that your ex is breaking just about every rule of good ex-etiquette, but that doesn't mean that you have to break the rules when dealing with him. Being honest (Ex-Etiquette Rule No. 8) is always a good one to rely on, as well as rules No. 5 and 6, don't be spiteful and don't hold grudges. Finally, one rule your ex definitely forgot, Rule No. 9, is "respect each other's turf." Respect is critical to any successful relationship — even when breaking up.

original article found here


Friday, November 04, 2011

Sentenced to Prison for Net Harassment, Stalking and E-Personation


A Tulare man who authorities said harassed, repeatedly threatened and falsely impersonated a woman on the Internet was sentenced to 32 months in state prison Friday.

Michael Rosa, 36, received his sentence after being convicted of stalking, false impersonation, identity theft, and electronic harassment last month.

According to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office, while they were married, Rosa often threatened to kill the woman, whose name was withheld.

Rosa made numerous harassing telephone calls to her, the district attorney's office said. In April of 2009, the threats escalated, with Rosa calling and telling her he was on his way to kill her.

According to the district attorney's office, on August 2009, the woman began receiving calls from unknown men contacting her about an advertisement posted on Craigslist.

Investigators learned that Rosa had previously placed numerous ads on the Craigslist website, pretending to be the woman, the DA's said. The ads identified her by name and stated she was willing to perform sexual acts on men.

Several of the ads contained photographs that were taken during the course of the marriage, the district attorney's office said. Authorities said detectives were able to trace the online ads back to Rosa, who was interviewed and eventually admitted to placing the ads.

Detectives also secured evidence from Rosa's Internet provider and Craigslist linking the ads back to Rosa.

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gary Paden sentenced Rosa.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Jailed for Internet Harassment

(U.K.) A man who used social networking sites to mount a year-long harassment campaign against his girlfriend has been sentenced to four months in jail. Shane Webber, 23, from Nottingham, posted sexually explicit images of his then girlfriend Ruth Jeffery, 22, to her family and friends.

District Judge Anthony Callaway said the offence was a "gross violation of Miss Jeffery's privacy". Outside Southampton Magistrates' Court, Ms Jeffery said the sentence "will never make up for the hurt he has put me through".

The criminal campaign began in April 2010 when Miss Jeffery aborted their child and he became angry. He posted 10 to 12 images of a nude or sexual nature of his girlfriend and also of himself with her on to sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr and Google Picasa, the court heard.

One set of pictures was called 'Nude Jeffery' and was sent to many close friends and family of the computing science student at Loughborough university.

Webber tried to implicate one of his friends, Lee Evans, by putting the posts in an email address bearing Mr Evans's name, leading to his arrest. Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Michael Connelly said Webber had even called police to check on how the investigation to find the stalker was going. On one occasion he shouted at DC Connelly that it "needed a proper officer" looking into it. He was only found out when Miss Jeffery's family made their own inquiries and the emails were traced back to him.

In a victim impact statement which was read out, Miss Jeffery said: "I have been absolutely devastated by the fact the person I shared everything with caused me so much hurt and harm."

The court was told the harassment has caused her to be depressed and lacking in confidence and had forced her not to trust anyone. She said she had been "intentionally controlled, belittled and harmed" by Webber, and that Webber's behaviour was "cruel and calculated".

Miss Jeffery's family were very suspicious that Webber was behind the harassment, causing friction in the family as she defended him. Eventually her father, Gordon, made his own investigation and traced the postings to a site registered to Webber and he was arrested and interviewed by police.

The defence told the court that Webber had Asperger's syndrome and he and his family had suffered from abuse including his parents' house having the words "sicko" and "psycho" daubed on it.

"He has been having a nasty time since this hit the tabloid press," his legal team said. "He seems to have realised he has received a dose of his own medicine. He realises, for the first time, the devastating impact this has had on Ruth and her family."

As well as the jail term, Webber was handed a five-year restraining order and was told not to contact Miss Jeffery or post images of her online. Outside court, Miss Jeffery said: "I am extremely pleased with the outcome. "The maximum sentence in a magistrates' court will never make up for the hurt he had put me through but I am pleased I can now put it behind me. I was absolutely devastated when I found out it was him. I could not believe it was Shane. I did not want to believe it."

Webber admitted one count of harassment at an earlier hearing.

original article found here