Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When It's Someone You Trust...

You never know who might try to hurt you on the internet

betrayel Pictures, Images and Photos


OVER the past few weeks we have learned that 80 per cent of victims of cyber-stalking are women, and many have been the victims of ex-lovers, but although it seems relationships have a lot to do with online stalking it is not always men who are the stalkers. This week, we talk to a woman who was stabbed in the back by the person who she least expected.

Jane Burns (name has been changed to protect identity) was a normal young woman. In 2005, most of her friends at university were studying abroad, which brought her and another classmate a lot closer together than before. They spent hours together and told each other everything. Jane’s new best friend spent a lot of time on the internet, trying to meet men in forums. Jane worried her friend because she would often go to meet them after just a few weeks, thinking she had found her ideal man, and then resulting in disappointment, but little did Jane know it was herself she should worry about. Jane was in a long-distance relationship with a man abroad, but thanks to the internet they kept in touch every day.

One day, after she returned from a holiday at her boyfriend’s home, she went online and found an e-mail, apparently from him, which was directed to another woman, telling her he loved and missed her. Jane, with tears in her eyes, contacted her boyfriend to ask for an explanation. He, of course, knew nothing, but she felt deceived and hurt and told him she wanted to split up. Luckily, he insisted she checked whether the e-mail had really come from his address – it hadn’t. The address that had been used was the same, apart from a dash, which in the heat of the moment, she hadn’t noticed. On closer examination, the language was a little different, although the nickname used for her was right.

The only person who had this information was Jane’s friend, who also happened to have asked to read some of their e-mails just two weeks earlier. Why did she do this? Jane says she can’t imagine. But when she told her friend about the ordeal, without accusing her, she immediately went offline and the two have not spoken since.

You never know who is trying to hurt you on the internet, so be careful.

Trust turning to betrayal.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Online Daters Burned by Lies


An estimated 40 million Americans use online dating services hoping to meet "the one." There are more than 1,400 Web sites in the $700 million a year business, but some question their safety.

Prosecutors say a Philadelphia nursing student was conning women on match.com. He was convicted in 2007 of assault, but the accusations don't end there. His victims, described as attractive, ambitious professionals say their lives will never be the same.

Prosecutors said Jeffrey Marsalis, 34, told some tall tales, pretending to be a doctor, an astronaut and even a spy to lure women on Internet dating sites.

"He faces up to 20 years in prison and he will have to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life," said prosecutor Joe Khan.

Marsalis was convicted of sexual assault. However, he was acquitted of more serious charges that he drugged and then raped seven women in his apartment.

"You read about it, you see it on TV but you just don't think it can happen to you," one anonymous victim said.

She said she knows about tricksters like Jeffrey Marsalis and how easy it is to be duped online. According to her, a man she met on a Christian dating Web site was seeing 60 other women from 25 different Web sites. He pretended to be everything from a country music manager to a Pentagon consultant. He even lied about having cancer, she said.

She claims he stole thousands of dollars from his victims.

"Mentally, it just about broke me to think that I had been so naive, when I don't consider myself to be a very naive person," she said. "And of course, I was worried about my safety." She may have good reason to be. Dozens of Internet dating cases have ended in tragedy. And experts said it's only getting worse.

"Men especially are getting are getting bolder as far as using dating Web sites to find their next victim," said Jayne Hitchcock, who is working to halt online abuse.

"Most of these women will tell you that they had a bad feeling about it but they went ahead with it because the person the man had a wonderful profile," Hitchcock said. "He was charming."

One victim said it was loneliness that clouded her judgment.

"Victims are victims because somebody is looking to exploit their weakness," she said. "And it doesn't matter if you're doctor. It doesn't matter if you're an accountant."

She said she wants women to trust their instincts because she didn't trust her own. About 35 percent of daters admit they lie about themselves online, according to a survey research study by Jeana Frost of Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Though the real number is probably MUCH higher!)