Looking for love can be time consuming, frustrating and difficult. It can also be dangerous. Millions turn to online dating sites and mobile apps in hopes of finding that special someone. But, do you really know who is on the other side of a profile? A woman, who I will call "Lee" to protect her identity, says her experience with online dating had her calling police and filing a protection order. Lee says she met her dream guy through the messaging service, Kik. "This was the rare instance someone reached out to me and found me," Lee explains. After a couple weeks of chatting, Lee decided to meet her dream guy in a public place. She says she did what so many others do when online dating - she Googled him (should have checked him out with a PI).
Lee says nothing came up because he gave her his middle name and not his first name. Weeks later she would find out the man she was dating was a convicted sex offender. "I remember sitting in my living room reading all the court papers completely sick. Just bawling my eyes out and just beside myself," said Lee. Her dream guy had sex crime convictions involving teenage girls who were similar in age with her daughter. Lee broke it off and says that’s when things took a turn. She says she received non-stop phone calls and text messages, typical for a stalker. "Lee" should have called a private investigator before she met her dream guy, you can't just "Google" someone and get a real profile, total nonsense.
I did the interview for the following story “The dangerous side of online dating” in Panama City Beach Fl seven years ago and guess what, nothing got better it got worse! PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA // With as many as 40 million single Americans using online dating services or web-networking sites such as EHarmony to look for love, it would seem that there has never been an easier time to find a soulmate online. But experts, law enforcement officials and private investigators warn that the world of internet romance is fraught with peril, ranging from liars to sexual predators and even murderers, who hide their motives behind seemingly innocuous virtual identities. Bill Warner a Florida private investigator who offers on his website to “sort out the winners from the losers” for a flat fee of US $65.00, says running background checks on potential internet dates now constitutes more than 50 per cent of his business.
“Usually the problem is that the man is married or he turns out to be one of these crazy stalker people that follows a woman for months,” he said in a telephone interview. In many cases, PI Bill Warner said he would discover that men had joined a site using a false name, a prepaid, throwaway cell phone and a phony e-mail address from free services such as Yahoo or Hotmail. “There are a lot of people out there who get jazzed up by disguising themselves,” he said, adding that nearly 100 per cent of his cases involved women being victimized by men, see http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/americas/the-dangerous-side-of-online-dating
In April a Boston medical student, Philip Markoff, dubbed the “Craigslist killer” by the media, was arrested and changed with murdering a masseuse who advertised on the popular website’s erotic services section. Two months later Craigslist was hit with another scandal when it emerged that a North Carolina man used the site to hire a man to rape his wife while the husband watched.
LOS ANGELES —…A woman who sued Match.com after being sexually assaulted by a man she met on the dating website settled her lawsuit on Tuesday when she saw proof that the site screenings its members for sexual predators. Carole Markin sued the website when she found out her attacker had been convicted of sexual battery. She did not seek monetary damages in her lawsuit, just a court order requiring the site to check its members’ backgrounds to weed out convicted sex offenders. “If I save one woman from being attacked, I’m happy,” Markin said. “I went into this lawsuit to protect other people, and it worked. Robert Platt, an attorney for the site, said Match.com has begun checking its members against state and federal sex-offender databases. Alan Wurtzel, 67, pleaded no contest to assaulting Markin.
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota SEX, CRIME CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com