Are You Falling in Love with a Real Person or a Virtual Scammer? - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Are You Falling in Love with a Real Person or a Virtual Scammer?

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The recent story of Manti Te'ohas anyone who has ever fallen for someone online feeling a bit squeamish. Partsof the story are sketchy, but the part that isn't involves the concept of fallingin love with someone you only know virtually.

How do you and can you lovesomeone you have never been in the same room with, kissed or felt their skinagainst your skin? The answer is yes, you can fall in love or what you believeto be in love with someone you speak to frequently on the phone and talk to onyour computer screen.

However, this love you feel, or the attachment is to whomeveris responding back, and what you must remember is that person is only as realas their story and responses are.

According to recent posts by dating websites, approximately 15 to 20%of all online relationships lead to marriage. Marriage experts agree that thereare a few benefits with online dating that far outweigh traditional dating.

Forexample, many people find it easier to be more vulnerable with their emotionsonline, and the courtships can last longer for couples that talk online.Experts agree that having intimacy and sex before you know the person well candamage the relationship.  

Depending onwhen the meet up happens, these couples may actually know one another on a moreintimate level than people who date face to face. The biggest concern is thatpeople who are dating online have an easier time being deceptive.  

It's easy to fool someone if you are neverface to face with them. Leading them on or scamming them is also more likely asthey only know what you tell them or what they see via a possible Skype. 

Relationships that don't progress to aneventual meet up are not normal. Humans want to see the person they believethey love, they want to touch them, and they want to connect physically with them.

In fact, resisting a meet up after months of talking daily would be a sign thatthere is something amiss with the person you met online. For example, problemswith commitment, abandonment or fear of being vulnerable would stand out aslikely with this group.

 As with all things, the bad can outweigh the good when you are onlinedating. Te'o's story has much more explaining to uncover as parts of it make nosense, but that aside, I listen to people who have been scammed by someone theythought there was a chance for a future with.

If you are online investing yourtime and your heart with someone who is taking advantage of you, you may end uplosing more than a potential love. The scam experts recommend the following redflags. Taking caution is my best advice, and question oddities.


  1. Theonline dater wants to call you personal pet names too soon. They begin callingyou honey, baby, love; the list goes on and on.
  2. They encourage you toleave the dating or social network site you are currently on and communicateinstant messaging or some other site.
  3. They send you too manyphotos too soon, using their child, their dog or other personal touches. Theyalso want more photos of you (BE CAREFUL).
  4. They want your addressimmediately and back it up by saying they want to send you flowers or court youin an "old fashioned manner."
  5. They give you numerousexcuses of why they cannot meet you in person.
  6. Things always come up thatneed to be dealt with immediately. This is where they will begin needing moneyor some other assistance from you. They are slick about the timing with thisand usually wait until you are "hooked."
  7. If you are wise enough tocatch them, they continue to lie by telling you that although they weren't inlove with you, through the process of getting to know you they have completelyfallen in love with you. Do not believethis.


The people I have talkedwith tell me that their scammer experience ended with legal issues as well.Scammers have access to photos of the person they scammed. They can blackmailwith those photos; so once again, you must take caution with anything you sendthem. They are usually after money, and they have their victim in a vulnerableposition emotionally.


I havegone to several wedding where the couples met online. Their marriages seemcommitted and more so they are as matched as couples who found someone anddated for years. The courtship part of online dating is very healthy tobuilding a solid relationship.

When couples get to know one another well beforehaving sex, the focus is primarily on the emotional aspect of one another. Thishelps build the friendship that is so important with successful marriage.Understanding that lies and scamming happen anywhere, especially in the virtualwork, it is wise to take your time, and if the person online seems too good tobe true, they probably are. –Mary Jo Rapini



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