Do you use Facebook to expand your dating pool? You're not the only one. And if you don't, you might be missing out. Why? With Facebook there is a transparency because you can actually see potential partners' photos, read their interactions, and extract a greater understanding of their their day to day reality.
You can even do a little investigative digging, asking mutual friends about them, analyzing photos, getting a feel for their personality based on how they interact with "friends" on their wall. Well ... that's if they are being honest and truly transparent. The danger with Facebook is that you can also create an identity for the intention of anything from getting a job, a date, or a social life (despite the reality that you sit at home feeling pretty cool about yourself for collecting a slew of "friends").
Con artists are undoubtedly slinking around Facebook, so here's where to spot the scammers:
Lie Alert! Relationship Status
Relationship status can be very deceptive. You can declare yourself as single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in a civil union, in a domestic partnership, in an open relationship, it's complicated, separated, divorced, widowed -- or avoid answering anything at all, the go-to for many guys who are playing the field of the free dating site that is Facebook.
Even if his status is "single," don't trust it. Maybe he hasn't "gotten around" to changing his status yet. Do your digging before believing a Facebook relationship status. Check out a few photos. Or, just ask him straight up. If you trust him enough to go out on a date with him, you should be able to ask him the very simple question: "So, what's your relationship status?" Simple.
Lie Alert! Friends
This is one of the areas that Facebook can create serious deception. You might seem to have 15 or just 2 friends in common and that automatically gives you a sense of comfort as you think "well he knows my friend from high school so he must be a good guy who I can trust."
Not so. Fact is that you can friend request anyone and, even if they don't know you from Adam (sorry all of you Adams out there), there is still a decent chance that you will be accepted; particularly if Facebook is used more for the purpose of business than keeping up with your true friends and family.
If a fake is interested in creating a sense of trust with you, he very well could go through your friend list, spot those who use the site for purposes of business, friend request them, and pack on a bunch of "friends" that you have in common.
Lie Alert! Age
Age is another one of those hidden facts on Facebook that are revealed on other online dating sites (though people lie there, too). Not sure that he is the age he claims to be? Check out his friends, schools he graduated from, activities, habits, speech and see if they sync up with what he says.
Lie Alert! Occupation
What does a "Producer," "Entrepreneur," "Actor," "Businessman," or "CEO" actually mean? Is he the CEO of a no-name company that brings in barely enough income to pay the bills? People can assign themselves pretty fancy labels despite the fact that they have nothing to show for it. Again, ask questions: "Oh, so you're a producer? What have you produced? Oh nothing yet… Hmmm. So what do you do for a living?"
Lie Alert! Hobbies
You're a foodie. He's not. But if he wants you, he can easily pretend he is a foodie too by "checking in" to restaurants without actually dining there. All he has to do is get in close enough proximity and the restaurant comes up on his phone. Do you know about all the hottest hotels from around the world? He can easily source photos from the Internet and post them on his wall as if he had been there, too. But he doesn't have to be that deceptive; all of his posts can be legitimate, but just show the better half of his extracurriculars. It's called strategy.
[Editor's Note: Laurel House is a relationship coach and founder of No-Games Love. Her edgy, no-sugar-added advice has made her an Internet sensation with more than 12 million views for her YouTube dating videos. She is currently working on her fifth book, The No Games Guide to Love, was voted one of the top 10 dating vloggers by DatingAdvice.com, and can be seen on an upcoming episode of MTV's MADE.]
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