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Derailing You from the Dating Site Red flags should be raised if, right off the bat, they want to get you to instant message or email, taking you off of the dating site where you originally met.

Tip: Always create and use a unique email address that is different than your personal and professional addresses when setting up a dating website profile. Too Serious, Too Soon Watch out for someone rushing things.

Look for any other descriptions that don’t add up to the profile photo.

Tip: Ask them to take a photo holding a unique phrase or their own name on it and send it to you.

It’s a far cry from the days of landline phones, where a single number might be shared by half a dozen people or more.

How many times have you downloaded an app that required a valid mobile number to continue, written it down on forms at the doctor’s office or used your number at a grocery store to take advantage of your frequent shopper rewards?

It’s easy for some of the smartest people to lose all sight of common sense when they’re being reeled in by a catfish: an online imposter who tries to win your sympathy — and your love — by creating an elaborate scheme.

Award-winning technology reporter Kurt Knutsson, known around the country as Kurt the Cyber Guy, shares his top ten reality checks to see if you’re being baited by a catfish.

Shut off communication immediately, and close all open doors if you have a hint that it is a sympathy scam.

A catfish usually makes the first move, often out of left field and sometimes creates a bogus, dreamy profile that sounds like the ideal mate you’ve described in your own dating desires.

They play on your sympathy and strike when you are the most vulnerable — caught up in the romance and emotional. Ask a Lot of Questions Inquire about where they are from, and verify landmarks and spellings of cities online. Catfishers like to ask you a lot of questions, but seldom let you go deep into their lives, coming up with excuses about why they are reluctant to offer more personal information about themselves.

Although most catfishers are not after money, this one should be a wake-up call to a scam. Facebook Fakers At this point, if someone has no Facebook page, but they are sophisticated enough to create an online dating profile, be warned. Signs of a fake Facebook profile can include the fact that the Facebook page was started near the same time that a dating profile elsewhere was established, if few photos are posted, or if there are no people tagged in their photos to show a connection in a relationship.

If they are on Twitter, read through historic tweets to see if the story they tell matches up to the same the person you are prospectively dating.

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