OKCupid had "liked me." I clicked on it--and there he was a man in uniform, and he was attractive.
I thought it was weird that he was so "Army", but I scrolled through his page. He had posed with puppies, he had some tats, and he was "close by" and within my search parameters.
I guess OKCupid has some freaky thing that tells people when you're online, because he messaged me, and dang, he was laying on the charm. I'm not that great at receiving compliments, so I resorted to my "Ah, that's nice. Thank you, and have a great day." message and left the app.
He just kept going, flattering comment upon comment, and I said, "I bet you're catfishing me." His reply? "WTF. Catfishing?"
Okay, Sparky. I see how you're gonna play this....so, I catfished the catfisher. But, before I tell you how we ended things, here were my red flags.
- This perfect soldier--is an Army Ranger, deployed in Texas. (A simple Google search will show you that Rangers aren't based in Texas.)
- He told me he was "deployed to Djibouti on peace keeping mission." WELL...then I knew for sure.
- While written in English, there were many syntax and grammar mistakes. It wasn't written by someone who spoke "Standard American English." No colloquial Texas slang thrown in.
- A close relative of mine is in the military, and basic Operational Security--you never tell anyone where you are while deployed, and certainly not a random stranger. We learned that at Boot Camp. We learned that before deployment. Never tell people where you are. Ever.
- I asked Army Ranger due what his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was--no reply. I got a "Why so many questions?" retort. Classic deflection.
- "What base are you assigned to in the States," I asked. No reply, but my Catfisher did get send me address for a shady house in Gordonville, Texas. I'm not a detective, but a simple search of the County's Appraisal District call tell you everything you need to know. There is no house at that address, and when there was one a few years ago, it was a rundown trailer house--peach in color. Not the house that an Army Ranger would live in.
- Biggest red flag? The soldier in the "catfished photos" is clearly Caucasian, but his online persona said his name was 'Tyrone.' Now, I'm all for innovative names, but the only 'Tyrone' I've ever met was African American. Again, a simple Google search--no Tyrone's with this guy's last name, AND cross referencing to the Appraisal District, definitely not.
Whatever he told me, I'd agree with him then change my mind; I'd want the opposite or propose a new idea instead, and Tyrone would go along as he was "desperate to make me happy" because I was the love of his life.
I finally told 'Tyrone', "I wasn't interested in a long-distance relationship since my father is in the FBI (not true) and doesn't want me to date any more soldiers (never dated a soldier).
My reply BROKE Tyrone's heart. He was retiring from the Army in three months, AND he would come back right now for "R&R" if I wanted him to return--we didn't get to the money part, but I'm SURE I would next be asked to get him an airline ticket.
WHO FALLS FOR THIS STUFF? I'll tell you who. A lot of people--men and women alike. The victims are lonely, they want to be loved, and they are willing to listen to a Casanova string together musical sentences with all the right buzz words.
Ladies, know your self worth. Don't be fooled by an attractive guy who has puppies or a uniform. Protect your online identity, your heart ,and your self worth AND pocketbook.
Suggestions for safety:
- NEVER give out your real phone number. Stay within the app chatting, or get a voice over IP number. There are plenty of apps that you can chat through that have the functionality of texting.
- Perform a "Reverse Image Search" right away if the guy seems too good to be true, or even if he doesn't. Search social media.
- Never give out your vitals. Name, phone number, DOB, credit card or bank account information.
- There are services that will perform searches for you. Here's one. I don't get any money for suggesting them. Just telling you these are out there if you don't have time to sleuth for your self.