The Killer May Have Been the Date from Hell!
Sonia Varaschin was killed because she just wanted to meet someone special online.
This worst case scenario emphasizes the inherent risks of meeting people online. Although the police were able to successfully research the victim's computer, it was too late to help Sonia.
When Sonya chose a site like plentyoffish.com she actually maximized her risks, and I must qualify this.
I am not singling our plentyoffish.com, because other free online dating sites like OKcupid.com fall in the same camp. I will not try to list them all. Many sites walk the fine edge of maximum danger without actually realizing it.
At issue here is the free dating model in general. Here is why.
There are a lot of freaks and perverts out there. Some are just lacking social skills, but others are sociopaths. It is very possible that the apparently nice guy that you are chatting to on the Internet is actually possessive and abusive in real life. Of course the acme of risk resides with people who not only stalk you, but who seek to do you harm. They may think nothing of taking your life.
Free dating sites are not the only sites where you can expose yourself to danger.
This range of sites also includes facebook.com. So the next time you accept a friend request from someone that you are not sure you know, think again. About the only thing that protects you from stalkers on facebook is that the friend of the friend you are accepting actually knows one of your friends. But if you and your friends are the types that just click on every friend request in some game to get the most friends on their list, then you are setting up people that you cherish in your life to a lot of hurt.
If you are communicating on any site that requires payment of some sort to enable the communication, then you are inherently safer from the get-go. Because it is easy for police to follow the money on such sites, sexual predators stay clear of them. It only takes them a few minutes to set up a string of bogusemail account on yahoo using a real email account as reference, then set up a bogus email account on gmail ,then delete the yahoo account. Now just tie the gmail account to a fictitious email on AOL and it makes it tough to track you. Smart stalkers use a trail for free emails spanning several countries and corporate entities, thus becoming more invisible. Once the stalker has a largely untraceable email account on a free service like gmail, then they are free to use it to join all the free communication sites out there. If they couple this with a disposable cell phone, you are now fully communicating with someone who looks legit, but is untraceable by anyone. They are free to do what they please with you..
So what is the best course of action that you can take?
Well, to start, stay off of free social networking sites. They are not worth the risk.
These are some other common sense tips:
1) Spend a lot of time online communicating before agreeing to meet in real life. Make sure that you use the anonymity features that most dating sites give you and do not let out any contact details to the person – such as where you work, live, or your external email address.
2) When you want to talk to them, then use a disposable cell phone or a private phone service like myprivateline.com.
3) Look for BS when you are communicating. Stalkers are liars, and they can be tripped up in their lies – watch for it. Look for irregularities in their stories. Ask for the same information a few different ways over the course of your initial acquaintance and make sure the answers are consistent. Lack of consistency in answers is a danger signal – he might be just a BS artist, but it might be something worse. If a stalker is working on you, they are probably pursuing more than one person at the same time and will often mix up the lies.
4) Get recent pictures of them. How can you be sure they are recent? Well to be really sure, get them to take a close-up picture of themselves holding up today's paper.
5) Be upfront and tell them that you are being careful. Honest people will not have a serious problem with it. The worst thing that can happen is that they take a walk if they think you are a bit nutso. You must also be willing to do the same. Consider using the public library and use a current newspaper from a different town to keep your location secret.
6) Your first date should be short, a coffee shop rather than a bar, and be in the daytime and short. Do not go home with him or let him take you home. Be upfront and tell him that you have told your friends where you are.
7) Use your camera phone to take a picture of your date and send it to a friend while you are on the date, just in case something happens. He should know up front you are doing this, and if he has a problem with taking his picture, then get out ASAP!
To make a long story short, use your head before you let yourself lose your heart.
If you are still interested in paid online dating, check out the following link:
Online Dating Sites