If you’re here because you’re concerned you’re not safe, do this right now:
- Change every password on your email and social media
- Make sure each password is different
- Get Bitwarden (free level) to store your passwords. MEMORIZE your Bitwarden password. It needs a number, character, capital letter, lower case letter. Do not use words – use an anagram if you’re unsure. For example: Yes I believe in Life after Love. My exes address is 483. I’m an excitable person. Password becomes: YibiLaL483!
- Do not let your phone or computer save the passwords unless those are also password protected.
Stop filling in quizzes, surveys, and fun things about yourself. Remove / delete accounts on these platforms if you ever set one up. Yes, even amongst your friends, unless it’s a private group of 100% trust.
If you really want to keep your phone private, get a secondary phone number.
If you’re on social media with your real account (name & info), start using privacy options to hide personal information.
If someone reaches out to privately message you without previous interaction or permission, raise your suspicions.*
*This will be hotly contested, but the stats show that most scammers work quietly. They only contribute enough to be alive. Exceptions do exist!
- One time comment or thank you. “Hey, thanks for supporting my pov, I appreciate it.”
- Someone openly invites DMs from anyone in a post or comment.
- Something I haven’t thought of, but is most likely innocuous.
Do not give out too much factual information until you’ve video’d in real time. This does not make the person inherently safe; it does make them the age and gender they claim.
Don’t ever drop your guard. Once a “lady” was chatting me for a few weeks, somewhat light. Supposedly she was from Mexico City. I casually asked what time it was one day and they had it wrong. Totally busted him, he admitted it, and I blocked him.
Keep a throwaway anything if you’re super cautious. I don’t want to alarm anyone, so I’m not going to say you’re “too scared” or paranoid. Only you are in charge of your comfort level. Follow your gut.
- Phone number
- Social accounts
Use your own photos (different ones from your normal account) so you’re not looking like the scammer. Use your new phone and email. Change your birthday slightly.
Google’s reverse image search is your best friend.
- Assertive contact
- Love bombing
- Continuous one way flirtations.
- Refusing to talk or leave a voice message right there and then.
- Too many negative previous experiences
Another red flag to me is someone who hardly posts photos or shares real time events in photos or videos. When I see someone’s profile photo and it looks like a grainy cropped photo, I immediately block and move on.