Love in the Time of Algorithms

State Department Offers Helpful Guidelines On How Not to Get Catfished

So nice of them.
(Photo: sportsgrid)

(Photo: sportsgrid)

The Manti Te’o scam, which revealed that the supposedly dead girlfriend of a Notre Dame football player had never really existed, sparked a maelstrom of hype about the dangers of online dating. The New York Post even discovered a Second Life-type virtual reality world where people can have–gasp–virtual sex! (The only drawback, you’d have to say you met on “Utherverse.”)

Now, the U.S. government has jumped into the fray, offering some helpful tips on how not to get Catfished, or–as they put it–“don’t become the victim of a sweetheart scam!”

The guidelines point out that scammers will frequently develop a strong bond with someone via their Facebook or online dating profile. Key hints that you’re actually having Skype sex with a Nigerian prince and not a hot girl are: they’re constantly request for money,  something bad is always happening to them and they claim to be from America but their English seems to indicate otherwise.

When will the State Department issue a warning about journalists joking on Twitter?

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