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Donna Andersen

Romance Scams Part 4: Fake dating apps and malware

Photo by Pat138241

Photo by Pat138241

Here’s yet another take on the dangers of online dating: The website Information Security Buzz reports that a number of fake dating apps have been created specifically to record your private data. And some dating sites have spread malware and malicious content.

So if you’re involved with online dating, not only do you need to worry about suitors using fake profiles to steal your heart and your money, but you also need to worry about your computer being infected with a nasty virus.

The risks associated with online dating just don’t quit.

The ins and outs of online love scams, on InformationSecurityBuzz.com.

Romance Scams Part 1: Canadians lose $17 million in 2016

Looking for love online is dangerous — and in honor of Valentine’s Day, law enforcement agencies around the world tried to remind citizens of that. The first of three articles Lovefraud will be posting on the issue comes from Canada.

Nearly 750 Canadians reported that they lost money in Internet romance scams last year, totaling $17 million, according to CTVNews.ca. But the Royal Canadian Mounted Police believe only about 5 percent of cases are actually reported — so the money lost is likely much higher.

Sgt. Guy Paul Larocque says that most of the money stolen is never recovered. According to CTVNews.ca:

Larocque added that these scams are often executed by professionals based in other countries, who may also be working with organized crime. “They’re doing that purposely to make it more difficult for law enforcement to be able to get to them,” he said. “It is not somebody just playing behind the computer.”

For Valentine’s Day: 8 differences between sociopathic “love” and real love

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Yes, there is love after the sociopath.

I divorced my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, in 2000. A little more than a year later, I met Terry Kelly. We dated for a few years, got to know each other, and then married.

Terry and I just celebrated our 12th anniversary. I can honestly say that I am as happy and in love as I was on our wedding day.

What’s different about love with a normal, caring person, and “love” with a sociopath? Just about everything.

1.  Real love is peaceful

I don’t have the stress, drama and doubt that I felt while married to the sociopath. Instead, with Terry, I feel calm and content.

2. Real love is supportive

My sociopathic ex-husband was demanding — and indifferent to how his demands affected me. Now when I need help, caring, or just someone to talk to, my husband is there.

Identifying sociopathic behavior is easy; giving advice is hard

sad and stressed womanJust about every day, Lovefraud receives e-mail from readers who are looking for answers about confusing, contradictory and abusive behavior exhibited by people in their lives. The new readers don’t understand what they are dealing with; they just tell, either in a few paragraphs or lengthy compositions, their stories. The e-mails describe some or many of the following behaviors:

  • Pathological lying
  • Pity plays
  • Shallow emotions
  • Devalue and discard
  • Cheating or promiscuity
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Controlling demands
  • Financial irresponsibility
  • Manipulation of children
  • Broken promises
  • Claims of “you made me do it”
  • Pleas of “I’ll never do it again”

The readers ask, “Am I involved with a sociopath?”

For those of us who now know what sociopathic behavior looks like, it is apparent that the answer is yes—or that at least the readers are describing sociopathic traits.

Monday: Webinar on understanding narcissistic abuse

 

Breakup Of A Couple With Bad Guy And Sad GirlfriendLovefraud Continuing Education will feature a webinar on Monday, February 13, called, Understanding and recognizing narcissistic abuse.

The two-hour program will be presented by Tiffany Kettermann, LPC, and  is geared towards mental health professionals. Psychologists and social workers can earn two continuing education credits.

But I think anyone who has been involved with a narcissist or sociopath, and wants to understand what happened, can benefit from this program. If you grew up with a narcissistic parent, or have children with a narcissistic partner or former partner, you will be especially interested in Tiffany’s explanation of how narcissists affect family dynamics.

Here are more webinar highlights:

  • What exactly do we mean by narcissistic abuse?
  • The narcissistic abuse cycle, and how it differs from the domestic violence cycle
  • Family dynamics when one parent is narcissistic
  • Tactics of narcissistic abuse: gaslighting, projection and rage

Love, sex, your brain and sociopaths

Young naked Man and woman in love are kissingEver since the beginning of recorded history, humans have been trying to understand and explain the mysteries of love and sex. Over the past few decades, scientists started using specialized equipment to measure physical arousal by attaching devices to private parts. More recently, they’ve been observing the most important romantic organ in the human body—the brain.

Forbes wrote about the research of Andreas Bartels, Ph.D., at the Imperial College of London. Bartels used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, which can capture images of brain activity, to pinpoint the areas of the brain that are activated by love.

Bartles did a study of 17 people who were madly in love. He had the test subjects look at photos of platonic friends and of their loved ones while he observed activity in their brains. The resulting images clearly showed that certain sections of the brain are stimulated by love.

After the sociopath, learning to trust again

Pensive woman

Weheartit

A Lovefraud reader posted the following comment awhile back:

I just have one question for everyone here. Does anyone trust people after these sick people did what they did to us? Unfortunately for me … I have run across a few of these sickos but NONE like my ex. Whoever I meet now I’m thinking to myself, who is this person really? Do they have a secret life like the Scott Petersons and Ted Bundys of this world? I don’t let my children out of my sight and I’m already training my kids and they all know the signs of a sociopath especially my girls. I feel like I’m in a prison sometimes in my mind as I try so hard but just can’t trust anyone.

Convicted con artist Patrick Giblin again pleads guilty to scamming women

Patrick M. Giblin

Patrick M. Giblin

Patrick Giblin, 52, formerly of Ventnor, New Jersey, yesterday pleaded guilty to scamming more than 10 women out of $15,000 to $40,000.

Giblin did this between January 2013 and December 2014 — while on parole for previously scamming 132 women out of $320,241. Here’s Lovefraud’s original coverage of the story:

Patrick Giblin trolls phone dating lines, taking money from 132 women, on Lovefraud.com.

According to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, Giblin’s most recent adventures in phone scamming went like this:

From January 2013 to Dec. 16, 2014, Giblin allegedly posted advertisements and messages on telephone dating services throughout the United States. Giblin cultivated a telephone rapport with the women he spoke to on these services, falsely claimed that he would be relocating or travelling to the woman’s geographic area, and falsely represented that he wished to pursue a committed, romantic relationship with each woman.

Radical Acceptance — a path to true emotional healing after the devastation of a sociopath

Radical AcceptanceBook Review: Radical Acceptance — Embracing your life with the heart of a Buddha, by Tara Brach.

Review by Donna Andersen

You realize, or at least suspect, that you have a sociopath in your life — that’s why you’re reading Lovefraud. You may still be in a state of shock — you never really understood that people like this actually existed. But they do; now what do you do?

Lovefraud is full of information and advice about escaping a sociopath and dealing with the fallout. Generally, recovery means moving forward along two paths. You can pursue both paths at the same time, and progress on one path helps you with the other one.

The first path is solving the practical problems the sociopath has caused, such as escaping safely, getting a divorce, rebuilding your finances, finding a new job — any of the myriad of ways that your day-to-day life needs to be restored.

Vocabulary 101: 10 terms to help you name your experience with a sociopath

AnxietyDepression_300x200One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to explain what happens when you’re involved with a sociopath is that you don’t have the words.

Because of the general lack of awareness about personality disorders in society, and the lack of education about it, there is no generally accepted terminology to describe various aspects of the experience.

But descriptive language has evolved among online communities of survivors. Here is a vocabulary to help you name what you experienced. When you can name it, you can begin to recover from it.

1 Love Bombing

When sociopaths set about reeling you in, a key seduction strategy is love bombing. They shower you with attention and affection, want to be with you all the time, make you feel like the most important person in the world.