Hello, Beautiful/Handsome!

Huge alligator through the glass looking right at me!

Everyone knows what a shark is and what it can do. There are sharks on Social Media too. To quote Wikipedia, “A shark is a person who unscrupulously exploits or swindles others.” They lurk in your groups and scope out those who are new or who don’t know them and, as in my case, are the opposite sex from me. They are sweet talkers, polite and want to get to know you. No, not all people of the opposite sex are sharks. Some are nice folks who just share an interest with you or are new in town or may be someone in the military.

So how can you tell the difference between a legitimate potential friend and a potential money grabbing “shark?” You have to be careful folks, men and women!

I figured out some ways to help determine if someone really wants to be your friend or a “shark.” Here are some points to check on their profile of whatever site you are on. I am talking about Facebook because that is the media I use most. Don’t go with just one clue unless you just know this person is not legitimate.

Check out their Facebook profile. Do they have a real profile page? Are there photos of friends or family? (Sometimes they aren’t shown until you are accepted as a friend.) If they have friends, are all or most of their friends beautiful or handsome people of the opposite sex? Everyone should have friends from both sexes, at least one or two. Are there family pictures? This can be tricky because some “sharks” use pictures out of magazines, someone else’s profile photo or even new wallet space-savers or whatever source they may have.

Do they allow people, especially you, the one they are so interested in, to see any personal information about themselves? Interests, places lived or living? Does their page share multiple posts or just one because they just recently opened a Facebook profile? Look at the date they joined Facebook on their profile. If they just opened their profile, be wary.

Are they a “new” friend of one of your old friends? They may claim to be a friend of your old friend but are they really? I found that if you check with your old friend or their friend’s list, sometimes the “new” friend was just accepted. Your “old” friend may know nothing about their “new” friend because they are just friendly people and don’t even know them. This has happened twice or more to me. If they are a legitimate friend of a friend, ask your friend about them. They may not know them well or only for a short time. So gage your acceptance to your old friend’s knowledge, or lack thereof, about the “new” friend.

Where does this person live? If they claim to live overseas or even in the military, (there are legitimate men and women in the military, who are looking for letters from home, or who may not have many family living.) This is a tough one sometimes to decide on, because you don’t want to reject one of our soldiers. But on the other hand, you don’t want to get sucked into a vacuum of your attention, money or information. So protect yourself at all costs. But again don’t consider one strike against them as the basis of a decision.

If someone requests to be your friend, are they in one or more groups that you are in? If not, then how did they find you? Think about it. They saw your picture and thought you might be tricked or used. If they have never commented or “Liked” anything you wrote or shared, then why are they interested in you? They don’t know you!

If someone is in a group you are in and sends a friend request, go check out their profile page. I found one guy only had the page for his membership in the group, another was on Instagram with no Facebook profile. I am not sure how anyone could check on someone other than looking up their name on Facebook and see what appears. Even if the picture on the profile matches the one on their friend request, someone’s account could have been hijacked by an imposter. If there are no new recent entries, be very careful! Also I found one profile page that belonged to someone who had died and the page was not taken down! Sure enough, someone hijacked it!

I found pretty much every time the new friend request starts out with, “Hello, Beautiful,” I consider them to be fakers unless they have commented on some of my posts, blogposts, or comments and not with just a “come-on” kind of comment! Anyone, especially a young teenager could fall for this and get into potential trouble! Again, anyone especially a teenager may not judge well or really know who a new “friend” really is until they look them up and know them from school or some activity and even then, people’s pages can be hijacked!

If a potential new “friend” is from another country and gives you a sob story, no matter how destitute or desperate they are, do not respond nor send them money!! Block them!! If you think you know them, ask someone from their family, if they are legit. Or if you just feel you should help them, refer them to Red Cross or some other organization who helps those over seas.

If you are hooked by a “fake friend” and want to leave them and keep them from further comments or contact with you. All you have to do is go to their Facebook Profile. See the three dots? Click on it, At the bottom of the options see “Find Support” or “Report Profile.”

If you are approached by someone in a group, who approaches you in one of the ways mentioned above: or if they persist in contacting you; or you are not familiar with that person, report them to the administrator of the group with as much information as you can. (If you have blocked them, this will not be necessary.) But the admin may be able to take steps to stop them from hunting down someone else. Another woman and I in the same group was approached by the same guy within 24 hours of each other. This is not someone who should be allowed in a group.

To report to an admin about a problem. I am not sure that all groups use the same symbols and places to ask for help. But if you see the looking glass symbol and enter “admin.” Then you can tell the administrator of the group about the “shark.” Some pages have three dots in a gray box. You may see three options: Find Support, Report a Profile, or Block the Page/Group. Pick one but do tell the admin about the shark.

Be careful. Don’t use just one criteria listed to decide, unless you “just know” and are experienced in this dangerous “game.” Below is a post on scammers.


13 thoughts on “Hello, Beautiful/Handsome!

  1. All good tips! For me, it seems that when I comment on a ‘public’ post, that’s when I get fake friend requests. A LOT of military! Just to be safe I delete them. I’m new to Instagram now and it’s worse! A lot of phony looking followers with private accounts and message requests. I delete those too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting, Mary Lou.I wish I had known that! I’ll add it if that’s okay, after awhile. I don’t want to take the post down right now when people are looking at it. But so good to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elaine! The military requests, when I check their profile, sometimes have stock photos. It’s easy to fool us! Your post is fine the way it is. I notice some of my FB friends are posting everything ‘public’ and they get a lot of ‘come on’ comments from strangers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure if I was dealing with a shark…. But I found myself being much harsher than needed when the issue of money came up and him being short of funds for a particular job he was doing….. And he responded with deep hurt and cut off all communication with me. His words had been so sweet and like a drug for me…. And I find myself in withdrawal from that. It hurts…. Was he real? Was he scamming? In retrospect, I wish I had been gentler, kinder…. But something inside me got really really scared…. And I reacted. This post comes at the right time. We need to beware… Our hearts are tender and vulnerable…. We can still be kind, but we also need to protect ourselves. For me, sweet words are my weakness… And now I’m extra aware of that. Was it a scam? I don’t know. Did I hurt someone? Possibly, which I regret. Did I lose a great potential partner? Well….. If I get cut off completely with no chance to talk through this… With my apology rejected…. Maybe not. Did I dodge a bullet? Maybe….. Yes, there are good people out there…. But the waters are definitely shark infested….. Thank you again…..I don’t feel so alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Josiah, anytime you feel scared like you did, listen to the feeling. Gut instincts were created for us and other animals to protect us. The more you listen to your gut feelings, the safer you’ll be. I have no doubt that you did the right thing. If I may offer some advice about sweet words. In my younger days, sweet words were certainly attractive. But now I look for someone who shows me through caring, kindness, and example that he loves me. I can’t tell if you ever met this guy in person, but never give money to someone you don’t know well unless you’re paying for a job. There are men and women who love to get money for free. They can size up a person and know their weak spots. I can even tell you are soft hearted. If I could tell that, then he could too and make you feel guilty for rejecting his request. Love yourself, value yourself, tell yourself words of kindness. Stop being so hard on yourself!! He may call again in a week or a month. What will you do? Hang up in him for acting like a spoiled child because you wouldn’t give him the money he wanted. Even as I write this, I see myself in you as a younger person. I am 70 now and wiser. If you need a dose of empowerment, read, Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr. Clarisa Estes. That book helped me turn my life around but it took time. I have several posts on self esteem, if you get a chance to, read some of them. Read about Domestic Violence, that I lived through. Love and be thankful for your body, mind and spirit. I say all of this with love and encouragement. Hope you keep growing.


        1. I hope I didn’t get too personal but I have l8ved under the Weight of low self esteem. I know who I am and although I would love to meet a kind, loving man, I am fine by myself with the friendship of my neighbors and vest friends. Good luck in your life path.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, MaryLou. I am so surprised and pleased that there have already been 40 readers of this post! Maybe I am helping someone avoid getting ducked into this situation. I really appreciate your comments, thanks!


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