The scams are the day to day of social networksso it is important that you know the modus operandi of various groups and it is not only about false kidnappings, they can also act through the romantic sphere.
Angelica couldn’t have found a more perfect man. A resident of Monterrey, she entered Tinder and matched with a Dutch man who said he lives in Amsterdam and is the deputy director of a pharmaceutical company.
“Everything happened so fast, like in a month. He started by thanking me for giving him the opportunity to talk on WhatsApp. He sent me more photos, he was obviously a super handsome man,” says the woman, who uses another name.
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At that time she was 49 years old. She is now 50.
The messages began with greetings. They then exchanged videos and voice messages, and they made short video calls.
He mentioned the beauty of the royal and even assured that he told his family about her.
In a matter of weeks, he said he had sent Mexico a box of gifts. It was what anyone would dream of: jewelry, a cell phone, money, a perfume, a laptop, a watch and clothes. The problem? The package was detained at the Mexican Customs and Angélica needed deposit 14 thousand 800 pesos for him to be released.
The Dutchman, the woman says, even gave her the contact information of a supposed government office employee who assured her that the payment was necessary and gave her an account number.
“The truth, at first I believed it. Everything sounded so nice, it makes you feel so special, you know? I was going to receive some commissions, so I went to my boss to ask him for that money in advance. He asked me what for and I told him: you know what? This happens”.
“She told me: you know what? Your story is the same as that of a friend. In short, I spoke with this friend and she told me that she was nailed and even sent money three times! I realized that it’s like a mafia. I swear I was three seconds away from depositing, so glad I didn’t!”
Experiences like this don’t just happen in Monterrey.
The documentary The Tinder Scammer released on Netflix on February 2 presents three European women who meet Simon Leviev, a scammer who poses as the heir to a diamond company. What the material shows is that the truth can be very different from what is shown on social networks and that it does not only happen in distant countries.
The problem of appearances
It is natural that throughout life people seek meaningful relationships, including romantic ones, explains María Angélica Limón, coordinator of the clinical psychoanalytic specialty at UDEM.
“We started rehearsals as babies, with our parents,” he says. “Later, as we grow, these first figures are replaced by the external ones and we continue with the rehearsals: relationships with friends, teachers and later boyfriends or partners”.
These important links can well be described as exercises of deep trust placed in others, shares the specialist.
In the midst of this complex panorama, he adds, dating apps have arrived that, although they have the benefit of connecting more people around the world, have a great risk factor that The Tinder Scammer illustrates so well:
“Anyone Can Be Anyone”, he points out. “We don’t know if what they tell us is true.”
Photos, names, jobs, ages and other information can be manipulated. It is impossible to take everything that comes out there as truth.
The trust driven by the affective bond that leads to believe in that special individual may be deposited in lies, he indicates.
The psychotherapist María Mendiola agrees:
“What you see on the screen is not really the other person. Rather, you are projecting your wishes and desires onto that person. It’s true: this also happens when you flirt with someone in front of you, but face-to-face you notice more expressions, you perceive sounds and even smells that do not pass through the filter of distance.
“To put it in a colloquial way, during the early stages of romance everything looks perfect, everything looks beautiful. And that’s where someone can take advantage to manipulate, ask, lie“.
Martha Patricia Zavala, also a psychotherapist, agrees that these new platforms potentially expose deception and fraud. She points out that, in addition, they may be symptoms of a society that is less and less accustomed to face-to-face contact that feeds good relationships.
“For me these apps are like a market: instead of buying a product, you buy a relationship. I don’t mean it in the sense of paying, but in the sense of choose a product from a long list of options: you choose the person with a swipe, the same way you buy clothes or music. So there is a sense here of turning and presenting ourselves as attractive objects, not people,” she says.
Vital support networks
The best tools for do not fall into fraud and lies Spread through dating apps are strong support networks, as well as a healthy dose of skepticism and self-knowledge, experts say.
From his trench as a therapist for adolescents, Zavala recommends that parents maintain strong relationships with children who, it is necessary to recognize, effectively use these networks.
“I don’t like it when they say, ‘I’m going to start talking to him or her.’ You talk to your child all the time, not just when you notice a problem. Parents know what their children are up to if they constantly cultivate good relationships.
“And if they want to talk about a specific topic like Tinder, my recommendation is that they don’t start by questioning (young people), but by telling them that they are worried about what they saw in a documentary. It’s telling them: ‘You can count on us for what whatever. We are with you always.'”
Specialist Limón proposes taking the necessary time and getting to know a potential partner before making serious commitments. Some aspect that does not convince or involves risks is reason enough to stop to think more.
Throughout the process where falling in love is on the surface, the coordinator advises turning to another group of loved ones: friends.
“It is true that falling in love blinds us, it does not give us the possibility of having an objective criterion. That is why we can ask our friends to help us think.”
For psychotherapist Mendiola, part of the solution is also to make questioning a discipline.
“Question everything they tell you and offer you, does it make sense? The other advice sounds obvious, but it is very useful: know yourself: what is your weak point, are you easily moved by this or that, what are your weak points? negotiable in a relationship?
“Yes there are examples of people who have met on Tinder and who have successful relationships. There are good men and good women there, but you have to be careful.”
Angelica states that this lesson will stay with her from now on.
“I’m definitely more cautious. Not everything is as they paint it, you know? Now I’m much more analytical.”
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Open your eyes, be careful
- Remember that in networks we do not know if what the other tells us is true.
- During the early stages of romance they can take advantage of you to manipulate, ask, lie.
- Approach your children: do not question them, better tell them that what you saw in the documentary worried you.
- Don’t lock yourself in: talk to friends about everything that happens to you, they help you think.
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