Internet Dating- Beware of stalkers

A coaching client of mine shared a chilling tale last week about an experience she had with a man who saw her profile on a large and reputable dating site. This “gentleman” liked her profile- and apparently armed with technical savvy and good powers of observation- was able to track down her identity based on one of her pictures. In this picture, she was standing in front of a logo of her business. It was very much in the background- and not easily seen- but this guy must have found a way to enlarge it and identify it.

The “chilly’ part is that he then Googled her business and looked for anyone with her first name. She is the only one who has that name in the company- and bam, he was able to get her HOME phone number and who knows what else. He then proceeded to call her and leave a message- thank goodness she was not home. He did explain how he tracked her down- but she was not impressed. Hear that, guys, not happy at all. She felt violated and frightened; given that it seems with very little information- anyone can be found.

I asked her if I could share her story and she said, “Absolutely.” Listen up ladies (and guys). Be careful not to have anything in your pictures or profile that could leave clues as to who you are and where you can be found. Most of the time this would not be an issue- but there are always people out there who don’t seem to know where the boundaries are- and confuse assertion with stalking.

Internet dating is a great idea- and one that has resulted in many successful relationships. But like everywhere else in the dating world- you need to be careful who you let into your life.

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