My husband and I used the Internet to get to know each other when we first met.
Those were the days before online dating, but because we lived 3,000 miles away from each other, we used the Internet to communicate and become closer.
These are professional con artists who groom their victims by preying on their emotions.” The internet and social media are used to recruit large numbers of victims as scam artists target individuals whose profile implies that they have access to money or are in high paid positions, says Sutherland.
She said that cyber-stalking and digital voyeurism (the practice of spying on people who are engaged in intimate behaviours and actions of a private nature) are common practice and stalkers, also known as “trolls”, harass their prey with the specific intention of causing fear out of a desire for revenge or humiliation.
The organisation says it saw a 46% increase in the number of contacts made by victims of sexual assault during 2012-13, compared with the previous year, with many linked to dates arranged online.
Eileen Maitland, information officer for Rape Crisis Scotland, said they wanted to make women more vigilant when using dating websites.
Various online dating companies in the USA have reported that a big surge in user growth is generally experienced at the start of a new year.
expected a 60% increase in new members between 25 December and Valentine’s day.Detective superintendent Louise Raphael, head of the national rape task force, said the web offered more opportunities for sexual predators and that they were becoming more manipulative in the way they targeted their victims.“The reality is women are meeting up with people they don’t know.Women are finding themselves in a very vulnerable position,” she said.Computers and the internet allow predators to exploit online daters easily and anonymously – at the click of a button.” She explains that a clear warning bell is when someone is trying to avoid a physical meeting, constantly cancels or refuses to meet in a public place but rather wants to meet at a hotel or secluded spot.“In addition, should someone ever receive a request for money, financial or personal details or risqué pictures and texts, be on high alert even if there has been a build-up of friendship or intimacy over many months.But it also allows people to hide who they really are and what they are doing.