I think I figured it out. Finally. I knew something was weird. I kept getting really nice emails and chat messages in dating websites from very good-looking men. In fact, they were almost too good-looking. Some of them even said they were in the military and said things like “has it been your dream of finding a man in uniform to spend the rest of your life with?” Well actually, that wasn’t such a cool thing for me since my dad was a career Air Force man and I grew up around military bases. It’s what I was used to. So dreaming about it? No. Dating a man in uniform? Fine. The weird thing is their profile says they are in the states and then they say they are in Afghanistan or Iraq when chatting with talking to me. The first time this happened to me I didn’t realize what was going on. The guy was making plans really quickly and wanted to come see me, which I thought was odd. He wanted to get to know me. It just so happened, it was during the summer and I had my tornado warning going off. I said I would have to go to the basement and his answer was “how far do you have to go to get there?” Ok, I knew something was fishy then since he didn’t know what a basement was or realize it was part of my house. So I started asking more questions. By this time he had already asked me early into the conversation to go from the main website he found me on to yahoo instant messenger. I didn’t realize then, but asking me to go to yahoo IM should have been my first clue to get rid of him. Anyone who asks that is a scam artist!!!! So then I began to ask this person, who wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, other questions and he couldn’t answer them about military life. They were simple questions. At this point he got mad at me for not trusting him. Since that time I have met lots of “men” (one never knows if they are male) who want me to go to yahoo IM and that is my clue to hit disconnect and report them as scammers. Last night I finally found out why they want unsuspecting “dates” to do this. Yahoo IM provides them a way to get into our computers and copy anything they want. Our passwords, anything. DO NOT DO IT. In fact, I just took yahoo IM off my computer this morning to prevent anyone from getting into my computer. So here is what I do when I start chatting with someone. As I said, if they even mention moving to yahoo IM, I report them. Then early on I ask them to call my cell. Only an unmarried man who lives in the states will actually make this call. I don’t even bother chatting with someone who I have no interest in. So if they smoke, I don’t even chat with them. If they want babies, no way! Beyond that, I want to make sure they are real. I have never had trouble with this method. If they are in another country they will not call. If they are married they will not call. So then I know two things are OK and I can go from there. After talking to them I check them out to see if they have lied about their age and other things. It is amazing what you can find out on the Internet. There is lots of information online about the romance scams.