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The history of catfishing, how it happens and how to avoid dealing with a catfish situation in your own online dating life.

Usha Patel was beaten, strangled and stabbed 13 times by Miles Donnelly after the pair met up through an online dating site

Usha Patel, 44, was ferociously beaten and strangled to death by Miles Donnelly, 35, after the pair had organised to meet for up at her Cricklewood flat in north London.

Patel was killed while her five-year-old son slept in the next room after the mother had invited the “lying and manipulative” man over on the night of October 7 2015 after meeting through the online dating agency, Oasis.

The raw data is undeniable. While women generally prefer men around their own age, men are most attracted to 20-year-olds, period. That’s why the Daily Mail calls straight women over 45 the “ plankton generation ” — at the bottom of the romantic food chain. Time magazine editors found the notion of men dating women in their 30s so baffling that they invited 15 experts to explain the phenomenon.

But as I learned at OkCupid, men don’t necessarily end up dating young women, even if they think they’re gorgeous. Men on the site tend to message women closer to their own age; very few men over 30 actually reach out to 20-year-old women. And while it’s true that being older and single means you face a “thin” romantic market , both on the Web and off, the sheer scale of online dating mitigates this. After all, the best way to beat long odds is to take lots of chances, and even for older users, dating sites provide millions of romantic options.

It’s an all-too-common trope: Online dating has made casual sex easy but relationships hard. One somewhat hysterical Vanity Fair article recently claimed that sites like Tinder have brought on a “ dating apocalypse ,” with young men and women meeting online, getting together for sex, then never talking again. The Guardian warns that these sites have created a “throwaway dating culture.”

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SOURCES: Pepper Schwartz, PhD, sociologist, University of Washington, Seattle. Paul Falzone, author, Find the Right One.

The Internet has many educational uses, but it can be dangerous in the hands of a child. This article on the internet & children will keep your kids safer.

There is no reason for anyone to ask you for money or your financial information, whatever sad or sob story they give.Always keep your bank and account information private.

Money Requests Are Your Red Light - Why would someone need to borrow money off somebody they have never met, or only just met?

Password & Security - Be careful when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.

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The history of catfishing, how it happens and how to avoid dealing with a catfish situation in your own online dating life.