Julie Spira on Manti Te'o: Tugging At Digital Heart-Strings - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Julie Spira on Manti Te'o: You Are Tugging At Digital Heart-Strings

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With us to talk about the Manti Te'o internet hoax story was online dating expert Julie Spira. Our legal analyst Robin Sax also joined in the discussion.

The Manti Te'o Story – Can It Happen To You?

With all the buzz and commotion surrounding the Manti Te'o story of falling in love with a woman online who never existed, it makes us pause and ask ourselves, "Can this happen to me?"

On Good Day LA, I shared my story with Steve Edwards and Robin Sax on how easy it is to fall in love from behind your computer screen or mobile phone.  The need to love and be loved is so strong, that often our romantic fantasies take over where our logic should reign.

Finding love online has never been easier and the digital playground is enormous. As an online dating expert and one who creates profiles for singles on the dating scene, I see more success stories every day. One out of six relationships are formed with people who have joined online dating sites. This doesn't take into equation those who connect on Facebook chat or Twitter to start their digital courtship.

Before you start changing your status on Facebook to "In a Relationship" with only a thumbnail photo of your suitor, do a little homework. Here are ten simple ways to check out your online date.

  1. Check his or her "About" page on Facebook to see their relationship status.
  2. Find out if you have any friends in common on Facebook or Linkedin and ask for a recommendation.
  3. Scroll through their photos to see if it appears they have a significant other.
  4. Do a Google search for their name and see what pops up.
  5. Do a reverse image photo search. This can be done with sites such as TinEye.com or uploading a photo into Google's search bar.
  6. Type in the person's email address and phone number in a Google search.
  7. Conduct a background search though a site such as Intelius.
  8. Trust your intuition and let your friends know who you're chatting with online.
  9. Set up a Skype or video date with your online crush to see what they look like in real-time.
  10. After a few emails and phone calls, meet in person. If they repeatedly cancel your daters, something is wrong.

At the end of the digital day, trust your intuition. If you feel suspicious about the authenticity of someone you're communicating with online, don't be embarrassed about it. Find out the truth and move on.

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She's the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and  creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

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