Avoiding Romance Scams While Using On-line Dating Sites

People are conned everyday on dating sites, losing thousands of dollars to romance scammers.  Reports confirm that romance scams cost consumers more financially than any other kind of internet fraud.  The world of on-line dating is becoming more familiar to us as one of the main venues to find romance.  People look to social media and on-line dating sites everyday to connect with the world, find that certain someone, creating an easy access for scammers to take advantage.

As a user of on-line dating sites, I recently notice the number of on-line scammers is increasing drastically.  I would say 2 out of 5 emails I receive is from a romance scammer.  As the allure of on-line dating becomes more popular, with more people than ever signing up, scammers are stepping up their game and the numbers are multiplying fast.

Anyone can become the victim of an online dating scam.  Most people think that the crimes are limited to middle-aged men and women who can’t find a date, surprisingly this is not always the case.  It is happening to people in all walks of life – lawyers, doctors, entertainers, CEO’s of companies  – all have fallen victim to these on-line romance cons.  So how do you know if you are contacted by a scammer?  How do you protect yourself from falling for this persons deceit?  What do you do if you find out you are indeed talking to a romance scammer?  What actions do you take?

Here are some red flags to keep in mind in determining if someone who contacted you is a scammer.  To recognize and avoid romance scams, follow these tips.

  • Grammar –  There is not much first person “I” or “we,” for example:  The sentence might start out as – “Am happy to met you.”  They tend to leave out the I’s and start sentences with Am.  They may say that they are university educated but their grammar is poor.
  • Profile –  Romance scammers rarely have more than one picture on their profile.  Maybe two.  Sometimes you will even notice that they are not even the same person …maybe similar in looks but not the same! You will not see pictures of them with family, beloved pets, at home cooking up a meal …the pictures you would see on a normal users profile.   The profile’s essay is noticeably shorter than most, illustrating that not much thought and intent were used to create it.
  • Correspondence – In chatting with a romance scammer, usually by the second or third email you will notice the conversation moves from vague to introduction of love.  The scammer’s intention is to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, endear himself to the victim and gain trust.  They may say things like – “am love talking to you this morning, would love to wake up with you for rest of our lives.”  Realistically someone you just met, and talked to only once or twice, would not do this.  Beware if they immediately ask you to talk to them off site, as in a personal email, or by phone.  The scammer will often say they are not on the site very often, or not very familiar with the site and can communicate easier by personal email etc.  If this is a legitimate user, they should be willing to take time to know you on the dating site first.  To further gain your trust scammers will make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen as there will always be some excuse.  Often they claim to be temporarily out of the country working on a project as a construction manager or engineer.  Many will also say they are widowed.  If you still have not met after a couple of months, you should be suspicious.
  • The Hook – Eventually, they always ask for money.  Or occasionally, it is a mail fraud scam and they will ask for your address to ship you a “gift” they recently bought for you.  I had one guy tell me he bought me an engagement ring and was scared to keep it aboard the ship he was on for fear of piracy.  He needed my address to go ahead and ship the ring, as he planned to fly in to see me as soon as he docked in a month or so to propose marriage.

DO NOT BE A VICTIM OF SCAM!  Just remember to be cautious.

Play detective.  Research the persons photo and profile using online search engines and resources.  Find out as much as you can as soon as you can.  Ask lots of questions.  They will always try to evade answering questions.  Be aware if they seem to perfect too soon.

You know the saying …”If something seems to good to be true, it usually is.”

If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop all contact immediately.  Do not let them know you are on to them. Never, never try to lead them on or anger them in any way.   And if you are the victim of a romance scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

I hope you find these tips useful.  Be safe out there and thanks for visiting!

Arlene

 

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Please Stop Blogging and Play

Look who decided to hop up in my chair and hang out while I did a little blogging today. Hmmm …what is this look?   I think he is trying to tell me that he is bored and would like to play.  For those of you who don’t know, this is our little Chihuahua Nike’.  We brought him home from the SPCA in April, going on 6 years now.  He was in poor health when we adopted him.  He was heartworm positive, in need of heartworm treatments, and had damage to his heart already.

Fast forward to today …Nike’ is a very spunky little dog with a big heart and playful spirit.  Oh and he thinks that he is a big dog …sshh, let’s not tell him. 😉

What do you think he is thinking here?

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I don’t think he wants his picture taken right now.  🙂

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Just another day in the life of one little dog.

 

Thanks for visiting!

Arlene.nametag (2)

Hip Hoppity Ideas for Easter Fun

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Easter heralds the beginning of springtime, the promise of warmer weather and spring vacation.  Easter is a time usually spent with loved ones.  We celebrate with time at church, BBQ/picnics, festive dinners and of course Easter egg hunts!

Easter holds many loved celebrations and traditions in my family.   As a little girl, I can remember my favorite things about Easter; my mom’s homemade Coconut Cake, waking up on Easter morning to the wonderful aromas of fresh baked breads and pastries, and of course, dying, decorating and hunting Easter eggs.

Through the years I have carried some of those celebrations and traditions over to my children.    My oldest son’s birthday is at the end of March, often falling on Easter weekend.  When he was younger we would have an Easter themed birthday celebration every year, an Easter Egg Hunt was always a part of this.  We still have our celebrations and traditions; I still make a German Chocolate cake for my oldest son’s Birthday, and with each passing year a few more traditions are added.

You can have a very fun, inexpensive and stress-free Easter party and holiday for the children and adults alike.  Here are a few tips to make it a little easier along the way.

Hip Hoppity Ideas for Easter Fun:

Make your own Easter baskets.

What you will need:  Cleaned out ice cream bucket or even an old shoe box, decorate it with – construction paper, colors, scissors, glue glitter etc.  Depending on the age of your children for the decorations.

What to do:  Be creative and design it any way you want using materials around the house.  You could make an animal themed Easter basket – a bunny using buttons and cotton balls for the eyes, nose and tail.  To make the handle use yarn or anything strong enough to hold and a hole punch.

Old fashion Easter egg dye and decorate.

What you will need:  Hard boiled eggs, vinegar, food coloring and water.

What to do:  Using a coffee cup, mix together a 1/2 cup of water at room temperature, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and several drops of food coloring. The more drops, the darker the color usually is.  You can adjust this however you like. Prepare several different colors using the same method. Place one egg in each cup of food coloring, remove them when they reach the desired shade. Use a spoon to remove the egg and place it in an egg holder or on a paper towel to dry.

Have an Easter egg hunt.

Hide the eggs in your yard or a nearby park.  You can have separate hunts in separate areas for different ages of children.  Use the eggs you colored earlier or if you were planning on eating those you can purchase plastic eggs at your local dollar store.  Fill the eggs with age appropriate candy.  We like to have a few larger eggs as the “Golden & Silver Egg” or “Treasure Filled Egg” these are redeemable for larger prizes; large chocolate bar, money, bouncing balls, stuffed animals etc.  Have two sets of special eggs for the older and younger children.

Have a refreshment table set up for after the hunt.  

You can put a couple of card tables together and make a cute refreshment area.  Use a decorative theme related center piece and have lots of snacks, goodies and refreshment on hand.

Have someone there to do face painting or balloon animals.

If it is a neighborhood party or you have several hosts, you could pool together and chip in for the expense to hire someone to entertain.

Play games.  

If the party is going to be an afternoon event lasting more than an hour you may want to incorporate some simple games for after the egg hunt.  Such as an egg toss game etc, bunny hop sack race, and so on.

Yummy Desserts

What would Easter be without dessert!  Try this easy, delicious Poke Cake.

Easter Poke Cake Recipe

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Well there you have it.  An Easter egg hunt party is a great occasion for children. It requires only a little time and money, but gives a tremendous reward back in fun.  After the cold weather has passed, everyone is ready to get out and feel the warm sunshine, visit with friends and family and enjoy the day. Easter has always been a favorite time for traditions and celebrations.  I hope this article will give you some helpful tips towards making some new traditions in your family.

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And until next time …

Happy Easter Egg Hunting!

medw_cowgirl-003

Arlene.nametag (2)

Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup

A healthier version for the New Year, done with lean ground turkey instead of hamburger meat.   A hearty addition to any dinner table.

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Hello all!  With the cold weather making its way in, it looks like it’s time to stay indoors and enjoy some nice, warm, comfort food.  On the menu today:  Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup.   This recipe is one of my favorites for winter time.  Just add some cornbread and you have a hearty, healthy meal.  Good for lunch or dinner!

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To save time, as I am a busy working Mom, I used 2 cans of mixed vegetables.  Makes for an easy, quick meal.  Of course you can add any fresh vegetables to make it your own.  Leftover Ham from Christmas?  Add that too! 🙂

Now to head on over to Fiesta Friday, my favorite link-up party, and check out what’s cooking!

Happy Eating!

Arlene.nametag (2)

medw_cowgirl-003

Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_5229.Turkey Vege Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans mixed vegetables
  • 1 can diced tomatoes not drained
  • cups beef broth
  • 1 sm can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp. dry
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dry
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet.
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, onion and garlic to skillet and sauté until turkey is browned.
  3. Transfer to pot.
  4. In same skillet add tomatoes to saute’ (makes the extra flavor from the browned bits in skillet).
  5. Transfer to pot
  6. Add beef broth, tomato paste and all the herbs (except parsley) to skillet and bring to a boil.
  7. Transfer to pot.
  8. Add mixed vegetables to pot, stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Simmer on low heat for 30- 40 minutes.
  10. Add parsley last 5 minutes of cooking.

 

Simply Earth – Essential Oils -Making Your Home Natural

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Hi Everyone!  I have some exciting news to share with you, and a recipe as well.  🙂

Like most of us, I love essential oils.  They can be used for aromatherapy to induce relaxation, or as a natural way to clean and deodorize our homes.  There are even medical and pharmaceutical uses for these wonderful oils.  But what oils do you use for what?  How much of the oils are needed for the ideal result?  If you are like me, you love the thought of using essential oils in your home, but maybe are not sure the proper recipe.

Thanks to Simply Earth you can experience all the possibilities of essential oils without being an expert in aromatherapy.  Simply Earth’s essential oils are selected by an aromatherapist to help you create a healthy and chemical free home for your family.  All Simply Earth essential oils are natural and chemical free.

Simply Earth Essential Oils are:

  • 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade
  • Batch GC/MS Tested for Scientific Purity
  • Tested Free of Pesticides
  • Zero additives or fillers

What comes in your essential oil recipe box –

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  • 6-7 NATURAL RECIPES
  • 4 ESSENTIAL OILS
  • FUN EXTRAS like beeswax to make recipes. 🙂
  • FREE SHIPPING

 

I got a July Subscription Box to try out and review.

 Simply Earth

I received:  Ginger, Amyris, Orange, and Peace and Quiet.  Peace and Quiet is my favorite and mixed with Ginger makes for a Peaceful diffuser blend.  I also received fun extras –  like these cute little recipe cards to make a natural hand sanitizer, linen spray and mini car air freshener.  Pretty cool!  I liked mine so much I decided to become a Simply Earth Ambassador.  Join our Ambassador Club Today! 

 

Enjoy A Natural Home – By signing up with Simply Earth you will receive: 

A monthly subscription recipe box with all the ingredients, containers, and extras you need to make 5-7 natural recipes… delivered to your doorstep.

And …

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Here is what is included in August Subscription Box

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Begin your essential oil adventure today. Signing up is quick and easy.

Click on the link below to begin your journey to a better you and a natural home.

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Until next time …thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed this post and choose to get your own essential oil recipe box.  🙂

medw_cowgirl-003

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Linen Spray

Simply Earth

Ingredients:

Simply Earth Essential Oils –

  • 10 drops ginger oil
  • 10 drops orange oil
  • 5 drops peace and quiet blend oil
  • 1 tsp witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup water
  • spray bottle

Make It:

  1.  Drop essential oils into a spray bottle
  2. Add witch hazel
  3. Fill the rest of the way with water
  4. Close tightly and shake well to mix
  5. Spray over bed linens etc to naturally sanitize and protect

Join my favorite link-up party Fiesta Friday!

Topmommy

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Mexican Cornbread Dos

Moist and full of flavor, this spicy Mexican Cornbread recipe is one you will want to make again and again.  Don’t let the simple ingredients fool you!  This one is a keeper, you will want to share with your friends and family.

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Layers of ground turkey and spices, corn, peppers and cheese, all in a wonderfully moist, golden corn bread mix.   The recipe is hands down one of my favorite dishes to make, and this is saying a lot folks!  The reason being is because there are times when I just don’t like my own cooking, there I said it!  I know, shhhh  …don’t tell anyone, words a cook should never utter.  But it’s true!  Everyone else will comment on how good one of my meals is and I just go, meh …well this recipe is the exception to the rule my friends!

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I call this Mexican Cornbread – Dos because I already have a Mexican cornbread recipe on here, one I did way back, and is almost the same recipe …but not quite.  Here is one big difference …

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Almond milk!  I know, my family thought I was crazy when I said I am out of milk and going to use the Almond milk instead.  My oldest son was very sceptical.  But here is the thing; I believe it made the cornbread more moist, for one.  When I usually make cornbread, I want lie, it is always so crumbly.  This was the case with my first recipe on here.  This time it held together perfectly and was moist!  It reminded me of a Mexican cake, in a way.

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Well enough chatter, let’s get down to the important stuff here, the eating! Today I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday, come along and join the fun!

And until next time …

Happy Baking!

medw_cowgirl-003

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Topmommy

Mexican Cornbread - Dos

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Mexican Cornbread - Dos_5558

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1  package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 (8.5-ounce) boxes corn muffin mix
  • 1 (14.0-ounce) can cream-style corn, or regular
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies (original or mild), drained
  • 2 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. or oil.

In a skillet, cook the ground turkey. Add the taco seasoning per package directions. Set aside.

Prepare the corn muffin batter per package directions, except substitute unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk. Stir in half of the corn and mix well.  Spread half of the cornbread batter mix in the baking pan. Top with the meat. Mix the remaining corn and Rotel diced tomatoes &  green chilies together and spread over the meat. Sprinkle on the chopped jalapeno.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Spread the remaining batter on top, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cornbread is baked through. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then cut into squares to serve.  Enjoy!

Note:  Around the last 5 minutes of baking, I reserved a sprinkle of cheese and spread on top of the cornbread.  It made a beautiful topping for the cornbread.  🙂