I wrote a post a few days ago that highlighted some of the dangers and disadvantages of “online dating.” The two major negative points were: 1) the extensive presence of downright “scammers” and 2) users that misrepresented themselves in their profiles or email exchanges, e.g. marital status, physical attributes, age, income, etc.
Now, it’s pretty hard to catch an online liar right off, especially if you can’t see them or research their claims and self-descriptions. However, Elizabeth Bernstein’s recent Wall Street Journal article on “How to Tell If Someone Is Lying to You in an Email,” provides a number of tips to give you an at least a fighting chance to detect when an online acquaintance is being less than honest. Things to look for include the omission of personal pronouns and references, hedging or changes in subject when asked something and changing tenses in the middle of an exchange. There are many more, but for that you should read the article.