A woman is warning others to be careful when online dating after claiming she was the victim of a ‘sick game’ by one user.
The woman, 28, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she was stood up three times by a man called Karl who then ended up posing as a woman and sending explicit messages to her friend.
The woman, from Beverley, has now urged other users to be careful when sending photos and to use paid for sites instead.
“I was about to give up when along came Karl. I messaged him, we spent the day talking and we exchanged numbers.
“Karl appeared to be a breath of fresh air compared to the other guys I’d been talking to. He was so complimentary and convincing with his words but looking back now you could say his words were manipulating and premeditated. I believed everything he wrote.”
They arranged a date but Karl cancelled, claiming he had injured himself holding a spinning class. A further two dates were arranged but all ended with him cancelling at the last minute.
The woman said: “I don’t know what his game was, or why he chose to play it on me, but I think it’s really weird and a bit creepy.
“He is just a fantasist who managed to suck me in to his game with very convincing words.”
When the woman heard nothing at all from Karl she got her friend to contact him to see if he was still around.
She said: “My friend texted him pretending she was looking for her friend.
“Karl replied on WhatsApp but he had suddenly blocked me. He then claimed to my friend his name is Jules and then sent a picture of a girl.
“He started hitting on my friend as a girl and sending sexually explicit texts to her before knowing she was over the age of 16. It took him well over 20 minutes to ask her age.”
The fact he used a picture of a random female has sent alarm bells ringing for the woman.
She said: “So the real question is, who is this Karl and how many vulnerable girls does he do this too? Is he using my pictures to send to random strangers and is his name really Karl or is it Jules and is he a she?
“Either way this person is impersonating another and sending pictures of people without their knowledge or consent.”
Despite feeling embarrassed, the woman is relieved she got out when she did.
She said: “I have never felt more worthless and used by someone I have never met.
“I thank my stars I had a lucky escape and wised up to his psychotic games but what if he takes this too far and preys on a girl who is really vulnerable and couldn’t take it?
“It’s time for there to be a shake-up in the world of online dating and girls need to be aware of the dangers out there.
“I am thankful I am a strong female character and can come back from a situation like this.
“How could someone invest that much time into someone just to completely play a sick twisted game?”
She believes people should use paid for sites where people will take dating more seriously.
She said: “My advice to people would be stay off the free dating sites, if your really serious about dating someone please pay, and stay safe.”