MODERN LOVE: Think you’re talking to your crush online? You may want to think again…

Local News

(WFRV) – Kerry Geocaris was shocked when friends informed her that she had a profile on Match.com. She was surprised because she is happily married and didn’t post a dating profile. What happened, she says, is someone created a phony profile using her identity.

“There were photos on my social media accounts. So they took a number of them and then used them to create this fake profile,” Geocaris explained.

There are ways, however, to peek behind the curtain and find out if who you are talking with online is really who they claim to be.

When someone meets another through a dating site and starts communicating through a personal email like Gmail, Microsoft, or Yahoo an internet protocol, or IP, address is an effective tool to help vet your potential soul mate.

An IP address can help determine if the person you’re communicating with is located in Wisconsin or Africa.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Computer Science Professor Michael Patton says, “An IP address is a number which identifies the machine that is connected to the network or to the internet. Every device connected to the internet in some way, shape, or form, whether it’s your thermostat, your computer, your tablet has to have some sort of an IP address.”

Think of it this way: IP=Fingerprint; it’s an ID unique to your device.

To find an IP address in Yahoo:

  1. Open an email
  2. Click on the three dots next to the spam icon
  3. Then click on “view raw message”
  4. This will open a new page with the header information in an email
  5. CNTRL-F and type the word “originating”
  6. This will take you to the originating IP address
  7. Copy the originating IP address, which is a series of numbers and dots [it will look like this 162.247.119.187]
  8. Paste into my personal favorite website www.whatismyipaddress.com
  9. Click on IP address lookup
  10. The IP address 162.247.119.187 resolves to Canada

IP addresses are like the address to your computer. Just like regular mail has to have a sender and recipient address. IP addresses are the same. They tell where an email is coming from and where it will be sent but this tool is not 100-percent.

Professor Patton says, “While you may not be able to say that a specific address is necessarily in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You can definitely get it to Northeast Wisconsin or the greater Milwaukee area or something to that effect.”

Geocaris says this tool is great because online dating is hard enough.

Kerry contacted match to remove that fake profile.

You can use also this IP address locating tool for any email to email communication if you’re looking to rent or make an online purchase.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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