The first deals with the topic of online romance scams. Researching this article came as a shock to me: I knew there were some scummy guys out there (most of the criminals are guys) using dating sites to get money out of women (most of the victims are women), but I had no idea of the scope of the problem. There are guys in Nigeria who have dozens of women on the hook at once and live like kings on the money they squeeze out of them. In 2016, Americans lost over $230 million to these scams—and that's just the ones that were actually reported. A lot of victims are too embarrassed and emotionally devastated to report the crime.
The money isn't even the worst part; it's the emotional harm these scams do. When the victims finally learn that what they thought was true love was just a money-making scheme, their lives fall apart. Some of them refuse to believe the person they loved isn't real and start stalking the guys whose images were stolen for the profile. Others become depressed to the point of suicide. Some are so desperate to believe their love was real that they actually stay involved with the scammers, sometimes even aiding them in committing other crimes.
So basically, this is a big deal, and anyone who ever dates online needs to know about it. My article covers how online romance scams work, their many dangers, how to identify a scam, and what to do if you've been a victim.
How to Avoid and Protect Yourself From Online Dating & Romance Scams
My other new article is about personal loans. I've already written about payday loans and their dangers, but this is about longer-term personal loans you can get from a bank. I explain how personal loans differ from other forms of credit, discuss why you might use one and where to get one, outline their pros and cons, and discuss some alternatives for raising cash. Then I conclude by talking about how to get a good deal on a personal loan if you decide to use one.