Most women on Twitter have had them – men promising marriage after a few direct messages. (The guys tell me they’re promised blow jobs.) At one stage I was getting two “marriage proposals” per day.
One solution is to turn off Direct Messages, but I’ve had wonderful conversations with genuine people I would have missed out on had I done that.
Recently the fakes, frauds and trolls have been driving me crazy. I’ve analysed them and come up with a few pointers. If s/he satisfies a few of these, I block and delete immediately. In some cases I have had to report them, like the guy who said he wanted to pay for me, not my books. (See this post about being a writer of erotica.)
I’ll use the generic pronoun “he”, but there is no reason these people can’t be female. I have had a couple of women who “wish you could meet my brother”.
- He tells me how beautiful I am in the first one or two messages.
- He immediately asks personal questions, such as whether I am married, and how many children do I have.
- He asks me where I am, which means he hasn’t looked at my profile or my timeline.
- He asks me what I do, which means he hasn’t looked at my profile or my timeline.
- He joined Twitter recently.
- He has very few followers but follows many people, mainly women.
- He has little or no personal information in his profile.
- He rarely tweets, and if he does, it is retweets.
- He uses endearments like “dear” without any justification for doing so.
- He refuses to answer questions I ask him.
- He has little or no interest in my books or my writing.
- He is usually a widower with a sad story, e.g. a wife of many years has died recently of cancer, with one or two children, usually in the care of other people.
- He often claims to be in the American military or in exotic location or job.
- He asks to contact me off Twitter.
These are indicators only. Overall, I trust my instincts.
Genuine people want to engage in a dialogue, whether it’s about sex, or writing, or music, or the state of the world in general.
Just don’t tell me you want to buy me.