MIAMI (CBS4) – A South Florida woman was left to pick up the pieces after a romantic relationship she developed online turned endangered her life.
“He was very violent…I wasn’t very cautious..he was someone I met off the internet,” Rachel Nasseta sheepishly said about the 26 year old man she met on a dating website.
That someone off the Internet convinced Nassetta to turn against her own mother.
“He talked her into robbing me,” Rachel’s mom, Tammy Marrone said.
They stole her electronics, jewelry, and money.
Her mother became even more concerned when Rachel moved in with him.
The man, who Rachel did not name, told her they were living in a religious home. That was his excuse for sneaking her in and out. But it turned out to be a border home for the homeless and that’s where the abuse began.
“He would just tell and he was a bad person…he made me feel really bad like I was stupid,” said Rachel.
The man she fell for had a lengthy rap sheet of battery, child abuse and alleged murder charges.
Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober said the mind plays tricks in you. He said meeting people online can lead to falling in love with a fantasy and that’s not reality.
“In some ways the Internet is a dirt road without a sheriff,” said Dr. Bober. “With online meeting, you are getting a filtered version of who the person is.”
Dr. Bober said using Skype when talking is helpful in seeing the person’s action. Meeting in a public place and always running a background check can also help you protect yourself.
“I always say, safety trumps privacy,” said Dr. Bober.
Dr. Bober said it is also crucial that parents monitor their children’s online use, placing the computer in a common area with shared passwords.
Children and a lot of young adults dont practice common sense, Dr Bober said.
“A lot of adults on the other end will prey on that,” he said.
Rachel suffered some psychological backlash but she and her mother are just thankful it’s not worse.
Rachel’s mom said, “Had it gone any farther who knows what would have happened.”
“I could have ended up dead,” Rachel said.