Elizabeth (not her real name) met Assange one night in April 2004, about two years before Assange started his now-infamous whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
She was 19 at the time; Assange was 33 and a student at the University of Melbourne studying physics and mathematics.
But there's a type of dating site scam that's far trickier to spot, and the people who operate it claim to be making thousands of dollars every month fooling vulnerable men.Welcome to Ask a Cool Teen™, a recurring column in which we explore critically important issues of our day through the eyes of teenagers from around the world.All interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. But for Cool Teens™ growing up in a world where Tinder is the norm and awkwardly introducing yourself to your crush's mom when she picks up the family's landline phone is a thing of the past, the courtship game has changed.Elizabeth spotted Assange at a bar near Melbourne and approached the older man with the long white hair because he seemed different than other guys she'd met."I started talking to him and he just seemed kind of quiet and nerdy," she told us in a phone interview. Just strangely alluring for a 19-year-old girl." Assange flirted with her, showing off by explaining complex equations and joking about her mathematical ignorance.They chatted until the bar closed, and Assange walked Elizabeth back to the small town where she lived with her parents.It's not just guns and drugs that are up for sale on deep web sites.