Online dating safety is really quite simple but despite all the horror stories people still feel they are invincible behind their computer screen.
When it comes to online dating people are thinking with their emotions, they want to meet someone nice so it’s easy to ignore warning signs and trust too quickly.
It doesn’t matter how well you “think” you know a person from an online dating site, your safety must always be at the forefront of your mind.
Follow these 5 golden rules to online dating safety:
Join a Paid Dating Site
Yes I know, there are all those free sites out there so why should you pay. Very simply because the free sites are where the spammers, scammers and ner-do-wells hang out. Why should they pay when there are millions of potential victims on free sites. Paid sites collect credit card numbers, that is the sort of personal information scammers don’t like to give out. This does not eliminate the risks but it does greatly reduce them.
Flattery can lead people to hand out personal information within minutes of being contacted on a dating site. It’s quite frightening how much you can find out about someone with just a name, email address and phone number.
Guard your personal information well until you are sure you know who you’re talking to, use the sites services to chat for some time before handing out your personal details. If someone gets pushy about your information then ask yourself why.
Get a free email address just for online dating, so you can close it easily if need be. Get a dating mobile phone with a pay as you go card, again this can easily be cancelled. Use a free service like skype to chat online so you can see who you are talking to before you hand out your phone number.
Don’t Be Shy
Ask for personal information and check it! People often worry that the dream man or woman they are chatting to will think you don’t trust them if you insist on some personal information. Any genuine online dater will understand the online dating safety issues and be happy to reassure you with some personal details.
Ensure photos are recent, look for car models in the background, fashions and hairstyles .. are there any 80′s shoulder pads in the photo. Call any phone numbers they give you and call at odd times, not the same time every day, this helps to eliminate married people. Check snippets of information they give you, if they say they live in London and it was a bright sunny day then check the weather forecast for London.
Whether your paid online dating site offers a background check service or you do a background check yourself, remember people tell lies, particularly if they something to hide. No background check is a thorough police search into someones identity so don’t let yourself be fooled into a false sense of security.
All a basic background check does is check whether the information provided is correct and it does not ensure your safety. What if I tell you my name is Emily Parks and I work at Fairfield School as a primary teacher, I drive a red Toyota and have a dog named Spot. Now, what if I just gave you personal details of someone I know .. it will check out fine but that is no guarantee it’s me.
Whether you are a man or woman you must think about your safety when meeting offline.
- Meet in a public place
- Tell someone where you are meeting
- Call a friend five minutes after you meet
- Tell your friend their car registration details if they came by car
- Allow them to collect you from home
- Let them book you a hotel
- Arrange to stay at their house
- Give them your credit card to pay for dinner while you nip to the toilet