Have you seen the show on Netflix, Tinder Swindler? It is a true story of three women who got scammed millions of dollars into a scammer posing as a lover in Tinder. It is heartbreaking to see how these victims got ripped off their money innocently to a criminal who used their emotional vulnerabilities to get what he wanted.
When it comes to dating, much has changed due to ever-evolving technology. Dating online has become the new norm surpassing the traditional courtship. I bet there are only a few couples left compared to the general public who can brag about meeting at a dog park or the market. Most millennials have opted for dating online, and with the rising number of dating sites and apps, the singles looking for love can now connect easily and quickly with each other.
Nonetheless, safety on these online dating sites has become questionable as many crimes have been reported, and many users have fallen victims to scams. Sadly, online dating sites don’t check the criminal background of users thoroughly, leaving the public at risk of meeting potential scammers and criminals.
In today’s article, we share tips on how to stay safe dating online.
Tips on how to stay safe dating online
Picture sharing. The pictures you set up on your online dating profiles are essential. Avoid using provocative images or sharing nude pictures as they can become risky, used against you for blackmail, or even bring attention you were not hoping for. Use a simple online handle and pictures that don’t reveal too much flesh on your online dating profiles. This will minimize the chance of you becoming a target of blackmails.
Consider the risks. When using dating sites, be open to the idea that you could potentially meet criminals or scammers. Be aware of the profiles that seem too good to be true. For instance, if a person portrays themselves as a son of a well-known billionaire or famous person (like in Tinder Swindler), double-check on that. They are probably scammers. Meeting someone online can be a challenge (a genuine person). Make sure to do your due diligence before getting invested emotionally in someone you meet online. For starters, if you need to create a profile for dating online, search dating site that is common and safe to use.
Here are some more tips on how to stay safe dating online!
When Connecting or Dating Online
Reject any requests involving money. Imagine you’re just getting to know someone on a dating site, and they drop the act of playing a victim of an accident or any event that seems to make them “need” money urgently. Guess who is going to get the money request? If you’ve been talking to them for a little while, you could potentially become an ATM and bankroll these criminals after falling for their fraudulent tricks. If anyone asks for money on any dating sites, make sure you report them immediately and cut all the communication with them.
Be cautious of overseas and long-distance relationships. Keep an eye on individuals who claim to be from overseas or stuck someplace where they need financial aid to help them get back home. Avoid such individuals particularly if you have not known them well because they may not be who they seem to appear. Note that if a person is dodging your questions or pushes for a serious relationship without you guys meeting in person first, that’s a huge red flag.
Report any offensive and suspicious behavior. The only way you can be sure to stop an individual from hurting others is by reporting them so that they can be blocked from using that dating site. If you encounter a person who violates terms on dating sites, don’t hesitate to block and report them.
Examples of violations:
- Money requests/donations.
- Underage users.
- Offensive messages, threats, and harassment.
- Inappropriate conduct when meeting in person.
- Spam links.
- Fraudulent/Scamming profiles.
Use trusted dating sites. There are so many dating sites, over 1500, and dozens of these sites are used to target victims who end up losing money due to unawareness. Use larger and reputable dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, or Christian Mingle. Choose wisely since most safe dating sites need a membership fee. Check them online to see how you can set up a secure dating account. Also, remember to delete your profile when you stop using any dating site.
Wait until you feel safe and comfortable. When dating online, don’t be in a hurry to meet your potential dates in person. Take your time to know them better until you feel comfortable and you can trust them. The right person will not pressure you to meet up and will give you the time you need to be on board.
When Meeting in Person
Schedule a video call before meeting in person. Before meeting up in person with your potential date for the first time, schedule a video call chat with them. This is a good idea to verify that your match is similar to their profile and not someone else. It could be a red flag if they strongly neglect a video chat. Your safety is key and if they can’t be willing to be in a video call with you, cancel the date.
Go to a public place for your date. Avoid meeting up with a person in their apartment, home, or any isolated places during your first date. Ideally, choose a place that you’re comfortable or familiar with so it is easy for you to get home safely. A public place with many people will guarantee your safety and that nothing fishy will happen during your date. Also, it is a great idea to choose a spot with a good phone signal.
Inform a friend about where you’re going. It is a smart idea to screenshot your data profile and send it to a friend. Inform them about when and where you’ll be going for your first date. And if for some reason you change the location of the date, make sure to update your friend. Have your friend check in on you during the date or when you get back home to ensure you’re safe.
Stick to what makes you comfortable. Don’t feel pressured to do something, eat or drink anything out of your preference just because your date is doing so. It’s totally okay to maintain your standards when you choose to have a few drinks or prefer a certain choice of food on the first date. Remember, if you’re going to be with someone, you at least owe it to yourself to be and feel comfortable around them.
Stay sober. It is an excellent idea to sober up during your first date with someone new. Drugs and alcohol could alter some of your decisions and lead you to do things you could regret in the future or even be taken advantage of. If you both agree to have drinks, take a few that wouldn’t see you get intoxicated and put your safety in jeopardy. It’s recommended to have a coffee date for the first meeting with someone new. This guarantees your safety rather than risking getting drunk.
Keep your phone charged. You wouldn’t want to see your phone bail out on you during your first date and leave you stranded when your date didn’t turn out to be perfect as expected, and suddenly you need a ride back home. It’s wise to keep your phone charged and with you all the time just in case you have to call a friend to come to get you.
Make arrangements for your transport. Before going out on your date, have plans in place for your transport. Don’t rely on your date to pick you up before or drop you after the date. It might not be a good idea to show someone you met online where you live during your first date.
Even if they decide to offer you a ride, just thank them and find your own way home. Also, it is always wise to pick a spot where you can quickly get home after the date is over.
Keep an eye on your stuff. When on your date, pay close attention to all your stuff. Don’t leave any drink or food unattended. Keep your cool, but also be under the control of everything you have on you, such as your bags, phone, wallet, or any valuable material. Remember, not until someone gives you a reason to trust them, don’t be confident leaving your stuff with anyone, particularly someone you met online.
Keep it casual. First dates aren’t supposed to be such a big deal. Take it as a step-by-step process of getting to know each other better. Don’t commit to a date in an expensive hotel that will see you struggling to measure up to the bills.
Anything else you can do to date safe online?
Yes! you can become your own online investigator and see if whoever you’re chatting to has other dating profiles. Check them out, see if what they are saying marries up with their ‘other’ dating profiles that they think you don’t know about. That sounds technical? nope, just run a free search on UserSearch.org’s dating search for their username. Takes less than 10 seconds.
Be smart dating online!
In general, be smart and careful when meeting someone online. Dating online can be a challenge but using these tips on how to stay safe dating online, you can protect yourself from scammers and basically know what to expect when visiting dating sites.
Search dating site that is safe to use and create an account to get started on finding love online.
Stay extra vigilant, and enjoy your coming dates!
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