Are you one of the millions who has jumped into the online dating pool? It’s a great way to meet people. But you also have to be careful with meeting people online. The Internet, plus texting/email is anonymous. Anyone can be anybody or anything. That wonderful guy you meet may be a scam artist, pedophile or rapist. The perfect woman could be a scammer, black widow, pedophile and yes, a rapist.
Because there are bad people out there in the world trying to pass themselves off as something they’re not, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid online dating. What it means is that you have to think and be safe.
Online Dating Safety Tips
1. Get an email solely for online dating use only. Make sure it is generic and does not give off any personal information. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org <—GOOD, singlemom77 <–BAD. The first gave no clue to who I am – the 2nd revealed that I’m a single mom (I am) and my year of birth (for example it is fake <grin>).
2. Get a Google Voice number: www.google.com/voice You can set it up to ring on your cell phone or landline. If you want neither, you can check online to see who called. There is an app for smartphones. Why should you do this? From a landline or cell number, a person can get your home address.
3. If you have small children, do not put up profile pictures that have them in it. Too many predators target single parents with small children.
4. If you make good money, if asked, do not list it in your profile. Choose that you’d rather not say (best choice) or an income rung one or two below what you earn.
5. Getting ready to meet? Make sure it’s in a public place. Tell someone close to you that you are going – and give them his/her name, profile link and any other info you have on you. Also, Google your date’s name and see if anything pops up.
6. If you are going to move on to date 3 and beyond (dates 1 & 2 need to be coffee/lunch and still out in public) – exchange driver’s license information. I know – how unromantic. Would you rather be romantic or maybe dead? If they have a problem giving you their DL and for you to do a background check – be polite, walk away and never look back. If you do get their DL information, you can run a background check on Intelius.
How Do You Know If He/She Is A Scam Artist
- Communication is vague, difficult to understand or is repeated.
- Immediate (within 15 minutes) responses are received every time you send a message, with no discussion beforehand as to when you’ll be online.
- Email messages change in tone, language, style or grammar throughout the communication. The change could evolve, or it could be apparent in just one email.
- A sob story is shared early on that changes quickly from an annoyance into an emergency – and only you can help.
There’s only ONE YOU on the planet. Let’s keep you safe while you’re searching for love!