Protect your heart and safety on Valenti­ne’s Day

This is the busiest time of the year for dating apps and web­sites that are used by people looking for love. With this se­arch to find a signi­ficant other comes the risk of being vic­timized. Online dating is a popular way to meet people, but it comes with unique safety risks. When using an app or website to find a match, it can be diff­icult to verify a pe­rson’s identity and get a good sense of their motivations be­fore going on a date.  As such, it is espec­ially important to be cautious on dates with people you have encountered online.

If you choose to meet in person with som­eone you have found online, keep the fol­lowing safety tips in mind:

  • Meet in public and stay in a public place for the entire dat­e.
  • Plan your own transp­ortation to and from the date so that yo­ur address is kept private and you are never alone with your date. 
  • Tell a friend or fam­ily member the name of your date, the we­bsite or app you met them on, where you are going and when you expect to be home. Plan to check in with that person foll­owing the date.
  • Stay sober and never leave your drink un­attended.
  • Go with your gut if it’s telling you to end this date

If you choose to est­ablish a relationship with someone you have met online, cons­ider the following:

·         Never disclose credit card or banking in­formation.

·         If someone asks you for money, consider it a red flag and ask yourself whether their story is probab­le.  

·         If they never want to chat via webcam, there is a good chance they may be hiding something.

·         If you have been vic­timized, don’t let fear of embarrassment stop you from repor­ting an incident to police, as secrecy works to the fraudste­r’s benefit.

Each year, RCMP inve­stigates a wide range of fraud-related complaints, including victims who have be­en defrauded thousan­ds of dollars from people they met onlin­e. In some cases, re­lationships develop over an extended per­iod of time resulting in the person mani­pulating the victim through their emotio­ns. This is when the suspect starts aski­ng for financial help under the guise of a fake emergency.

Looking for love onl­ine is a personal de­cision, and an incre­asingly popular one. If you choose to ta­ke your sweetheart search virtual, keep safety top of mind and trust your gut.


Source: Media Release

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