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.
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