So, you’ve been chatting to your dating site buddy for a while, they’re making all the right noises, the photos in their profile are handsome – no, better than that: gorgeous – and you make the decision it’s time to move the relationship on. It’s fun chatting, but that’s not what you signed up for.
However, something tugging away at your shirt-sleeve is starting to ring a few bells in the alarm box of your subconscious: do you really know this person? What if they’re an axe-murderer or are not who they claim to be on their profile. Or worse, have ‘borrowed’ images from a friend or off the Internet to post alongside their dating site profile?
How do you go about verifying your dating site companion’s information?
This is sure to be a hot topic at the iDate conference later this month in Miami – not only is the dating site industry extremely aware of the threat posed by scammers on dating platforms the world wide, but now the authorities are stepping in, looking for ways to work with the industry to shore up their sites and protect its membership.
If you’re dating someone from across the seas and you’re based in the US, state regulation is in place for regulated dating sites to monitor and background check all its members from outside of North America.
There are, however, thousands upon thousands of unregulated sites and these are the targets for criminal activity that the industry is attempting to wipe out. This, however, is almost impossible without the cooperation of every single dating site owner, of which there are more springing up every day as they look to make their cut of an industry reportedly worth $2bn a year.
If you’re a member of a UK dating site – an industry on target to be worth £150M per annum in its own rite in the next year or two – although we are targets for many scams from beyond our shores, particularly Nigeria and surrounding countries in the North of Africa, we have not yet seen the volumes of cash defrauded from our members as our cousins across the pond, hence there are no such regulations in place, here.
The chances are, if you are looking to arrange a meeting with another single from your dating site, it’s going to be a UK resident. Getting some users of UK online dating sites to step out of their own door, let alone travel across the globe to meet someone, is a challenge.
Here in the UK, online companies are looking into new ways to protect, not just dating site members, but the online community as a whole. One of the forerunners is Trusted Faces. It’s service requires a physical photograph taken by a third party – in this case the Post Office™ – to register you as a certified online passport holder.
If your date is as serious as you about getting together, as unromantic as it sounds, they will not object to verifying their information in this manner. Read more about the Trusted Faces app, and global Internet security, by clicking the online security category on our dating site – bookmark it for the latest news about being secure on your dating site platform – it is very important to us here, at dating.org.uk. Be happy, but be safe!