Despite the spiralling popularity of dating sites members of the public have guarded reservations about using a platform that a whole generation is growing up taking for granted. As schools, community programs and day care centres develop blogs, websites and Twitter and Facebook accounts, the days when the world of online dating was recalled with a sliver of ice tingling the spine will be just that, a distant memory.
Yet, despite a worldwide effort to increase dating site security, we cannot ignore the fact that fraud and scammers perpetuate the myth that dating sites are unsafe places to frequent, let alone consider meeting someone with whom you’d consider sharing the rest of your life.
If you’re new to the world of online dating, you are probably more vulnerable than seasoned Internet love seekers. Scammers instantly target new sign ups and in their desperation to at least start the ball rolling, the new sign up replies to that initial prompt.
After a period whereby the scammer gains the trust of the ‘newbie’, there will inevitably come the promise of a visit ‘if only they had the funds‘ or ‘a relative has been taken sick and they’re waiting for the insurance to clear’ or ‘there’s a [magical investment], but they (the scammer) need funds to see the reward come to fruition‘. All plights seem like humanitarian gifts of kindness or opportunities too good to pass up on behalf of the innocent dating site member. But if you loan the money, that’s the last you’ll ever see of it.
One recent report suggests the following ways to ensure you stay safe if you’re considering dipping a toe into the world of online dating:
Do not be tempted to open up lines of communication outside the domain of the dating site. Most dating sites offer enough ways to communicate in the early stages of a relationship to enable the member to assess whether there’s a future in the relationship. Do not give out your phone number or e-mail address until you have met the person who’s contacted you.
This article continues with further ways to protect yourself dating online and a quick tale of an e-mail I had only this month as soon as I joined what appeared, on the face of it, to be a professional networking site for writers, publishers and editors. And I mean, this e-mail was waiting in my inbox before I’d even sent the confirmation that the e-mail I’d supplied was legit. Scary.
Continue reading: Don’t let your guard down online dating