You may be using various online dating apps for an easier and probably more fun way to find “The One.” You may also be wondering, is online dating safe? Or, how to safely date online? Despite its perks, online dating comes with risks. To learn the ways online dating could be unsafe, how to date online safely, and how to avoid romance scams, check out the article below!
Is Online Dating Safe?: How Online Dating Can Be Unsafe
While it’s exciting to date people online, it can be unsafe in several ways. For instance, some people will pretend to be someone they’re not just to catch your attention. Once you’ve fallen for them and trust them enough, they’ll tell you different stories to make you send them money. You could also become a victim of identity theft and end up losing your money. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports, victims lost $304 million to romance scams in 2020.
Other scammers may blackmail you. They will say they’ll expose your intimate photos to the public if you do not send them their requested amount. Thus, you may not only suffer from financial losses but also emotional and mental health problems.
Is Online Dating Safe?: How To Date Online Safely
To avoid talking to a romance scammer, here are some ways for you to date online safely:
Keep Personal Information to Yourself
Although you would want to be open with a potential partner, do not disclose too much information to someone you’ve only met online. If you tell them your physical address, birth date, or the places you usually visit, you’re only helping them steal your money and identity easily.
Do Your Research
To date responsibly, conduct your own research. The goal is not to be a stalker but to make sure you have some ideas of the kind of person you’re talking to, especially if you decide to meet them in person. Look at their social media profiles, and then look for relevant information that can help you ensure they’re harmless.
Ask For a Video Call
To help you find out you’re not talking to a scammer, have video calls with them through Facebook, Instagram, Skype, or other platforms. If they have endless excuses every time you ask for a video call, then they’re probably not the person they claim to be.
Choose a Reliable Site
To reduce the chances of meeting romance scammers, use more reliable dating apps. In the U.S., you can find over 2,500 dating sites. Consider choosing more established sites, such as Tinder, Bumble, or Match.com.
Communicate Within the App Only
Limiting your communication to a dating app helps you date safely. Scam artists will propose to communicate outside the app very quickly. This way, they can escape from possible penalties, like getting banned from the app. Do not give them the chance to make you an easy target.
Is Online Dating Safe?: How To Avoid Romance Scams
Is online dating safe? While you may be sincere in finding a potential partner on dating apps, there are romance scammers who aim to build a romantic relationship with you, gain your trust, and ask you for money using a fake profile. Learn how to avoid these romance scammers with the following tips:
- Never send money to people you’ve only met online. Do not get swayed by scammers’ convincing stories.
- Never share personal information. If you do, you’re giving them access to your hard-earned money.
- Never send intimate photos to people you’ve only talked to online. They can use these images to threaten you and make you send them money.
- Do not trust someone who professes their love too soon. Remember that romance scammers are good at making you fall in love with them, but they may just be doing the same thing to other victims.
- Be mindful of your social media posts, especially those that you allow the public to see. Romance scammers may use such information to trick you into getting what they want.
- Be suspicious of people asking you to communicate outside the online dating site. They prefer to talk without the app so it’s easier for them to con you.
- Take your time getting to know someone. Ask them several questions and get to know them better. Stay skeptical until you’re sure that they’re real and that they’re also just looking for love like you.
- Report romance scams to the FTC or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Date Safely Online With Social Catfish
While you may be eager to try online dating apps, you may also ask, “Is online dating safe?” or “how to safely date online.” As shown above, romance scammers are just out there waiting for the next victim who will fall for their charm. Refuse to be a victim by following the tips we have shared. If you meet someone suspicious, discover their identity in no time by performing a reverse search on Social Catfish!