Is online dating really safe
You’d meet a potential suitor by happenstance (or be introduced by a friend), then exchange numbers and talk on the phone. And if that meetup was successful, you’d plan another date. While there are still some people who can brag about a meet-cute at a dog park, the rise in online dating has turned traditional courtship on its end.And the exploding number of dating sites and apps allow singles seeking companionship to connect with each other more quickly and easily than ever.So it is no surprise that with so many strangers meeting strangers, the possibility of danger has increased exponentially.Safety must be a top priority for anyone looking for a date in the digital space, stresses Carla Vande Weerd, a University of South Florida professor and lead author of a report that explored the online dating experiences of women 50 and older.That doesn’t mean become a stalker, that just means make sure you have at least idea as to who the person is before you meet with him or her.If possible, try to find pictures and see what additional information comes up about the person beyond Facebook and Instagram.
Set up a predate video chat This can give you a feel for the person you are meeting — and can be done from the safety of your home, Vande Weerd notes. “Have a video chat, and then progress to something like coffee that can happen in a public space and doesn't take a lot of time,” Vande Weerd advises.
One in 4 adults said they don’t know enough when it comes to dating safety, according to a survey of 2,000 British singles conducted by dating app Plenty of Fish.
Almost a quarter of those polled also said they were concerned for their safety while on a date in the previous 12 months.
“If a scammer can get you to talk to them outside of the dating app you're on, then they're less likely to get caught.” Do some basic reconnaissance Google a potential suitor, Vande Weerd suggests.
Among the things to check, according to the Better Business Bureau: profile name, email address and phone number.
It’s vital to “take all the steps you possibly can to be safe,” she says.