To a person who wants to arrange their personal life, dating sites often seem to be ideal for this. But when looking for a life partner on the Internet, do not forget about your own security.
Be skeptical about what you see
Not everyone would want to get acquainted with another person on the street or in public transport even if they look quite attractive. Because we know nothing about that other person – what if they are a maniac or a criminal? But why do we consider it normal to communicate with people you have never even seen, then?
Of course, you can argue that there is a profile on a dating site, and everything seems to be there – name, age, occupation, hobby, place of residence, even a photo of a person!
But in fact, no one ever guarantees you that these profiles are real. A completely different person may be hiding behind one of those profiles. And it would be fine if it’s just someone who does this for the sake of their anonymity, but what if they have different and more sinister reasons for it?
For example, they may turn out to be just a scammer who meets other people for the sole purpose of taking possession of their money and property. Or a robber who, at a meeting, will simply force you to give them everything of value. Or, after all, a murderer, a rapist … There may be another option: a person arranges a date for you at an expensive restaurant, and when it comes time to pay the bill, they say that they forgot their wallet or the money on that their credit card got broken, etc. There is some pretext involved.
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So, since you’ve decided to look for a partner on the Internet, let’s protect ourselves.
To begin, try to find out whether a person you are communicating with is actually a real person. It is good if they indicated their real name and surname in their profile. If they have accounts on social networks, or you’ve got common friends, it is unlikely that a person is hiding something from you.
Try to collect as much information as possible about them. Sometimes, important information can be found not only on social networks but also on other sites, for example, if a person has registered a company or if they have participated in some projects. Check everything that you can get your hands on, for example, whether your potential partner is present on a list of university graduates they allegedly graduated from or the employees’ list of a company they seem to be working at. If something doesn’t add up – run.
Here’s an interesting article about how to protect your data online; it will certainly come in handy for you in the process of online dating.
If you know their phone number, it will not hurt to look it through various sites and databases. What if they are registered under a different name? Or maybe they are on some sort of a blacklist? If they previously met with other people, and these meetings ended in failure, some people may have written reviews about that person. That’s something else you should check.
If you haven’t found anything suspicious, and a person is trying to meet you IRL, do not hurry. To get started, try to hear their voice by talking to them via phone or Skype. While this will not make you immune to danger and potential fraud, it won’t hurt to do it.
First Date Rules
When going on a date, be sure to warn someone that you trust about this. Leave a person’s phone number and ask someone to check up on you. Tell them to call you a few times during the date.
Do not put on expensive jewelry for the date and do not carry a lot of money around. Who knows what kind of a person you are meeting with?
It is better to appoint a meeting in a neutral place. If this is a cafe, then it should be inexpensive. In case a person turns out to be a scam, and you have to pay for the two of you. For the first time, you can insist on just a cup of coffee or tea.
You should be alarmed if the interlocutor is too persistently interested in your financial situation. To ask where are you working at is fine. But to ask how much you earn, what apartment you have, in which bank you keep the money, is a no-no.
Whatever good impression a new partner has made on you, do not rush to invite them into your home. Yes, sure, one-time sex is a normal thing now, but remember that you don’t really know that person. Who knows what to expect from them? To go to their place is not a good idea either. You have no idea what will be waiting for you there.
Try to get to know them better
If you like a person, and you do not mind to continue communication, you can meet a couple of times in public places. It is desirable to get someone along. If you know someone from their company of friends, it will be easier to get to know them. The last thing you want to find out is that they call that person by a different name altogether, if this is the case, once again, run. It is also worth considering if the friends of your partner look suspicious or not, you may not walk out of that bar if they turn out to be sketchy.
Ask more about their life. If you see that a person is clearly hiding something away from you, this is a bad sign. Ideally, you should find out at least where and with whom they live, where they work, with whom they communicate, in what places they like to hang out. The more you know about them, the less chance there is that they will do you any wrong. Yes, again, this doesn’t make you immune to wrongdoing, but at least you are unlikely to become a victim of outright crime.