If you’re single and looking to mingle online, from apps to websites, there are more ways than ever to meet new people. Online Dating and swiping has become part of every-day life, so it’s important to remember to keep yourself safe.
The bare necessities:
Remember your photos could be screenshotted, shared, or shown to anyone if you upload them to an app or website, they are then available for public viewing, so make sure you’d be happy for anyone to see that photo of you! If someone is being aggressive, don’t feel pressured to share material you’re not comfortable with, hit that un-match button!
Location, Location, Location!
Choose your photos carefully; make sure they don’t reveal any personal details, or make it easy to identify where you live, your address, or workplace.
Don’t share your digits
Only share your number if you feel comfortable doing so, if you feel any pressure to share your number or alternative information, stop the conversation or un-match with the person you’re speaking to.
Does something smell off? Maybe it’s the stench of a Catfish
When someone uses false pictures and often a false story about themselves to draw you in, this is known as ‘catfishing’. Look for social media accounts; do they have any linked to their dating profile? Do their pictures look edited, or do they not have many pictures of themselves? If you’re unsure, do a reverse image search on Google.
Get there safely, if you use an Uber, share your location with a friend so they can see you’ve arrived. Choose a public place to meet and make your own way there. Tell someone where you’re going, and check in with them during the meet-up to keep them in the loop, so if you need bailing out they can arrange your escape plan, or if it’s going well, they know you’re having a good time and safe.
On a more serious note, the world of online dating can be tricky to navigate, and things aren’t always as they seem; what looks like a match made in heaven might be someone sinister intentions.
Most accounts on dating websites are real people looking for romance, but you might be contacted by fraudsters using fake profiles, getting in touch and developing what seems like a genuine loving relationship.
Once the person using the fake dating profile believes that they’ve won your trust, they will often tell you about a fictional problem they’re having, and ask you to help them by sending money.
In some cases they might have arranged to meet you, but will say they need money to book their flight or visa. They may tell you everything has been arranged, but their ticket has been stolen, and you need to send money quickly to get them on the next flight.
Another tactic they may use is to pull on your heartstring with fake stories about a family member or someone else they care for is ill, and they need money for treatment or to help them in some way.
This then opens up way for them to continue to come back for more.
You can protect yourself using these tips:
Be wary of questions that they ask about you, it may seem like they’re just getting to know you, but asking for details such as your date of birth, home address or family background, may be used to steal your identity.
Avoid giving your full name, date of birth and home address as this may lead to your identity being stolen and put you in danger.
Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.
Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.