Looking for Love-Tips for Women to Protect Against the Security & Safety Risks of Online Dating

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Looking for Love-Tips for Women to Protect Against the Security & Safety Risks of Online Dating

Millions of women turn to online dating services each year in search of the love of their life. But as some of today’s news reports go to show, not every potential mate is an upstanding, law-abiding citizen. 

There are numerous crime reports about women who have been raped and even killed by people they met through an online dating service. One of the most widely publicized cases was the murder of Sydney Loofe. According to the Rolling Stone article, Sydney had met a woman on Tinder and was looking forward to a second date with her. Sydney never returned home that evening, however. Her dismembered body was found approximately one month later in a field. The woman she had met and her male partner were charged in the crime.

The horrific crime above is just one of many disturbing crimes that women have been victimized by as a result of online dating sites. The following are some important tips to follow to protect against the security and safety risks of online dating and decrease your risk of falling victim to a heartless criminal. 

Safety and Security Risks of Online Dating Scams

According to an article published by WHNT News, there are over 2500 online dating services in the United States, with approximately 34 million users. Of those users, it is estimated that over 53% of them are dishonest in their personal profiles. In addition to the risks of meeting up with a criminal with dangerous intentions, online scammers looking to steal financial information also prey on unsuspecting members of online dating sites.

In a report published by FBI.gov, San Diego, such online scammers are typically foreign criminals who disguise themselves as Americans working abroad. They tend to target women age 40+ who are divorced, disabled, or widowed. The FBI warns, however, that every demographic, including men, is at risk of being victimized by these types of scams.

The scam involves setting up a phony online dating profile. After establishing a connection with an unsuspecting victim, he or she spends weeks to months establishing a trusting relationship. Small tokens of affection are often sent in the form of flowers and other small gifts. After the relationship is firmly established, the criminal shares a made-up story about some type of financial hardship as a way to get his female partner to feel bad for him and send him money. But the scan doesn’t stop there. This cycle will often continue for as long as the unsuspecting woman believes the money she is sending is truly helping her beloved partner out. 

Tips for Women to Protect Against Online Dating Safety & Security Risks

The most common mistake women make when it comes to the safety and security risk of online dating is thinking nothing bad will ever happen to them. Don’t be that woman!

As security expert, Jordan Frankel, knows, every woman who turns to online dating to find that perfect partner is at risk of being victimized by a criminal. This is especially true for women who don’t take the safety and security risks of online dating for granted. 

Fortunately, there are certain measures you can take to decrease your risk of being victimized by an online dating predator. The following are a few of the common mistakes women looking for love make and how to avoid them:

  • Trusting a newly met partner just because he or she is nice, funny, polite, or attractive. Criminals come in every shape and size, and many are very charming and attractive. In fact, many have become masters at portraying themselves as good, law-abiding citizens. Don’t be fooled! Until you truly get to know a person you meet online, be cautious. No matter how charming a person appears, strangers should never be trusted.
  • Sharing personal information too soon. Some women are too quick to give out their full name, phone number, and even their address to people they meet online. Unfortunately, with today’s technology, it often only takes to know your full name and the city you live in to locate your address and other personal details about you. When talking with someone online for the first time, avoid sharing your full name and other personal details about yourself, such as where you work, the college you attend, or your local hangouts. Furthermore, BEWARE of anyone who probes for this information. It is better to say, “Sorry, I’m not comfortable sharing that information now,” than to risk sharing information that can lead a criminal to your door. 
  • Being alone with a stranger. Consider this to be the golden rule of online dating—NEVER be alone with a stranger. The first time you meet up with someone you know should be in a public place where there are lots of people around. Even if you hit it off at the start, do not allow yourself to be alone with that person until you get to know him or her better. If possible, have a friend join you on the first meeting, even if it’s simply to keep tabs on you from a distance. The very minimum, always let a friend or family member who you are meeting and where you are going the first few times you meet someone you don’t know well. Be sure to share as much personal information as possible about the person you are meeting, such as his or her online profile, contact information, and a picture if you have one.

As mentioned previously, violent criminals are not the only dangers lurking among online dating sites. Crooks looking to scam women out of money are also a threat. Some of the clues to look for are as follows: 

  • The person claim to be an American who is working or stationed in a foreign country. 
  • Photos of the person portray a very attractive man or woman that could pass for a fashion model.
  • Strong emotions and compliments are expressed toward you very early on in the relationship.
  • You are encouraged to establish communication outside the online dating service.
  • The person agrees to meet you but never does for one reason for another.
  • He or she shares an unfortunate event that led to a financial predicament and asks for your help.
  • The person probes for your personal information, such as when you were born, your address, social security number, etc. Sharing this information can place you at risk for identify theft!

Though you should avoid sharing your personal information with someone you don’t know very well, it is vital that you find out everything you can about that person before you agree to meet him or her. At the very least make sure you know their first and last name, their age, and the city they reside in. This information can be used to perform a background check and determine if the person has a criminal record. Suck background checks are very affordable and available through various companies online. 

Never Risk Your Personal Security & Safety for Love

You don’t’ have to put your personal safety and security at risk to find the love of your life. By implementing the safe online dating practices discussed above, you can increase your chance of finding the perfect partner and avoid the predators that might be looking for you.