How to Be Safe While Online Dating

Know Who You’re Dealing With

Online dating can work out well and be convenient. It can also result in death—that’s not an exaggeration. There are thieves, serial killers, and those who will can target you or even infect you with lethal diseases out there. They prey on those seeking mates online. Different threats define different regions.

In the American Southwest, specifically on the West Coast, there are “bug chasers” and “gift givers” —these individuals, since at least 2014 (and probably sooner), infect one another with HIV and work to spread the infection. Online dating represents a prime vector for such “gifts”; promiscuous individuals tend to congregate on such dating sites.

Thieves sometimes even use hot models as “bait” for men seeking dates—this is big in the midwest. You’ll match somebody on Tinder, start a conversation, meet up, and then she wants to take you to some remote location to watch the stars. Unbeknownst to you, that’s where her “handler” is at.

You get there, the handler blocks your car on a one-way road, and you get abducted or stolen from. In the worst-case scenario, you might even get murdered by some serial killer. The issue is rampant. Straight, gay, or exploring, the online dating scene can be dangerous if you’re not careful. However, if you follow the tips outlined here, you’ll avoid issues like that.

1. Never Give Out Personal Information

Most scams backhand your bank account before you even meet the “girl” or “guy” in question. Beyond confirming you’re of legal age, and who you present yourself as on your dating profile, don’t give out personal information. Don’t say precisely where you live, don’t say your precise age, don’t say your birthday.

Don’t put that information on your profile, either. Instead of saying you’re 34, say you’re in your “early thirties”; that gives a range of 30 to 35. Instead of saying you live in Huntington Beach, California, say you live in Orange County near the coast. Make personal information impossible to narrow down until you actually meet the person.

Even after you meet them, be sure they’re safe. Especially if you have assets, it can be worthwhile for thieves to work in teams. Nowadays, you don’t have to rely on search engines to try and track somebody down. Now, you can use background check sites that serve as a portal into all public records, social media profiles, and every other nook and cranny of the net. If they can get you to believe you’re actually on a date with a single person, then get you to go somewhere private later, your “goose is cooked”, as the saying goes.

2. Verify Relationship Availability

Another issue isn’t one of fraud per se, but one of dishonesty—especially in the south. Oftentimes you’ll meet someone dating online who is just looking for a hookup, and is actually married. If you’re seriously looking for a relationship, this can be very troublesome. One way to check is to use sites like this Lauderdale County marriage records repository.

Essentially, if you find somebody you like, go to a site like that, ensure there aren’t any documents indicating an existing or previous marriage, and go from there.

3. Meet In Public Places

Until you know you can trust the person, don’t meet in any private, sequestered location distant from the public eye. Be at restaurants, theaters, or well-trafficked parks which have a closing time that’s early. Don’t have your first date be a hike in the mountains, or stargazing in a field thirty miles out of town—not unless you already know the person.

4. Take Your Time

This is the hardest one to follow. Often, when there’s chemistry, and you’re both attracted to each other, it’s second nature to go to an apartment or hotel room and consummate the arrangement. Some thieves are willing to go that far, as are some who have even more dastardly designs. Cardi-B used to drug men and steal from them. She’s certainly not alone.

Get to know a person for a few weeks prior to intimacy. Certainly this sounds counterintuitive today, but it’s not. If you’re an adult, and in control of your hormones, and seeking a serious relationship, try to at least wait a month before getting intimate.

Being Safe Dating Online

Take your time, meet in public, verify a person’s “relationship identity” in advance, and avoid giving out personal information until you know you can trust someone. There are more tips relevant to online dating, but follow these four and you should be able to avoid the majority of uncomfortable or dangerous situations.

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