Using online dating sites can be fun and you can meet a lot of really interesting and cool people. But as with most things in life, there are always dangers or potential issues lurking about. So, being prepared and vigilant is always a good idea. In this post, guest author and owner of the dating blog Dating Site Resource, Tyler Joseph, shares with us the top 3 dangers of using online dating sites and how to best use them instead.
Dating online can be a fun experience.
You have an opportunity to meet more people than you could by walking into your local bar.
Depending on the dating site, you could have a chance to meet people from your area or another country.
If one website doesn’t work out, you can always try another.
The internet is crawling with various niche websites for some of your more unique interests.
People all over the world have found success in online dating.
Even if these long-term relationships don’t turn into a marriage, the connections are successful for the time they exist.
There is a reason, so many dating sites boast about their success rates.
However, many other people find failure and heartbreak.
Some people get overwhelmed by the amount of choices they have, and it turns them off from online dating.
Others feel cheated on their dates because of how easy it is to lie about themselves online.
Sometimes, people ghost you instead of telling you they’re not feeling a connection.
And then there’s a small number who find themselves in danger.
These people end up scammed or attacked after a night with their online dates.
We hear about stories like these all the time, and it scares a lot of us from trying out online dating.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
The most trusted online dating sites offer free dating advice and tips for safe dating.
Below are the top 3 dangers of online dating and how to prevent them from happening:
1: Online Scamming
When you tell your friends you’re trying online dating; there’s always one friend whose first thought is you’re going to get scammed.
Maybe they went on a date and found out their online relationship was with a married person.
But we’re not talking about getting ghosted one day.
Nor are we talking about your date lying about their age, weight, or job.
Yes, those things happen, but we’re talking about more dangerous situations.
According to Phactual, about 10% of accounts on free dating sites are scammers.
In 2011, the FBI reported scammers to cost users about fifty million dollars in losses.
If you know what to look for, you won’t fall for these scammers.
The signs sound like common sense when you hear them, but they’re the difference between a full bank account and an empty bank account.
Look out for these signs:
- They are insisting on asking you for personal information unusually early in your relationship. These people also beg you for money so they can come to see you. Usually, they say they can’t afford the trip but ask you to fund it.
- They’re laying on the flattery too thick.
- There is an abnormal amount of spelling and grammar mistakes in the conversation.
- The profile is mostly blank. No pictures or information are on their profile.
2: Physical Endangerment
Remember that friend that thinks you’re going to get scammed if you try online dating?
The other thought they’ll have is maybe you’ll get murdered or raped.
It’s not as common as scamming.
However, it doesn’t mean you can meet your date without taking any safety precautions first.
When people think of online predators, they imagine people making it clear from Day 1 they want to attack you.
However, if everyone did that online, they wouldn’t have any victims.
Most predators start charming, gaining their victim’s trust before putting them in danger.
In these situations, you always want to trust your gut feeling.
Like with the online scammers, the signs to look out for sound like common sense.
However, if someone charms you, it’s not as easy to catch the red flags flying in your face.
Look out for these signs of a potential predator:
- Like the online scammer, these people insist on your personal information: your kids’ names, their school, phone number, address, etc.
- They insist on meeting you at your home or their home. They don’t want to meet at a public place.
- Their personality changes if you tell them no. They suddenly turn aggressive and mean when you say no to them.
3: Your Physical and Mental Health
Online dating doesn’t mean you’re not going to get hurt if a date doesn’t go well.
Some of the people on dating sites are already married and passing off as single.
Others aren’t as interested in you as you are in them.
Or, you might be feeling anxious over a profile that can’t take a hint no matter how many times you say you’re not interested.
Even if you find someone that isn’t a scammer or a predator, you still need to be careful.
Some people don’t find out their date is in a relationship or married until after they’ve had sex with them.
These committed individuals raise your chances of getting an STD or unwanted pregnancy.
Instead of looking for signs with these people, I’ll give you a helpful hint.
If you’re not sure about someone, research them when you find out their name.
If you’re getting a bad feeling about someone, there’s a reason why it’s there.
You don’t need to know their life story, but you should stop when you have enough information to find out if they’re worth meeting.
All of these dangers are avoidable if you play it safe.
To make sure you don’t find yourself in these dangerous situations, make sure you’re taking these precautions:
Research your dating site.
You don’t want to sign up for the first dating site you find. A lot of the free dating sites have scammers running amok in them. Look at the reviews and see if they’re a trusted dating site.
Use the block button!
If you feel like any profiles are harassing you, or you have a bad feeling about a profile, you can block them.
The block button is your friend in online dating.
Get customer service involved.
The most trusted dating sites have customer service and support available.
Some of these sites allow you to call customer support.
If you think a profile is suspicious, request customer support, and they’ll take over.
Meet in public.
If you decide to meet your online date, make sure you do it in public.
That way, if something does go wrong, there are witnesses to what happened.
Tell a friend.
One of the safest things you can do for yourself is to tell a friend what you’re doing.
Give them a name and a phone number so they can go to the police if your date turns for the worst.
The chances of these situations happening to you are unlikely.
As long as you have common sense when you start your online dating adventure, you can have fun finding what you want in a relationship.