Chatting online is fun, but do you know who you're actually talking to? Personal safety when meeting someone in person who you met online. Fraud, when people appeal appeal to your better nature to help them out of an 'unfortunate situation' by sending money. People masquerading as somebody who they are not.
Spam , selling or fraud, especially romance fraud. Webcam blackmail, where fraudsters record things you may do in front of your webcam then use the recording to extort money. Phishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site and encouraging you to divulge personal information. Being defrauded by using websites posing as authentic dating sites.
Potential theft of your money if you do not use a secure link when making payments. Using certain dishonest dating sites that: Set up 'pseudo' or fake profiles where the person you think you have met is actually employed by the site to keep you hanging on Membership means that the site has to commit to an industry code of practice that includes honest communication with users, protecting their privacy and providing a mechanism for reporting abuse.
Inclusion of the ODA's logo on the site indicates membership. Creating your online dating profile: Don't include your surname or any other identifying information such as your place of work either in your profile or when you first make contact.
Stay in control when it comes to how and when you share information. Don't include your contact information such as your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile or initial communications.
Take things slowly and share more information when you feel comfortable doing so. It is impossible to get back information once you have given it away. If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too. Act with caution and learn more about someone before contacting him or her outside of the dating site.
They do it to protect you, not to make money. Use their platform and the added security it gives. If and when you do decide to share an e-mail address think about creating a separate and anonymous email address. Take Your Time - Sometimes when you're excited about someone, your instincts can be confused by strong feelings. Take care and take your time when you talk about yourself. There will be plenty of time to share such details if your relationship develops.
They cannot do a criminal records check on every user. And a person can become a problem without having a record. Therefore, don't get a false sense of security because you're on a dating site; do your own research to learn more about someone and make informed decisions before you decide to meet. Check to see if the person you're interested in is on other social networking sites like Facebook, do a web search to see if there are other records of the person online, and if possible use google image search to check the profile photos.
Money Requests Are Your Red Light - Why would someone need to borrow money off somebody they have never met, or only just met? There is no reason for anyone to ask you for money or your financial information, whatever sad or sob story they give. Always keep your bank and account information private. Stop all contact immediately and report the matter to the dating site.
Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to the dating service.
You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Play it safe when you meet face-to-face Be smart and stay safe. Going on a date with someone new is an exciting step in a relationship, but continue being careful. Even if you feel you have become closer to someone via email and phone, you should still remember that this person is largely a stranger to you.
Therefore it is important that when meeting someone in person, whether it is your first or fifth date, you take precautions and consider these dos and don'ts. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. The safest plan is to meet somewhere public and stay somewhere public.
Get to know the person, not the profile. Make your excuses and leave. No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a crime. Police and charities are here to help and support you. Dating sites, social networks and other internet services are targeted by scammers. Scammers want one thing and one thing only — money.
Here are a few examples of common scammer behaviours to watch out for and report: Declarations of love - If someone you are in contact with starts declaring their love for you within a matter of weeks or even days or hours , be cautious.
You need to know someone to come to love them. Instant messages of love could be someone trying to get right into your life, possibly for all the wrong reasons. Requests for money - This really should send alarm bells ringing whatever the form the request comes in.
Scammers will look to gain your sympathy with the stories they tell. Someone offering you money - Who gives money away to strangers through a dating site? These are always scams.
The same goes for anyone with a sure-fire get rich quick schemes. The only one trying to get rich quick is the scammer as he or she fishes for your bank details or other financial information.
Threats and blackmail - These are ugly words. But some scammers have tried to threaten money out of people for not showing pictures, webcam footage or messages that they have managed to get out of users online. Advice for avoiding scammers - Never ever respond to a request for money.
Or stories about a desperately ill family member who needs help with medical expenses. These sorts of pitches may take time to come out in messages, time in which you may very well have come to trust and value a relationship with your online contact. That does not make them any less of a lie. Someone asking you to use a wire service to get money to them is up to no good.
They can happen but it is an unlikely way for a relationship to start offline so be wary online. They may dodge questions or make excuses for not meeting or speaking on the telephone. Their profile or communications may also have odd spelling and grammar. Your private life should stay private until you know someone really well and can start over time to trust them with things.
Report them; however bad that might feel at the time. The Police have national and local teams there to attack fraudsters. Let them protect you — and others. If a contact starts to feel strange and especially if money gets raised you might ask a friend or relative if you are not at a point where you think there is something to report to the dating service. If they advise you to back off Scamming is a pretty sick line of business but it is a business for them. They practice tugging at heartstrings, at showing tenderness or a neediness.
They tell people what they want to hear. If you suspect that someone you're talking to may be a scammer, stop your communications and immediately report him or her. You should never feel too stupid or ashamed to report someone. You are not the person who should be ashamed and stopped.
Tell the dating site — and talk to the professionals. All Online Dating Association ODA members have to have reporting arrangements to deal with users concerns about a bad experience or suspicious behaviour.
Dating site providers want and need to know if there is a problem. They can act to get people off sites immediately to help safeguard you and others. Online dating providers need to know if someone is trying to get hold of your personal information, asking for money or behaving in really inappropriate ways. They monitor regulatory but need to be told if you can see a profile that has obscene, pornographic, abusive, violent or otherwise offensive photos or content.
They will act to remove the content and the user. Any act of violence or abuse should be reported to your local police. If you are in Scotland, contact Police Scotland on This page has been compiled with the kind assistance of the Online Dating Association.