It used to be something people kept to themselves in shame… online dating? Fears of finding weirdos and people looking to cause trouble in your life was all the commotion back then but now things have changed. Risks and dangers do still exist out there but the online dating landscape has become much more commonplace which can be a good thing for us looking to mingle.
Thanks to the creation of dating and social media apps, as well as the fact that almost everybody has a smart phone on them at all times these days, it’s easier than ever to get in touch and get to flirting. You have to be on the lookout for dangers such as scams, for instance, but people are more savvy these days than ever before.
As a quick note, if you’re looking for helpful info on detecting if your current partner is snooping around online for dates while still in your relationship, check out our guide right here.
Scams To Lookout For While Online Dating!
Let’s just go right for the super obvious one first…
- Asking for money in order to pay off some sort of important bill. If they are coming across as worried they can’t pay off so-N-so bill and they may not be asking you directly for money but making it painfully obvious that they need money, they’re probably fishing for cash and using your empathy as bait.
- They are constantly sending racy photos, often times without you even asking for them. Many times this is a clue that they’re a catfish and have an entire inventory of pics they use to lure someone in the hopes of getting racy images back. There are of course ways to verify it’s them but you can never be entirely sure unless you end up on a video call to see them in the flesh so to speak.
- Sometimes people are just bored and looking for attention or a bit of relief. These types can be swift to swoop in and lure you over to the dark side of overly-intimate online interactions ‘just for fun’ in their case. Getting caught up emotionally with these types is risky as to them you’re just a game to play, meanwhile you might actually be thinking of the future with this person and they’ve got absolutely no intentions of anything beyond just having fun while it lasts.
There are of course many more instances to lookout for but covering them all extensively inside of this read can become way to overwhelming so just keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.
A Few Online Dating Safety Tips
Some of these are just going to seem super obvious but for those of us maybe not quite ‘in the know’ we’ll cover them anyway.
Look Them Up Online
Doing a bit of digging around in order to discover more about somebody for the purposes of online dating isn’t a terrible idea. Most of us leave breadcrumbs laying around online these days and with a few simple searches you just might find some information that’ll help you decide if this person you’re considering would be a good fit for you or not.
Don’t Ignore Instinct, online dating is about fun & safety.
Even though it can sometimes lead us to overreact, instincts are important and exist for a reason so listen to yours. If something is telling you to think twice then do it, actually reconsider what you know about this individual so far. If you notice yourself falling super hard and fast for this brand new person then ask yourself why it’s happening and think back to what you know about manipulation and what could truly be going on just underneath the surface.
Don’t Give Away Too Much
You need to keep personal information private on the internet when dealing with another person online, especially if looking to date. There is just way too much they could dig up on you in order to do unsavory things and you really don’t want to fall victim to an online scam, they’re just not very fun.
Don’t Send People Money
For the love of your own financial security, do not send anyone money just because they’ve given you a sob story about some hardship going on in their life right now. “Normal people” won’t usually put such things on you, at least not anytime soon prior to properly establishing a bond or friendship. Anyone who makes it painfully obvious they want money for any reason is probably scamming you or attempting to.
Always Meet In Public First
And make sure you have a reasonable exit plan in the event they turn out to be too weird for your liking. No matter how safe or relatable somebody seems to be during that initial phase of getting to know each other online, you really don’t know this person from the next until you get some honest together time on a more common basis. Placing yourself at risk in order to do this isn’t very smart… at all. Don’t do it.
That’s About It
Things really just come down to common safety sense and listening to that little voice in the back of your mind telling you when something isn’t quite right. You’ll undoubtedly have a great time with the right person but you need to keep yourself safe and secure until you know they truly are that right person. Get to know them, have fun and all that but just be sure to keep yourself protected during all this.