Good Advice – Safety Tips to Follow
Presented by LoveAndSeek.com
As a leader in online dating for Christian Singles, LoveAndSeek.com is proud to help people find love in a fun environment. However, there are certain steps that every person should follow while dating – both online and offline.
Take a few minutes to read the following safety tips to keep your dating experience enjoyable and secure.
Make sure to follow these guidelines at all times when meeting new people online:
- DON'T ever send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer. Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss. Scammers and con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it's nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don't wire money to strangers or to someone who claims to be in an emergency. Don't give out your credit card number or bank info.
- Don't share your personal info, such as SSN, address, phone number, etc.
Watch for these red flags from people that could indicate you're dealing with a scammer:
- Quickly asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service
- Vanishes mysteriously from the site, then reappears under a different name
- Talks about "destiny" or "fate"
- Claims to be recently widowed
- Asks for your address under the guise of sending flowers or gifts
- Makes an inordinate amount of grammar and/or spelling errors
- Claims to be from U.S. but currently travelling, living or working abroad
- Ever asks you for money
Report any suspicious activity or behavior
Practical Tips for Dating Online and Off
There is no substitute for acting with caution when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet you. You are in control of your online dating experience at all times – remain anonymous until you feel ready.
Guard your identity. Don't share your full name, personal phone numbers, email address, home address, place of work or any other identifying information while chatting or messaging on the site until you have established a reasonable level of trust with the other party. Remember, someone who is capable of committing identity theft can falsify a dating profile. NEVER post personal contact information in your profile or username.
- Protect your online access information. Use caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information. If you share your computer with others, consider disabling your auto-sign in feature if you have linked an auto log-in program or feature to your LoveAndSeek.com account.
- Remain anonymous until you feel comfortable. Take advantage of the onsite email feature that protects your identity until YOU choose to reveal it.
- Use a third-party, anonymous email address. As an added safety measure it's always best to use a third party email address for dating purposes. Have your LoveAndSeek.com emails sent there instead of a personal address.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or threatened, cease communication immediately and report any misbehavior immediately. Proceed with caution if someone pledges undying love after a few online conversations or first meeting in person.
- Get to know the other person online before meeting them offline. Use the tools available through LoveAndSeek.com that protect your anonymity to get to know someone before meeting them in person. Get as many details about the person as possible by using sources such as internet searches, governmental resources and databases or paying for a background check. However, you shouldn't fully rely on the accuracy of background check results because they are not foolproof. This is one reason why LoveAndSeek.com does not perform background checks on its members.
- Avoid people who don't give you straight answers. End communication with someone who talks in circles and/or seems uncomfortable when you ask them questions. If someone speaks in hushed tones or "has to go" all of a sudden, it may indicate the person is not single, or has something else to hide. Be wary of someone who is vague, won't answer direct questions or can only meet at odd hours.
- Married people or minors using the service
- Members sending harassing or offensive emails/IMs
- Members behaving inappropriately after meeting in person
- Criminals or other "shady" characters using the service
- Fraudulent registration or profiles
- Spam or solicitation*
- Copyright infringement
- Members asking you for money or donations
- Any other violation of LoveAndSeek.com's policies
Safety Tips for Meeting Offline
First meetings are exciting, and normally are perfectly safe. However, always take precautions and use the following guidelines.
- Always meet in public. Meet for the first time in a populated, public location – never in a private or remote location.
- Tell a friend. Inform a friend or family member of your plans and when and where you're going. If you own a mobile phone, make sure you have it with you.
- Stay sober. Do not do anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.
- Drive yourself to and from the first meeting. Just in case things don't work out, you need to be in control of your own ride – even if you take a taxi.
- Don't leave personal items unattended. You don't want to risk having personal information stolen. If you're drinking, keep your drink with you at all times so it can't be tampered with.
- Stay in a public place. It is best not to go back to your date's home or bring them back to yours on the first date. If your date pressures you, end the date and leave at once.
- The type of person you want to have a relationship with is the type of person who wants you to feel safe and secure.
Long Distance Meetings – 5 Safety Suggestions
Long distance meetings pose special safety concerns to take into account. Keep these tips in mind.
- Stay in a hotel. If you can't afford a hotel, don't go. DO NOT stay in the other person's home.
- Use a taxi or rental car to get to and from the airport. Even if the person you're meeting volunteers to pick you up from the airport, do not get into a personal vehicle with someone you've never met.
- Keep your hotel location confidential. The person you're meeting should respect your privacy until you know each other.
- Keep your valuables in the hotel safe. Do not take valuable items with you when meeting someone for the first time.
- Remember to keep your family and friends posted. Tell someone who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will return.