I'm really new to online dating. I'm wondering if you could let me know some of the online dating dangers that are out there. Thanks. ~ Trying to Avoid the Danger
What a great question! In general, online dating is a fun and effective means of meeting people compatible with you. Tens of thousands of people have met, dated, and eventually married as a result of their online dating experience. However, it is still vitally important when using online dating services, that you exercise caution because there are some dangers. Here are a few:
1) The person you are communicating with may be married!
2) Many overseas women run scams against men. They pretend to get to know and like you and once you fall for them they start asking you for money. Thousands of men have been sucked into this scam, wiring money to a girl they never met and never hearing from her again (or hearing from her asking more money). If the person you are communicating with asks you for money, watch out.
3) Some people will email you instantly asking for your email address and as soon as you give it, you are inundated with dating spam while never hearing from that person again.
4) There are a few bad apples in the online dating world. A lady who shared an experience expressed how one guy showed up on her doorstep even though she never gave him her address!
Take precautions in your online dating experience. Here are a few tips:
1) Listen to your gut. If something doesn't seem right about the person you are communicating with then this may be an indication that you should move on. Trust what your instincts are telling you.
2) Never give out personal information too soon. A person armed with your home phone number can find your home address (without you knowing) in just a few clicks. (places like Zabasearch can do it in one or two clicks - just knowing your online nickname? Within 3 clicks you can surf for someone's real name, area of residence - then 1-2-3.... home address & phone number - Fighter)
3) Usually a person trying to take advantage of you is one who communicates first with you. Thus, even if you are a female you should take the initiative to contact people that look of interest to you. (This was true of Ed Hicks, Brad Dorsky, "J", Keith Clive and practically all our cyberpaths. THEY made the first moves!)
4) Set up an anonymous email account. When you're ready to communicate with someone outside of the security of the online dating service you are using, you may want to consider using an anonymous email account from a service like Yahoo, Hotmail, or Go.com. Be sure to change your account information to not give out your full name. Doing this helps protect your privacy more as it's fairly easy to get information on a person based on their actual email address that they've used for years.
5) When going on a first date, make sure you meet in a public place and that your friends know where you are. Consider arranging a time to check in with one of your friends.
6) If you have enough information on the person you are dating, then consider running a background check. I was surprised to learn that a person I once dated had done this on me. It was a smart thing for the person to do. The only reason a person should be upset at you running a background check is if that person has something to hide. (This shouldn't be a consideration as far as EOPC is concerned - its a must. And if the other person asks you NOT to check? RUN LIKE HE** - THEY ARE HIDING SOMETHING! - Fighter)
7) Learn self defense. On rare occasions, a female who has met up with a male via online dating has been assaulted. Know how to defend yourself. There are a ton of good reasons, even outside of online dating, to take a self-defense course.
8) Drive yourself to the date destination. Until you really know a person, it's a good idea to provide your own transportation. There's no reason the person you are dating needs to know where you live in the initial stages.
Keep in mind that a person can say whatever he/she wants in a profile and several tell outright or little white lies in the things they say. Some lie about appearance, some lie about marital status, and some lie about intentions. Always be smart, alert, and listen to your instincts. It's very much a possibility that the person you are destined to be with is just an email away. But never let your guard down when searching for that destiny.
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(While EOPC tends to recommend AGAINST Online Dating or meeting via Social Networking - we realize there are people who will do it anyway and urge extreme caution. - Fighter)