Online safety is as important as looking both ways before you cross the road.
Don’t we sit in our cars or on our couches and think to ourselves – "surely that mature-aged woman would have conducted a little more research before selling her house and flying off to sunny-Florida to meet up with someone she had just met on the internet!?" Sadly, it does prove the old adage that “love is blind” and is the exact reason, why we need to have our virtual wits around us when embarking on online dating.
The Daily Telegraph reported in June 2014, in Fraudsters are hiding behind fake online dating profiles and it’s costing Australia millions, that an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report showed $25.2 million was lost to fraudsters across Australia from online romance scams. With dire consequences, it seems that “ordinary, smart, confident Australians are reduced to a shell of their former selves after being sucked into a fake world where money, not love, is the ultimate goal.”
Your Digital BodyGuard: Protecting Yourself Online and Off
Staying safe in your online dating life is mostly achieved by being careful about what you reveal through your profile, in email exchanges and even on the first date. How much do you really know about FunInTheSun76 from a few messages and one meet-up?
Are They Scamming Me?
Are you corresponding with someone who -
- Declares their love for you in only a matter of weeks, even before you have met?
- Looks to good to be true? For example, they are out of your age range or telling you everything you want to hear.
- Lives or are visiting family in another country and asking you for money so they can travel to meet you or care for a sick relative?
Simples Measures To Protect Yourself:
All the major dating websites provide guidelines for safe online dating (see links below) and there is truck-load of information out there.
- Not using your real name in your online dating username or email address
- Not sharing surnames immediately.
- Google search their profile photo if it appears fake
- Never getting financially involved. It should be a flashing neon hit to the head - if someone you are just getting to know asks for financial assistance, even if it is a so-called emergency, a sick relative and they will be ‘paying you back’. As pointed out by the Australian dating site RSVP, “If it's too good to be true - it probably is!”
When it comes to dating online, there are the tried and true pearls of wisdom like dating only in a safe place, telling a friend your location, having an excuse to leave and never accepting a lift home from a virtual stranger!
Be alert but not alarmed is the take home message...
Of course, there is however a balance of playing it safe and being so guarded and defensive that you cut-off any dating options. There are some nice genuine people out there, really! Chat to us today if you would like to find out more about online dating and how our services can help you in your quest of finding your ideal match.
Dating and romance scams, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Dating Safely, RSVP
Online Dating Safety Tips, eHarmony
Avoid Dating Scams, OasisActive