Online dating allows you to meet interesting people but as with most things in life, it has risks. It’s important to go into it with your eyes open and be vigilant of potential threats. Here are some common dangers of online dating:
Online, people can hide their real identities and present a fake persona. Catfishing is a common phenomenon whereby men and women pretend to be someone else to defraud others. The goal of some catfishes is to steal financial and personal information from you.
The victim might give out personal information because he or she is in love. To save yourself from catfishing, you should not let your guard down.
Some people are bold and prefer direct approaches. Such criminals, upon spotting their victims, spend months gaining their trust before proposing a real-life meetup. However, these meetings are not romantic. The crook plans a private meetup to rob, extort or even kill their victims. These meetups can indeed be fatal if you are not vigilant.
Some scammers opt for savage approaches where they solicit explicit pictures or videos from their victims and blackmail them. This scam is known as sextortion and when the scammer obtains the explicit material, they demand payment. Failure to which they threaten an online expose, where they upload the pictures online.
How to Be Safe
In 2022, finding love online is the new normal and there are many success stories. However, some people still fall prey to unscrupulous individuals. Here are several tips that will keep you safe as you endeavor to find true love online:
Before you go too far into any relationship, be it online or in real life, it is important that you validate the other person’s identity. A catfish will always avoid meeting with you and give a litany of excuses. Tread with caution if a person is being avoidant. If you know the person’s government name and the state where he or she resides you can get their detailed information by running a background check. For instance, if the person claims that he or she is from Oklahoma, run an Oklahoma background check to confirm his or her true identity.
The biggest risk in online dating is giving too much information to potential partners. Online fraudsters use this information to extort you. Keep the information that you share at a bare minimum. If a person wants to know where you live or work, do not give specific details. For example, you can mention the state and county but not more than that.
Never Share a Real Phone Number
When interacting with strangers online, do not share your personal number right away. You can share an email, but not your main email, for communication. Sharing phone numbers prematurely can result in spamming calls, stalking, and other things. When you feel that you have established some trust, use phony online phone numbers to communicate with your potential partner.
To protect your data, consider using a VPN to mask your real location. Even if you don’t share personal information, some hackers can acquire this information quite easily. Your IP address can be used to access more of your personal data, including your online habits and physical address. A robust VPN can conceal this information from would-be hackers thus keeping it safe.
Meet Potential Partners in Public Spaces
No matter how much you think you trust your online date, it is imperative that you meet in a public area the first time. Serial killers and thieves can be some of the smoothest talkers. Meet in cafes, parks, or restaurants for the first few dates.
The above information will help you to avoid the imminent dangers of online dating. As long as you follow these tips, your online dating life should be smooth. Christian dating is considerably safer and is another option you should explore.