“Online, anyone can be who they want to be, it only gets tricky when you have to meet them in person.” This is one of the most popular quotes online and it happens to be true. It is very easy to fall victim to scammers posing as dates on online dating platforms or worse still, meeting dangerous people that can harm you. Online dating is therefore trickier because you have to keep your stranger danger alarm on all the time and make sure you don’t let your guard down at the wrong time.
Have A Video Call Before Meeting
Many people use fake images on their online dating platforms. When you make a connection with someone, you should do a reverse image search of their profile image to ensure that it wasn’t stolen from someone else. You should then have a video call and get to see the person you hope to meet before you see them face to face. It is a great way to build up confidence and hear your date’s voice before meeting them in person. Multiple video calls will indicate to you whether you wanna meet that person or not.
Don’t Disclose Personal Information
The internet has lots of good people and lots of bad ones too. The best way to keep yourself safe is to ensure that your personal information remains personal unless someone that you trust comes along. Information like your workplace, social security number and address should remain with you until you make a reliable physical connection with the person.
Don’t Agree To Any Finance Related Requests
Scammers show up on dating sites and start bothering you with alleged business opportunities or financial troubles that you may think you need to help with. Some also claim that they are in business and that they want to sell you something. You have to be smart because some don’t start immediately. They may actually start by giving you money themselves or take their time to pull you in before bringing up finances. Online dating should never have anything to do with money until you move in together.
Meet In A Public Place
While the urge to have privacy and know each other better may be high, you just have to choose to forego privacy during the first couple of dates. You should meet in a public place and if possible, keep it casual. Meeting in private is recipe for disaster because someone may expose a part of them you just didn’t see in video calls.
Notify Someone When You Meet
Dating is all about your choices and it will be your decision but you can’t go about it alone. If you can, please tell someone where you are going when you got for a meeting with someone you met online. If you can, you can also bring a friend along and even have them take a different table or stay in the car just to keep an eye out. Dating can make you forget your safety and having someone that cares watching your back can save your life.
Don’t Be Desperate
You obviously have your weaknesses but they shouldn’t be the first thing your online date sees about you. If you present yourself as a charity case, chances are that they will take advantage of your weaknesses and if they are not good people, you may end up getting hurt. Put your best foot forward and be confident from the start because there is h=no fear in online dating. Don’t meet up until you are ready and when you do, make sure it is on your own terms. Make sure you have your financials in shape for the first date so that you don’t show up as a charity case.
Don’t Use The Same Image As Your Social Media
It is very easy to perform a reverse image search nowadays. If you use the same image on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites and then use it on online dating platforms, you may have given away too much. It is smart to rotate the photos you use on your dating app profile and ensure that they are not on any other site like LinkedIn which might give away too much information.
Don’t Negotiate Red Flags
Dating is all about matters of the heart and there is nothing you should trust more than your heart. From the very first chat, you have to be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t add up. Don’t fall for stupid excuses for why you can’t have a video call or can’t meet physically. The internet is pretty much available on any corner of the planet and someone that is serious about dating should be able to do the work and create time for you. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right.
It is alright to have a drink or two on your first date but you also have to go into it with a sober mind. You have to drink with your stranger danger alarms on, which means just drinking a few light and casual drinks to keep the conversation going. If you can avoid it, as it is always advisable not to drink at all. You should also befriend a bartender or the security guard at the place where you drink and have them look out for you. There is nothing wrong with having a guardian angel with you even if you have them undercover to keep you safe.
Arrange Your Own Transport
There are lots of horror stories of people who went on their first dates and never made it back home simply because their dates offered to drive them home. Having your own transport plays in your favour as it shows the independent part of you. It is also the best way to see how your date will react when you tell them no in case they offer you a ride, Most importantly, it will keep you safe as you won’t be at the mercy of a stranger nor allow them to know your home.