Do you know how to online date safely?

Phone pic

Published at 12:46pm 15th February 2019.

Wiltshire Police have given us some tips to protect ourselves online.

The days surrounding Valentine's Day see many people signing up for online dating sites, in the hopes of meeting their next partner.

Wiltshire Police have shared Get Safe Online's tips to keep safe if you're looking for the one in this way.

They said:

"We'd like to help you protect yourself against some of these dangers, such as fraud, sexual exploitation and physical harm.

"Before you next go online to find love, please take a few minutes to read our expert tips."

  • Pick a reputable dating service and don’t move the conversation away from the website or app’s messaging service until you’re confident the person is who they say they are, and that their motives are honourable.

Bumble and Tinder iphone
  • Check that the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’, ‘romance scam’ or ‘catfish’ into your search engine. Do a reverse image search to see if the photo is actually of somebody else.

  • Never send money or your bank details to someone you’ve met online, no matter how convincing the reason they give for needing it, nor how long you’ve been speaking to them. Banks usually do their best to track and recover your payment, but aren’t responsible for your losses if the request is fraudulent.

  • Get to know the person, not the profile. Ask plenty of questions and don’t rush into anything. This may also help you avoid becoming a victim of a false relationship where you’re simply being used for sex.

heart keyboard computer online dating
Are you looking for love online?

 

  • Remember that some dating apps use your mobile device’s location services to enable matches, but this could also compromise your personal safety.

  • Don’t overshare personal details. Revealing your full name, date of birth, home address or workplace could lead to fraud, identity theft or even personal harm. Protect the names, details and locations of your children and family members.

  • Be wary if someone you meet online tells you not to mention them to your friends and family. Fraudsters and sexual predators work by isolating their victims.

  • Before meeting an online suitor in person for the first time, tell a friend or family member that you’re meeting, and where. Keep your mobile phone switched on, and think about arranging for someone to call you during the date to give you the opportunity to make an excuse and leave early.

  • If you become a victim of romance fraud, don’t be embarrassed but report it immediately to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040 – as well as the dating site where you met the perpetrator. Report any assaults to the police.

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