The Dangers of Dating on Websites
The Internet has become a popular place for people to find love. However, because the Internet is so impersonal, it is hard to completely trust someone online. Many online daters have utilized safe sites like eHarmony and Match.com to find compatible mates.
But dangers still exist in the realm of online dating. Internet predators, people seeking financial gain and physical harm are a few online dangers you may encounter.
If an online partner asks you to contribute money to help pay for his bills or an airline ticket to come see you, you need to be concerned. He may be using you for cash, or he may not be financially sound. He may have issues with spending or gambling. You just don’t know. And it’s hard for you to see the big picture without actually being in his presence. Avoid giving him money as it will most likely not be returned.
Attacking Your Personal Safety
One downside to the Internet is that it is easy for a person to lie. It takes time to trust someone, so do not provide personal information such as your full name, Social Security number, or address to an online friend.
The friend may use this information to take advantage of you by accessing your bank accounts, stalking you or selling the information to a third-party company. It’s better to stay impersonal until you are satisfied with the information that is given to you by the other person.
If your online partner has set certain times for you to call her, you should be suspicious. Call her number outside of those hours to see if anyone else picks up. She may be waiting until her real partner leaves the house to take your calls. If she gives you a false number, you should also be suspicious.
If your online friend is only interested in you for sex, there’s a possibility that he may be a sexual predator. If he is eager to meet you to “have fun,” tell him you are not ready. Slow him down. Tell him he’s moving too fast. If he continues to pressure you, there may be a sexual obsession involved.
It is possible that a person might be using a photo of someone else. If a photo looks too professional to be legit, it is fine to ask for another. Joke that she looks like a model and see how she reacts. Perhaps the person is simply insecure about her appearance. Be cautious and trust your instincts if the photo looks fake.
Meeting in Person
Meeting a person from the Internet is like meeting a blind date. You may know some details about him beforehand, but you don’t know everything about him, including his behavior. There are some things you will not be able to pick up from simply talking to someone on the Internet.
Take some time to get to know your online friend before settling on a date to meet. Make sure to meet in a public place. Take a friend with you. Bring some emergency phone numbers in case things get out of hand.